Fleeton Year of Adventure travel blog

Walking through the tundra at L'anse aux Meadows

The remains of the Viking settlement

The recreated settlement, built out of sod and wood

Our Viking story teller

On our way down - a typical NFLD load of logs

Camping above the cliffs at Cow Bay

Near St. Anthony, right at the very top of NFLD, is the site of a Viking settlement from about 1000 AD. It was discovered in the 1970s and has been steadily developed by the federal government into a very interesting park. Besides the usual visitor centre with artifacts and information, you get an escorted tour down to the site with a wonderful guide - an Older fellow who grew up right beside the site and was full of many memories of what it was like to grow up in a remote community like that with fishing being the only way of making a living, and also with memories of the place being discovered by archaeologists and developed. We walked through the tundra and the tuckamore down to the site with him as he told stories (tuckamore, by the way, is what NFLDers call the stunted little trees which bend away from the wind along the coastlines). There were moose footprints on the boardwalks, the weather was good, and the scenery was great. The actual site is basically raised up mounds in the grass, all neatly labelled, but beyond them Parks Canada has recreated the settlement with real sod houses, boats, etc., and "genuine" vikings on hand to relay all the old Viking sagas from Iceland and Greenland, and how they related to this village. We enjoyed it very much - it was all very well done. After we finished at L'Anse aux Meadows we heated up some soup then headed back down south again. We stopped for the night at a rest area near Cow Bay at the north end of Gros Morne Park. Malcolm pulled over closer to the edge of the gravel area and parallel to the cliffs so we could watch and hear the waves. He went to sleep fairly early, but I had a good book and stayed up late reading. By midnight the wind was blowing so hard that the motorhome was rocking and I got the heebee-jeebies (sp?) and Malcolm had to pull his pants on and turn the motorhome into the wind and farther from the cliffs before I could relax enough to sleep!

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