Blog Archives

Dinner at the Daily Catch

The Daily Catch Restaurant in St. Lunaire-Griquet is located on the top of the hill with a wonderful view. I love dining at this place  because it offers such a great atmosphere.

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It’s a trendy little spot that specializes in seafood dishes. They always have local mussels, crab, lobster and selection of other seafood, paired with delicious salads and rice. They offer unique berry drinks, iceberg beer and cross promotion of local attractions. It is great to see a small business supportive of places like Norstead Viking Village and Port of Trade. The owner also understands the value of WiFi, as an early adopter of offering customers free access to wireless Internet.

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If you like the traditional deep-fried fish n’ chips, they have that too. Usually they serve with homemade fries, which goes down really well with malt vinegar.

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I highly recommend the deep-fried ice-cream served with bakeapples.

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I was also impressed with the delivery of a jug of ice water, which had a big piece of iceberg ice. These little extras go a long way in adding to the experiences on has when dining at The Daily Catch.

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The Daily Catch is certainly delivering on all levels, an all-round incredible product by having great atmosphere, great food and great service. It is one of several fantastic restaurants en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site. I highly recommend dropping by and stay for a while.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Have you been to the Hut?

The Hut is en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site on Route 436 in the tiny community of Noddy Bay. This local craft shop offers a wide selection of Norse and Newfoundlandia – from pins, jewelry, jams, an assortment of clothing, handmade quilts and knitted mittens and stockings like grandma use to make.

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The Hut is the only stand alone seasonal craft shop in the region and is supported by an influx of tourist visiting L’Anse aux Meadows Viking Settlement, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade, Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve and various other walking trails and local businesses in the area.

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I chatted with the owner and some customers about the region and checked out the wares. I purchased a Christmas ornament carved from moose bone and made by local Viking re-in-actor Mike Sexton of Goose Cove. We have so much talent and I like to support local artists.

The Hut has some pretty remarkable Norse style jewelry too! It is worth dropping by if you would like to take a Norse memory or something from Newfoundland & Labrador as a souvenir home with you from your visit.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

6th Annual Iceberg Festival A Resounding Success

The 6th Annual Iceberg Festival was held from June 6th-15th from Port au Choix to L’Anse aux Meadows to Conche to St. Anthony and many points in between. This is truly a regional festival that celebrates the beauty of the iceberg.

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The official opening brought out a crowd, including the Knudsen’s Newfoundland dogs “Neives” and “Sebastian”, Vikings, Painters, Ice Sculptors, Cooks and Performers.

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The opening offering something for everyone, from the exclusive “Iceberg” donut (found only at St. Anthony Tim Hortons location), to St. Anthony Seafoods crab. Calvin, Adam and Brandon performed traditional Newfoundland songs, including Calvin Blake’s iceberg song he wrote for the festival. They even had visitors from Kentucky play the “ugly stick”. Many children got their faces painted and also took a quick lesson in iceberg rock painting from George Bussey.

The highlight of the evening was Randy Cull’s ice sculpture, which the ice was collected by St. Carol’ own Richard’s family, stars of the TV show “The Iceberg Hunters”. The image is depicted below with Iceberg Festival Chairperson, Lavinia Crisby.

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The Iceberg Festival brought the Wonderbolt Circus for three events, which saw more than 1,000 in attend. Additionally, there was boat tours, ATV iceberg hunting, wine tasting, Iceberg Hunter premiere night, Iceberg Jubilee, Newfoundland Night, Kitchen Parties with Mummers, Iceberg glass art marking, Dark Tickle tours, zodiac tours, French tours, scavenger hunts, kids games and much more.

I encourage you to plan your holidays on the Great Northern Peninsula around the “Iceberg Festival”, it happens every year in early June and does not disappoint. Visit http://theicebergfestival.ca/. A big thank you to all the businesses and organizations that got involved to make this regional festival truly a success. Special recognition must go to the volunteer committee members for taking on a big task, that delivered dynamic results for a stronger Great Northern Peninsula. We have so much to offer those who want to experience the beauty of this place.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

 

20 Years of Gourmet Meals Served at the Norseman Restaurant, L’anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows with a population of 37 residents is a quaint fishing village that has been placed on the map for being the first part of North America to be authenticated as site of first contact for the Europeans, when the Vikings landed more than 1,000 years ago.

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Each year tens of thousands of tourists flock to this community and they are not disappointed by the historical context of the viking discovery provided by both the World UNESCO Heritage Site L’Anse aux Meadows and the social enterprise, Norstead – A Viking Village and Port of Trade. Last year St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) partnered with Norstead and the Leif Erikson Foundation to have placed a statue of Leif to commemorate his discovery, there are only four in the world of this type and this will be the last.

