Monday, October 19, 2009

Win's Road Trip

While heading north to the tip of the island and the Viking settlement - we took a detour into a small fishing village named Flower Cove - when we looked out over the ocean we spotted the Flower Cove Island Lighthouse build in 1877 and continuously manned by families until the mid '50's. Can you imagine working and living on such a cold and desolate piece of outcrop - they are truly a hearty breed!!

We started out again, heading north, when Colleen shouted out that there was a moose on the west side of the highway in the ditch area, of course I turned the car around and headed back - This is where it got really interesting!! - The moose (a big bull) was no more than 12/15 ft. from us but our safety factor was the ditch, however I kept the car in gear for a fast getaway just in case!! He turned away from us and started trotting toward the trees and brush, then a very strange thing happen - he must have decided that he wasn't going to back down from us as his main objective was to cross that highway!! He headed back toward us and stopped - and just like the bulls in a bull ring he started to stomp his front leg - then commenced in run in circles - stopping - charging towards us - stopping - kicked his rear legs into the air - ran around in circles a few more times and actually charged towards us a total of four times - a warning for us no doubt - Of course all this time Ann is suggesting that we "B line it" out of there!! I figured that I had acted like an idiot long enough and started southbound - made a u-turn and headed back north just in time to see this hugh hunk of meat heading into the opposite ditch...............I had another experience with a bull moose years ago on a trip from Terrace to Kitimat in British Columbia - turned out to be pretty scary stuff, but that's enough bull stories for now!!

We arrived at L'anse aux Meadows - weather that day cold and drizzle - They ask you to sign in at the visitor's center and then a guide takes you on a tour of the site and explains all the interesting details to the group. The first photo shows one of the areas where the actually excavating took place (the grassy area with the indents) It was explained to us that as they dug they were finding all sorts of objects that were determined to be of Viking origin and after months (years) of painstakingly slow work it was decided to stop all work and leave most the this discovery for future generations to work on and enjoy!! - It's estimated that they have really only touched the surface of this historic find - approximately 3/4 remains to be worked on!!

Of course the dwellings in the other pics are replicas of what they determined the original settlement looked like - they have staff dressed in period garb and they are all very interesting in story telling !! There are documents on hand in Norway telling of Vikings leaving Greenland and venturing to a far-off land - This area of Newfoundland has a very high iron content in the rocky surroundings and there is evidence that the Vikings were smeltering iron nails etc for repairing their boats - It's considered that they used this area as a stop over point while exploring further into the island - it is commonly believed that there are probably many more undiscoved sites all over Newfoundland and they will eventually be found!! - After some years (undetermined) they deserted the island totally probably due to troubles with the local native tribes!! - and to think this all took place 500 years before Christopher Columbus arrived further south in North America.

Later - some really interesting relics on display in the visitors center!!


Thanks Win

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