Sunday, 2 October 2016

Discovering Newfoundland August and September 2016 Part One. Labrador and the Northern Peninsula.

Newfound has been on our list of places we wanted to explore for a long time.  Starting with Farley Mowatt's stories about Vikings, and outports and rum running during prohibition and then continuing with all the Newfoundlanders we've met who praise their home province. With great food, incredible scenery, fascinating people and history, Newfoundland and Labrador were way more than we expected.

Most of this post will be photos telling the story.  It astounds me how my simple point and shoot Canon was able to capture colour, light and texture.  Put an Alberta girl near the ocean and she will be endlessly fascinated.


From Deer Lake airport to Plum Point near the ferry, then across to Quebec before driving 5 km to get back into Newfoundland (or as the locals reminded us, Labrador didn't ask to be taken over by Newfoundland).  Some great scenery, very successful fishing, and a visit to Red Bay where the Basque fishers were set up to fish for whales by the early 1500s (and might have been fishing for other fish before Christopher Columbus "discovered" North America).

This lovely chair welcomed us to Halifax airport
very early in the morning.
Selfie on the plane over from Halifax

First time getting gas.  Not Shell or Husky.  Irvings.
And the pumps didn't come with directions, so a bit of fun was had figuring out what to do. 
 (go inside and pay) 

At the ferry, this mum and teenager entertained us. 

The ferry, opening up the front, dumping water, then letting
the cars out.
The exact location of the successful fishing
The limit for the entire year is two salmon.
One was almost too big to keep, the second a bit smaller.
We fed ourselves, the guide and his family and the ladies who cooked a lovely meal for us. 
 Seaview Cottages and Restaurant in Forteau.  Can't recommend too highly.

Another dinner.  Cod cheeks, home fries and fresh bread.
All meals came with fresh bread or buns.

Artsy, eh?  Actually, wood drying to be used to heat someone's home.

In the running for the most interesting sign.
Not a lady with a flower and a fan.
Over the edge was a life preserver and a light.  The whistle was above.

L'anse Amour Lighthouse.(Cove of the Dead)
 Pieces of a boat that wrecked on the beach during WW2.  The British came along and blew it up, because it was too embarassing that their captain and crew had done so.  Now the pieces are found all along the coast...

The path we took down from the road.
 Imaging road equipment coming down this path to cross the river so that a bridge could be built
so the communities could be connected by road.

This gull was most insistent that he wanted to share the salmon with us.

Red Bay National Historic Site/UNESCO heritage site.

I knew what Majolica is - pottery with a glaze that we first saw in Turkey.

Fabric remnants.  It always fascinates me what archeologists know to go looking for.

Typical garbage box.  To keep the gulls out of the garbage.
Build you own, or custom built at the local Home Depot.

A lovely long story about the politics of these flags and conflicts between Newfoundland and Labrador.
 Labradorians keep reminding the provincial officials that THEY are the mainland.

And proof that we visited Quebec.

The Northern Peninsula

Back across the ferry then north to St. Anthony and L'anse Aux Meadows (Jellyfish Cove).  We stayed at a lovely B&B in Gunner's Cove, the first time we realized that trusting Google Maps was a bad idea in a rural area.

One of the staff at the local market where we bought KD, tuna and cookies for our supper. 
Her friendly smile and great tshirt made it OK.
Our B&B hostess was a quilter.
Newfoundland Tea 


Heading out of St. Anthony for a whale watching trip.

Whale spouting

AND whale showing his lovely tail.
A tribute to how well my camera can zoom and catch detail.

Whale baleen.

Barnacles.  In Cal's hand.

St. Anthony is noted for the location of the Grenfell Mission  in the 1890's.  The museum and hospital were fascinating to explore.

A rather spectacular example of rug hooking.

Book donated by one of my nursing instructors!
We picked up a reprint of this iconic book.

Early TB prevention

Incredible ceramic mural in the local hospital.
It surrounded the main lobby.

Another Singer treadle machine for my collection

Autograph embroidered table cloth.
 I remember being part of the same thing for a coworker of Cal's who was getting married.
 This was a tradition in Germany where she was going to live.

Patient teaching slide.

Icebergs - even though we were told we were too late in the season.

L'anse aux Meadows.  Completing the journey from northern Scotland (Shetlands and Orkneys) to Iceland and then to the new land.  I remember being told in Iceland that "of course" the voyages had happened - the captain's logs were in the national museum. The scientists who "discovered" L'anse aux Meadows actually talked to the right local person who directed them to what everybody knew as the old Indian village.

Our first (of several) moose.
He was doing the early morning meet and greetn

Embroidered by local ladies. Very similar to the style at L'anse Amour.
Was actually taught in the Grenfell Mission Schools.

Our guide, a local, who actually took part in the original excavations as a young man.

After the excavations, everything was covered to preserve.
Then recreations were built. Similar to what we saw in
Iceland (Eric the Red's homestead) and Lewis (Bostad).  

Sample of Nalbinding - one needle knitting which predates knitting and crochet.
Traditional in Iceland and other Scandinavian countries.

Cool rock formations (thrombolites) which are actually really primitive life forms.

fused glass creation at the Deer Lake airport
Six Degrees of Separation

I first heard this term years ago and relates to how we are really connected to everybody in the world in some way or another.  Here's a great example.  That day we were in St. Anthony (a lovely small town on the Northern Peninsula). 
At breakfast, we were talking to a couple from Dryden, Ontario.  One thing led to another, and the husband asked if, by chance, I knew Lois Jack because he had worked with her in Banff in 1973.  Of course, I did.  Not only was she two years ahead of me at school, but when I was working in Fort Vermilion,  she was the nurse on a nearby fly in reserve.  That summer, the reserve was in the midst of a political storm (which family should have their representative as chief) and we were getting major injuries from knives and guns in the hospital every night.  Lois actually got her life threatened and was quickly flown out for her safety. 
The second U of C connection that day was touring the Grenfell museum and seeing a book on Dr. Grenfell donated by Norma Thurston, an old nursing instructor. It was fascinating to see that the system he was setting up in Labrador and Northern Newfoundland in the 1890s was essentially the district nursing system Alberta developed in the 1930s (and that I worked in briefly at the beginning of my nursing career)
Third connection that day was talking to a couple who were also watching the icebergs.  Turns out they were from Edson... and she was born and raised in Peace River.  Yup, turns out I worked with her two sisters in law (both nurses) and my husband knew her sister, a teacher.

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