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Additionally, the community is proudly the home to a gourmet restaurant and art gallery and has been for some 20 years! The only of its kind on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

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The Norseman Restaurant and Gaia Art Gallery (http://www.valhalla-lodge.com/restaurant.htm) is a local treasure. It has been a thriving success due to the entrepreneurial owners desire to provide the best visitor experience possible. Their quality food during lunch and dinner meals have a wonderful presentation. I always enjoy the duck or lamb dishes served with a nice glass of red wine. They have an extensive wine list. If you enjoy seafood it is locally caught and the lobster, well you will not get fresher than the Norseman. The lobsters are kept in an enclosed crate in the ocean, just feet from the restaurant where you can pick your own with the chef.

There is local music playing on many evenings, by the talented Wade Hillier of St. Lunaire-Griquet. I love it when he belts out the tune, “Aunt Martha’s Sheep”, it has to be one of my favourites. The service is extremely friendly, professional and they ensure all your questions about ingredients are answered. Truly a great front line and kitchen staff.

The restaurant also supports local artists through their artwork all for sale, which is displayed on the walls, the tea dolls in glass cases and the carvings from antlers on the tables.

The view as well is picture perfect as you see icebergs around every corner of L’Anse aux Meadows. I would encourage you to experience the wonders of the Norseman in its 20 years of operation! There is much more to say about this business and other initiatives by owner Gina Nordhoff, which I’ll save for future postings. Enjoy all L’Anse aux Meadows has to offer, come stay for a while.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

The New Land with the Green Meadows

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L’Anse aux Meadows – Summer

L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site has always been a fascinating place to visit. I have been privileged to live near where the first Europeans would re-discover North America imagesV76QS5EZmore than 1,000 years ago when Leif Erikson came on Snorri to the Great Northern Peninsula – a place he called “Vinland”.  A sign on Route 430, which is named the Viking Trail welcomes you to Erikson’s Vinland!

July 2013 saw the unveiling of a new Leif statue in the very place where he became the first European to set foot on American shores. A special ceremony was held in partnership with the Leif Erikson International Foundation, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade and St. Anthony Basin Resources Incorporated (SABRI). Leif looks out toward the sea.

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I want to thank all the donors, supporters and volunteers, who worked to ensure Leif would be a permanent fixture at L’Anse aux Meadows. This was a remarkable moment, that included an Icelandic Choir, a representative from the Norwegian Embassy, Parks Canada staff, local residents and Benedicte Ignstad.

Benedicte is the daughter of Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad, the archaeologists who made the discovery of L’Anse aux Meadows as the only authenticated Norse site in North America in the early 1960’s.

I have travelled to Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden to experience more of the Viking/Norse culture. However, Benedicte offered me and others the insight into the process and the way of life in L’Anse aux Meadows, some 50 years ago.

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I attended her reading of her mother’s book “The Land with the Green Meadows” by Anne Stine Ingstad. This book was first published in Norway in 1975 and translated in 2006 to English. The Historical Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador gained permission from Benedicte to have the book lightly edited and available to a new generation of readers.

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I spent multiple hours of a plane and many more waiting at an airport just over a week ago, when I began Anne’s book. I could not put it down, because it told a real story. It described the people of L’Anse aux Meadows and of nearby Straitsview and the struggles they faced. The Decker’s, Blake’s, Anderson’s, Colbourne’s and others are very real people. The book highlights how a community comes together to look after one another, the building of the highway to connect the communities to L’Anse aux Meadows and the shift from coastal boat to air transport saw a dynamic shift for such an isolated place as L’Anse aux Meadows. Over the course of the book, one got to know Anne and Helge, experience the great discovery, as well as the local people and the kindness of others, including those who worked at the Grenfell Mission.

There was much pioneering happening on the Great Northen Peninsula. There always was and there always will be. From the very first sod buildings to the current day residents, L’Anse aux Meadows is a place you want to visit and experience for yourself in your lifetime.

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The New Land with the Green Meadows – during Winter.IMG_5348

Summer is when the land is green, and the best time to visit. Begin your trip planning today. A Viking Experience awaits!

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Skyping with a Viking

L’Anse aux Meadows on the Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland & Labrador was the first point of re-discovery by the Europeans to North America more than 1,000 years ago. At L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site and/or Norstead Viking Village and Port of Trade we have an incredible opportunity to use technology to continue the unique cultural connection by offering new programming such as “Skyping with a Viking”.

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Skype is a free voice over Internet protocol and instant messaging service that also allows for video with a peer or in multiples.

These attractions mentioned above, have Viking reinactors that practice a Norse way of living a millennium ago. There are also Viking sites across countries in Europe. There is an ability to cross promote, share knowledge, culture and experiences with the world by using such an application. I think the concept of “Skyping with a Viking” could be popular.

However, rural Newfoundland & Labrador needs more advanced telecommunications, such as improved broadband and cellular coverage. These applications require a certain bandwidth to be effective. L’anse aux Meadows lacks the needed coverage. I’m advocating on a regular basis for these investments as they are key to developing our economy.

We are big on ideas! Rural Newfoundland & Labrador on the Great Northern Peninsula can be sustainable and grow, if we invest in advance telecommunication and transportation initiatives.

I for one, would love to have the opportunity to go Skyping with a Viking!

