Where the Vikings came

Wednesday, we spent en route from Port Aux Basques to the very northwestern tip of Newfoundland, destination: L’Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site, where there are the remains of an authenticated Viking encampment.

A view from close to the restaurant, at least.
A view from close to the restaurant, at least.

It’s about an eight hour drive, and since our ferry had gotten in so late, we got a later start. But we pulled in in time for our dinner reservations at the Norseman, which is one of the better reviewed restaurants in Canada. It had terrific food but also a view of the ocean that couldn’t be beat, except by maybe the view from our room at the bed and breakfast. Which I forgot to take a photo of.

Apparently I missed spotting whales at breakfast by about 10 minutes. Such is life.

These unremarkable-seeming sod mounds hold the evidence of the Viking encampment.
These unremarkable-seeming sod mounds hold the evidence of the Viking encampment.

Anyways Thursday we went to the L’Anse Aux Meadows site and were lucky enough to hit a guided tour by a gentleman who’d lived in the area his whole life, and remembered when the archaeological digging started and even helped build the replica houses that Parks Canada has created based on the sites.

It was very cool. They built walls a couple metres thick. They believe the expedition that stayed there was Leif Erickson’s, based on the sagas, but can’t prove it. The site is supposed to be about 1,000 years old. The belief is this part of Canada is Vinland. There were other visits and other bases, but this was the first. They’ve found woods and other materials that simply don’t exist in Canada (and never have) at site.

Replica Viking houses.
Replica Viking houses.

We also saw an iceberg! A small one, from a distance, but an iceberg none the less.

We also ate lunch at the Norseman. Still good! I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in that part of Canada.

Then it was onto Rocky Harbour, in Gros Mornes National Park, for the night. We were mostly fogged in this evening, though aside from the first night of our arrival we’ve been lucky about rain.

1 thought on “Where the Vikings came”

  1. Hi Victoria.
    We would like to use your wonderful image of Lunenburg in a story we are doing on renovating historic properties.
    Please could you email me asap if you are inetrested please.

    Many thanks
    Graham whiteman
    Senior designer

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