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

A Great Viking Feast for St. Anthony & Area Boys & Girls Club

Saturday, September 28th – Leifsburdir becomes the gathering place for the St. Anthony & area Boys and Girls Club for a Great Viking Feast and annual fundraiser.

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I attended my first fundraiser in September 2011 and missed 2012 as I was in Liverpool, England touring the hometown of the Beatles. However, I was very pleased to come out and support this worthy cause in 2013 and hopefully for many more years to come.

First of all, Leifsburdir, is the only sod hut restaurant in North America. They offer a viking performance of sagas by rein-actors over dinner throughout the summer season. I encourage you to take this experience in while visiting St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. For more information visit: http://www.fishingpoint.ca/feast.html

The owner gives back each year, by donating their space and providing the meal to all patrons who take in the evenings event. The viking staff also give back by volunteering their talents and providing entertainment. The business community is involved by contributing prizes, including Provincial Airlines providing return airfare to St. Johns for two. The Boys and Girls Club had staff involved and youth helping to serve at each table – coffee, tea and desserts. It is a great sense of coming together for a cause everyone believes in – that is, providing much needed funds to ensure programming can continue and expanded for St. Anthony and area youth.

The club is now in its 13th year and has more than 200 youth registered at its centre. The success of the club, also demands increased supports whether from Government, grants or funds raised from outside sources. The Boys & Girls Club is a charity and can issue a tax receipt if anyone would like to support a local cause. Please contact 709-454-2582 or colleen@stanthonybgclub.com for any further information.

I had a wonderful time and ended up winning a prize. It is great to gather in our unique social spaces, enjoy the talents of those around us and help organizations thrive. If you were not able to take in this year’s event be sure to mark your calendar for the last Saturday in September. It will be a fun-filled evening.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Scenic Hay Cove – Your Northern Coffee Experience

Hay Cove is a tiny fishing village on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, located just minutes from L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO site, where the vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America.

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The population is not large, the census notes just 32 residents. However, these are likely not year-round livyers. Yet for a tiny community, there are three Bed & Breakfasts (Marilyn’s Hospitality Home. Viking Nest B&B and Viking Village B&B), walking trails, icebergs and a newly opened coffee-house that offers freshly brewed coffee, espresso and other drinks from flavored beans and at times entertainment. I look forward to getting a fresh cup of coffee when next in Hay Cove.

During my last visit, I was pleasantly surprised by freshly baked cinnamon roles at Mrs. Hedderson’s house when visiting residents. They were delicious.

It is great to see local residents of Hay Cove create small business and expand local opportunities. This region is supported by a strong local independent business community. Let’s build stronger communities and create new opportunities.

Plan you trip to the Great Northern Peninsula today!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Snow Covered L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland & Labrador

L’Anse aux Meadows located 41 KM from St. Anthony, is home to WORLD UNESCO heritage site. It was originally named  L’anse aux Meaduses (Jellyfish Bay) by French migratory fishermen; the latter presence of English settlers, would alter it to the current name.

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This community boasts panoramic view scapes and has been well-captured under the lens.  During summer tens of thousands of tourists flock here and even a number cruise ships pull up to the dock.

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Today, I visited the snow-covered community and was able to talk to local residents. One resident loved  how she was fortunate to be surrounded by water from the front and rear of her property. Another couple also liked the peacefulness of the community at this time of year. I was told the Mummer’s also made their presence known in during the holidays.

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L’Anse aux Meadows, like many Newfoundland & Labrador outports’ primary economy is maintained by fishing.

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It has also grown to be a burgeoning centre for tourists. Each year more than 30,000 visitors come to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site, several thousand visit the open-air museum “Norstead – Viking Village and Port of Trade”, while others frequent the Gaia Art Gallery and experience the fine dining of the Norseman Restaurant.

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To experience North America’s only authentic Norse site, you have to drive Route 430 ‘The Viking Trail” and turn at Route 436 to L’Anse aux Meadows. There are many lovely B&B’s, Cottages, Efficiency Units, Motels, RV Parks, and Heritage Rentals along this route.

It is another truly unique place to experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. Start planning your visit today for summer 2013!

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Tourism tips from Copenhagen

I had visited Aarhus, Denmark, in 2007. Being the second largest city, the  influx of young people and students pursuing education make it a natural place for cultural activities and meetings spaces, which include cafes, theatres, museums, social spaces, concerts and festivals. Additionally, it has a history of Viking culture dating back to the 7th Century. I live near L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site where the Vikings were the first known Europeans to re-discover North America more than 1,000 years ago (Read more at Parks Canada www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/nl/meadows/index.aspx). Therefore, I was interested in visiting the Viking Museum, which was in a small room in the basement of a financial institution. The city had much to offer, so much that I planned a vacation to return to Europe in 2012 that incorporated this country and Iceland as I pursued some further exploration of the Viking.

A weekend in Copenhagen with a Swiss and Swede proved to be quite exciting, from walking the waterfront to riding the world’s oldest roller coaster in Tivoli, it was more than memorable. I’ve selected a few images, which I thought would get the movers and shakers of the Great Northern Peninsula thinking of new ways to share our unique experiences.

A walk through a park incorporated a number of notable figures. It was interesting to see the bar code by the statue’s nameplate, highlighting a simple scan of a tablet or mobile device would link to a website with more information about the attraction, history and artist. This use of technology is adaptive and  tapping into the new wave of tourist. Websites can list additional information and can be translated in many languages, which is far more limiting with storyboards and panels. However, you need to have basic telecommunications infrastructure to fully utilize this marketing initiative.

Just across the courtyard at the castle, prior to entering there was a sign. It notes, “if you have a similar 2-D scanner you can scan your way through the castle, or explore just a little bit more. Throughout the castle are stickers, that reveal a small story.”

The Town of St. Anthony in partnership with Grenfell Historic Properties may want to consider adopting this technology given the number of tourists and good cellular coverage. Additionally, Parks Canada’s L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site and Norstead – Viking Village & Port of Trade would also benefit, yet they have less desirable or nil cellular coverage.

On the waterfront there is a Speakers Corner set up. This is a simple offering, but certainly one of which we stopped and delivered compelling speeches on issues. There is an Agree section and a Disagree section where people can stand. It may be fun to take a minute or two with friends or group of passer-bys. Whatever the case, this simple addition is a photo-op waiting to happen.

The iconic 4 foot little Mermaid statue is nearly 100 years old and a relative long walk from city centre. Yet, a place tourists flock to get a snap. A simple statue has created economic spin-offs that have local venders, buskers selling miniatures, postcards and another reason to visit. Manneken Pis is another small iconic statue of a little boy urinating into a fountain in Brussels, Belgium. The statue gets dressed in costumes several times a week. While in Brussels in 2007 I paid admission to the museum which is home to the hundreds of past articles of clothing inspired by countries all over the world he has worn. The Canadian outfit was past Montreal Canadians hockey attire. If we get creative we can develop unique economic spin-offs. People may want to purchase a souvenir of this small statue wearing their countries clothing or begin a collection of their own.

Volkswagen hosted a two person racing competition in the street. There were line-ups of people wanting to participate. The business community can sponsor an event, get involved to promote their products and services.

Every place I visit, either large or small has a unique offering. I get inspired by visiting new places, talking with new people and encourage you to do the same. The Great Northern Peninsula has a unique product – if you choose to visit, you surely will take away memories that last a lifetime.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Where have all the Vikings gone?

L’Anse Aux Meadows is home to a World UNESCO Heritage Site – as the Vikings came more than 1,000 years ago to a place they called “Vinland“. To celebrate the new millennium and 1,000 years of history a non-profit entity of Norstead was established. It is near the UNESCO site further on Route 436, a sign will guide you down a short gravel road to a Viking Village and Port of Trade. I travel there several times throughout the summer, it should also be on your list.

Norstead has a really cool landscape as it is nestled in its own little part of the cove. The ocean and  islands are forever in the backdrop, making for a photographer’s paradise.

My European friends are posing by a symbolic rock that has an image of the viking ship. The long sod covered building in the background is home to the Snorri. The boat house boasts a life-size replica and was actively sailed from Scandinavia, Greenland, Markland and finally Vinland. During the summer season you would be greeted by the colourful Lambi, all too willing to explain the ship and viking life.

The Viking church and forge are part of the Village. During summer one will find the Blacksmith hammer out some nails, a sword, helmet or other necessary item to survive in rural Newfoundland & Labrador in the year 1,000.

I would make a pretty serious blacksmith’s assistant. I am not sure I have the look of the Vikings though with all that British and Irish Ancestry.

The Vikings and the animals that spend late-Spring until early Fall have all gone. The site is quiet during the winter. I would imagine the Vikings 1,000 years ago found the weather on the Great Northern Peninsula extremely harsh.

As we walk away, we know there is a valuable experience waiting for the everyday visitor. Be sure to visit Norstead on your next time on the Viking Trail Highway, Route 430.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North


Where the Norse settled 1,000+ years ago…

This is where the Norse lived more than 1,000 years ago. The remains of houses, workshops and outer buildings are present by the impressions still left in the ground. Imagine living in L’Anse aux Meadows and having to withstand the harsh winter climate. Today this is a Parks Canada and World UNESCO Heritage Site which in season has more than 30,000 visitors.

A look from the mounds one can see a re-constructed site, where one can get educated on a day in the life of a Viking. This was my first time visiting during the winter. It was bitterly cold, as the wind came from the water. If I was living as a Viking, I would stay near the fire or make sure I was wearing my sealskin boots (they probably used sheep skin).

The Great Northern Peninsula is home to many firsts – including the Norse being the first to re-discover North America, as Native people were already inhabiting this island. We have a connection to many parts of Europe as a point of first contact with the Basque coming in the 1500’s, Captain James Cook, the French, English, and Irish settlers shortly thereafter. We have a long-standing history from the First Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-eskimo, Groswater-Eskimo and recent Indians to the point when Europeans came to North America. The proof is at L’Anse aux Meadows, NL on the Great Northern Peninsula – you may want to find yourself here too!

This site has been showcased in the Province’s Award-Winning Tourism Ads – you too may want to find yourself exploring the Viking Trail, Route 430 and experiencing what life was like living as a Viking more than 1,000 years ago.

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Christopher Mitchelmore
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

A Great Viking Feast -Leifsburdir

Most likely the only place in North America where one can eat in a sod hut and enjoy a Great Viking Feast is on Fishing Point, St. Anthony, NL.

Last September 2011, I attended the final feast of the season which was a fundraiser for the local Boys & Girls Club. An incredible meal of meat, potatoes and other root crops. One will quickly notice there are no forks – simply because the Vikings did not use forks. It can be quite challenging trying to eat certain foods without this utensil. Although, one never really thinks about it until he or she does not have it. Funny how we take for granted some of the items we use daily that makes life a little easier.

As that evening progressed we were treated to theatrical performances, music, ballads and even served by people dressed up in Viking attire.

My friend from Switzerland certainly enjoy the walkabout the Leifsburdir and the view of St. Anthony in the backdrop.

The crashing waves and rocky shores are something to see as you walk to the entrance for service. If you can in 2012, you may want to dine and experience a Great Viking Feast on Fishing Point.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Small Iceberg in Green Island Brook

Last month en route to Norstead – Viking Village & Port of Trade at L’Anse aux Meadows, I captured this small iceberg at Green Island Brook (July 7, 2011).

This small berg was so close to land, making for a great snap of the camera capturing the small fishing shed in the corner.

Travel Tip: Between the communities of Green Island Brook and Eddies Cove East is a brilliant area for watching whales passing through the Strait of Belle Isle.

I’ve read articles today still noting that along the Labrador coast and around the Northern tip of the Peninsula there are close to 200 icebergs.

Enjoy the Great Northern Peninsula Experience -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

Happy Anniversary Norstead – Eleven Years and more than Tens of Thousands of Visitors

Let’s rewind to July 28, 2000 – More than 17,000 people were on site during the unveiling of Norstead – A Viking Village &  Port of Trade (www.norstead.com) as they celebrated 1,000 years since the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America. The Province did a tremendous job marketing this summer festival.

Can you imagine the excitement on site for this new addition – an open air museum; one which provides a unique approach to education and culture, where one can gain an enriched understanding of Norse life. More than 28,000 visitors trekked through this site during the first season alone.

I have to extend a big thank-you to the interpreters and all who work at Norstead – this non-profit just 2 KM from L’Anse Aux Meadows (UNESCO Site).  Some have been on-site, showing tremendous dedication to the organization for the past 11 years.

It is a pleasure to walk through the gift shop, which has an array of local product – Dark Tickle’s Teas, Jams, Sauces and Syrups; Handmade Soap, Handmade Jewellery, Norse Swords, Norse Game – 9 Man Mills, Postcards, Local Art, Pottery, Knitted Items and more. The employees make products on-site and also during the off-season.

There is a wealth of knowledge from the employees and they are quite willing to share with you – creating a warm and inviting learning experience. You have the ability to try your hand at living like a Viking.

There is much opportunity to expand on this already wonderful gem on the Great Northern Peninsula. I see much potential to work with regional partners, develop further products, expand into Learning Vacations – live like a Viking (day, weekend or week-long stopovers), workshops and other activities. The future is bright for this not-for-profit entity.

It has added much value to our Rural Economy and also the travel experience of those who are fortunate enough to take the time to visit.

Norstead is a wonder we have, it is possible because f the wonderful people who show up and do their part every day. For that,  I thank you.

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Christopher C. Mitchelmore 

 

Deep Fried Ice-cream – A must have treat at the Daily Catch, St. Lunaire-Griquet, NL

On several occasions I have seen Deep Friend Ice-cream on menus at various restaurants and have wanted to try the dessert. However, the portion sizes are often quite large, leaving little room for the sweet delights.

The The Daily Catch Restaurant in St. Lunaire-Griquet, en route to L’Anse Aux Meadows (World UNESCO Heritage Site) specializes in seafood. The food is delightful. In fact, they were even mentioned in the Globe and Mail.

And on the Great Northern Peninsula where the Vikings settled long before Columbus sailed from Spain, a sophisticated little establishment called The Daily Catch in St. Lunaire-Griquet (www.thedailycatch.ca; 709-623-2295) is an oasis of finely prepared seafood. The basil-buttered salmon is on par with the very best in Water Street dining. (Source Article – Click)

This is a true gem of the North, with superior food, excellent menu options, great wine list and the atmosphere to match. I have enjoyed the pleasure of the cook’s culinary skills a few times at this venue. They produce inviting salads, savouring seafood mains and create a happy mood as the traditional Newfoundland & Labrador music plays in the background.

Today was my time to shine – I was prepared and would certainly get my must have treat of Deep Fried Ice-cream today.

I ordered up their Drink of the Day, which was a surprise concoction known only by the server. I was presented with a bakeapple flavoured martini, which had the traditional berries at the bottom and was topped off with real iceberg ice. The iceberg ice really adds to experience, with purity and crackles as the shards gently melt. In 2010, a Youth Ventures participant pursued bagging the shards of icebergs as ice to sell during summertime at a local service station. Why are we not selling the ice on a larger scale? Opportunity knocks.

As I awaited my appetizer – the steamed mussels,  I took notice of the two icebergs positioned perfectly in view of the two windows in front of where I was sitting.

I struck up a conversation with the table adjacent. We talked about icebergs, local area, opportunities, culinary experiences and more. It was so fluent that I did not take a picture of the delicious mussels. However, I would not forget to snap my first trial with delectable Deep Fried Ice-cream.

The dessert menu claimed this is a “Must Have Treat”. It had the option of being served with Partridgeberry or Bakeapple. I am a fan of the bakeapple, as I find the partridgeberry a little tart. Served with whipped cream, a generous portion of local berries and wrapped in a secret coating – certainly makes this a field trip for the taste buds.

A nicely brewed cup of coffee with deep friend ice-cream was a culinary experience. I only wondered if this could have been enhanced, if I added some of my Screech Chocolate Sauce, purchased earlier at the Dark Tickle Company just a short jaunt down the road.

I left the Daily Catch completely satisfied, which is no surprise. So local or  traveller alike, if  you have never tried this treat, you can at this venue for a price of $4.75.

Get lost in a world of experiences on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland & Labrador.

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Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

Norstead – Viking Village & Port of Trade

The Norstead Viking Village at L’Anse aux Meadows only 2 kms from The UNESCO World Heritage Viking Site  has been identified as one Canada’s top ten ‘Hidden Travel Gems’. It’s part of the Canadian Tourism Commission‘s ‘Locals Know‘ campaign. The Norstead site comes in at number 9 on the list that is determined by Canadians themselves from coast to coast. Other top ten picks include Georgian Bay in Ontario, the annual Caribana festival in Toronto and Long Beach, Vancouver Island. Read more… www.norstead.com

I re-visited Norstead on Friday,  July 8, 2011. However these photos were June 18, 2011. An well-built pathway leads you to the Viking Village. There you will pass a garden, Willie the Pig and be greeted by Lambi who is caretaker of the Snorri (Norse Ship – the replica sailed from Greenland, re-creating Leif Ericsson‘s journey as part of the Viking 1,000 Celebrations in 1997).

The Village has much to offer visitors – including locals that play the role of Viking Characters, buildings include the Boat House, Chieftain’s Hall, Church and Blacksmith Shop. If you come at the right time, you may even get your fortune told from Runes.

One can touch objects and take the time to understand what life would be like in a Viking Village some 1,000 years ago. One can throw axes at a stack of firewood or play 9 Man Mill. The 9 Man Mill can be purchased at the gift shop for just $30.00. As a collector of board games it is something I will have to purchase in the very near future.

My friend Ryley plays a game of 9 Man Mill will Viking Sven. Thank you Sven for staying a little later than normal, as it added to his Great Northern Peninsula experience.

Norstead is a gem on the Great Northern Peninsula. If you have never been or it has been awhile, well add the Viking Village and Port of Trade to your to do list this summer. I’ve been there twice already this season and many times last season. Truly a unique experience each time. Ensure to share a laugh and learn a lot from Lambi! He is quite the character.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

I AM A Viking at L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site

L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site attracts some 30,000 people annually! More than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America. They established a settlement and the mounds where their dwellings and outer buildings were placed still remain today.

 

I had the opportunity to watch a viking make a nail with a new apprentice from Germany! This little chap was quite the helper and was rewarded with the handmade nail for all his efforts as a memento.

L’Anse Aux Meadows World UNESCO Heritage Site is managed by Parks Canada, offering a quality experience. Be sure to visit the newly renovated interpretation centre and find out more about living like a Viking.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/ LiveRuralNL

Rural Regions Face Even Greater Challenges

Newfoundland & Labrador has kilometers and kilometers of beautiful landscapes and coastlines. It boasts three national parks, two world UNESCO sites, first re-discovered by the Vikings (more than 1,000 years ago) and over 5,000 years of inhabitation. We are proud Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, known for our hospitality! An earlier post notes some interesting facts and firsts from our province and people.

The rural economy has an abundance of natural resources including, fish, forests and farms, which all support the urban economy. The success of rural regions and urban economies are interlinked. Infrastructure and services are put in place through local revenues. However, most rural economies are feeling the crunch as revenues decline and cost of services increase. It is no wonder our municipal leaders scratch their heads when it comes to planning for future development. What services will have to be cut to ensure that essential services can be maintained. We see all too often this challenge as we enter small towns and noticed their paved roads are less than acceptable. One will almost get swallowed up in the Town of Flower’s Cove as they drive to the only Bank for service.

However, the reality is – there are less local dollars flowing back into the local economy. The budgets are shrinking and costs are escalating. There are fewer babies in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Kids are moving away after high school and not choosing to live in rural areas. The baby boomers are getting grey and there is an aging workforce. This presents an evident labour shortage. How can we keep doing more with less? Where is the sustainability? Property taxes can not be increased to meet adherent demands.

No town or community is immune.  Even Minnesota, with more than 800 cities are feeling the crunch as noted in the Youtube video below. With less money we will see parks and trails not mowed and other services cut back, longer wait times for medical and emergency services.

According to this video, the solution is community co-operation:

Everyone participating is the fix – no matter what political strip you are. The right mix of dollars and common sense. So off the fence, we need your talents to find balance. Time to share and be aware and care about unity in our communities. Minnesota is our home, we can’t postpone. We must proceed to think and choose services we need and how to pay.

Individually our communities face these challenges, but together we can gain sustainability. We must work together with our neighbouring communities and regions to plan for a stronger more vibrant tomorrow.

Live Rural NLCCM

New Opportunities for Northern Peninsula, Labrador & the World….Sept. 8,2010

Canadian Geographic Magazine ran a feature on the Northern Peninsula in its October 2009 issue under the headline, “Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula is a region of depleting human and natural resources. Just the sort of place for a fisherman to be reborn as Bjorn the Beautiful.” (For the article visit: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/oct09/northern_peninsula4.asp).

It is certainly true, the Northern Peninsula’s population has been reduced drastically since the closure of its primary industry; the cod fishery in 1992. The statistics speak for themselves as a number of communities and towns saw sharp declines as the world attempts to become more urban. However, our population decrease has slowed with signs of greater stability as more younger families build homes and lives around rural economies. I am proof of another young person that chooses to live rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Although the economy has yet to rebound to levels prior to 1992, I disagree with the author that the region has depleting natural resources. 

Nearly 20 years later, the fishery still remains the backbone of the rural economies, with the forestry a close second. Moreover, today, the rural economy has diversified – the Northern Peninsula is engaged in various sectors, including secondary-food processing, value-added manufacturing, biomass fuels, oil & gas exploration, agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, construction, tourism, services, retail/wholesale, craft/gift/apparel, information technology, healthcare, education and transportation.

The article states, “An optimist will say that, through all the ups and downs, residents of the Northern Peninsula have always looked after themselves. After all, their connection to the rest of Newfoundland did not come until 1962, the year Route 430 opened, so they have a long history of living in isolation” (Russell Wangersky).

Imagine, it was not until 1962 in a country as rich as Canada that we as Canadians were isolated from the rest of the country. Yet, we overcame these obstacles and our communities adapted to change. Can you imagine that it took nearly 50 more years before the Trans-Labrador Highway was open!!! This highway now connects Red Bay to Goose Bay eliminating a long ferry run. Now visitors can drive from Montreal, QC – Labrador City, NL – Goose Bay, NL – Blanc Sablon, QC and take a 1 hour 30 minute ferry ride to St. Barbe on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and drive Route 430 to Deer Lake, NL and then take the Trans Canada Highway to the Capital, St. Johns, NL or to Port Aux Basque to take Marine Atlantic to Nova Scotia. This is an incredible achievement that presents a number of opportunities for not only residents, organizations and business owners of the Northern Peninsula and Labrador, but the entire world!

The recent completion of the Trans-Labrador Highway has already had a significant impact on business on both sides of the Strait of Belle Isle. The M.V. Apollo has adjusted to increased demand to ferry traffic by adding an additional run on Friday and Sunday during peak tourist season. There has been large increases in commercial traffic using both the service and the highway. The opening of Hotel North (former Vinland, St. Anthony) on September 1, 2010 which will include a Jungle Jim’s adds much-needed accommodations to the region. Although, not all businesses are ready for the spike in demand. For instance, if you wish to rent a car, make sure you book well in advance, or you may find yourself in a crunch when it comes to transportation.

On September 8, 2010 the Nordic Economic Development Board and Red Ochre Regional Board, among with its many partners are hosting a Transportation Forum at the St. Barbe Arena to reveal key findings of a study completed as a result of this new transportation link. The impacts it has had on road, marine and air transportation routes and what this has meant for business will be discussed. There are new business opportunities and areas of improvement that we all have a stake. If you are interested in attending please contact Mr. Andre Myers, Economic Development Officer at Nordic Economic Development Corporation via email at amyers@nf.aibn.com as soon as possible as space is limited, registration is free.

We no longer live in isolation and we are open to the world to see what we have to offer! We have in my view the best concentrated and diverse group of cultural assets that can rival any region. This includes two WORLD UNESCO Heritage Sites- L’Anse aux Meadows (First known Europeans to re-discover North America more than 1,000 years ago) & the Tablelands), Gros Morne National Park, archaeological finds and discoveries noting Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-Eskimo, Groswater Eskimo, Recent Indians (Beothuk, Innu, Inuit, Metis), Basque, Portuguese, French, British and others, a number of provincial and national historic sites, ecological reserves, abundance of natural resources, wildlife and natural beauty, high-speed internet access (in most regions), airports, ferry services, shipping/trucking, low business tax and low-cost of living. These highlights complimented by the Northern Peninsula’s strategic location to enter markets of Canada, Greenland, Iceland, New England States and Europe presents excellent opportunities for a company to export.

I will dismiss Wangersky’s Canadian Geographic article written just 2 months prior to this road opening, as the highway simply does not end at Route 430, The Viking Trail – but begins. We are now a pathway to the rest of North America.

Don’t miss out, as this could be the best investment you ever make.

Live Rural Newfoundland – CCM

More than 1,000 Years Ago…

Re-construction of Site

Before the expeditions of Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot, 1497), Christopher Columbus and Captain James Cook – we had visitors and inhabitants. More than 1,000 years ago the Norse (often referred to as “Vikings”) were the first Europeans to re-discover Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Norse established a settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows (translated “Jellyfish Cove”) which consisted of eight sod houses. This site was officially discovered by two Norwegians in 1960-61, after a local resident Mr. George Decker directed them to this site. In 1978, L’Anse aux Meadows was declared a World UNESCO Heritage Site. For more details visit Parks Canada’s website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/nl/meadows/index.aspx.

On June 28, 2010 I had re-visited the site and experienced a feeling of re-discovery. This is a place I had not returned since I was a little boy almost 20 years ago. Some aspects I remember clearly, other elements are more vivid. At first, the replicated sod houses and all the artificial artifacts were real to me, thinking in the mind of a child. I remember the interpreter vividly in much different clothing.  A butterchurn that was on display intrigued me since it must have been a difficult process to make butter all those years ago; that it simply did not come pre-packaged at the local general store. Growing up in a lovely home with all the modernities of electricity and indoor plumbing of the 20th century (at the time), I could not imagine what life was like for these people more than 1,000 years ago. But, I certainly thought it was cool and would loved to have spent a night or two there, just for the experience! Hey, it couldn’t be that much difference from camping, right?

The Norse had stayed only for a short period of time (circa 8-10 years). Why did these people leave after only a short time and never return?

Living Quarters

Significant findings give evidence that their was a blacksmith shop with forge for iron work, workshop and boat repair facility. The simple answer is that these industrious explorers established a site at Jellyfish Cove to repair their vessel and continue with their quest to find “Vinland”. Others have written accounts that there was much conflict with Natives, painting the Norse to be violent warriors. Although these people may be seafaring, they were also agriculturalists (farmers). We can not travel back more than 1,000 years ago to ask these questions and know the answers. However, when you read pieces of history or historiograhy (the writing of history) or an article, take a critical viewpoint of who is the writer, what is his/her motive and remember that most history is written from the viewpoint of the victor, possibly skewing events that actually occurred.

Remains of the Sod Building

The Norse culture had strong tradition of retaining oral history through storytelling, which later became part of the written sagas. The fact that this group of people had made a written account, enables historians to better piece together history with their findings. It is evident that Rural Newfoundland & Labrador for more than 1,000 years has been home to many cultures and should have many pages in our history books.

Rural Retrospect – when viewing the impressions in the ground left from the Norse settlement, I felt somewhat sadden. Overtime these impressions will become less visible, but I believe their mark is forever left as part of our heritage and will be preserved. It is up to us to keep written accounts of our history, our people, traditions and experiences. It is a way to define who we were and who we are today, where we have been, where we are and provide insight into the future as to where we are going.

On my 1,000 Places to See Before you Die calendar (thank you Karrie), yesterday’s page had a quote I liked:

“The earth belongs to anyone who stops for a moment, gazes and goes on his way” – Colette

Enjoy her beauty -

CCM

The Tip of the Great Northern Pen

The Great Northern Peninsula has many worldy treasures, fabulous businesses, natural wonders and characters in every community. As I reflect back on my vacation, it would take me weeks to describe all the places I’ve been, people I met and experiences I’ve had…the good thing is that I have the time to tell you a little bit….the rest you may have to experience for yourself….

June 28, 2010 – St. Anthony, NL

At the very tip is the peninsula’s economic hub with various industry, government services, tourist attractions and yes….for all you quintessentially Canadians out there…it has a Tim Horton’s! It is also coined ICEBERG ALLEY….rightfully so as it boasts the province’s longest season for iceberg sightings. You don’t have to take my word for it, just visit www.icebergfinder.com.

One can often view the lovely ‘bergs from scenic Fishing Point. It was my first stop!

Fishing Point Lighthouse

Fishing Point has pristine views of the Town of St. Anthony, Harbour and peaks off into the ocean. It is comparable to Signal Hill, St. Johns with respect to its offering and viewscapes. We had the ability to see an iceberg off in the distance, as well as fishing boats and Northland Discovery Boat Tours setting sail for its first expedition of the day (http://www.discovernorthland.com).

Fishing Point has numerous walking trails and rest stops. It is a social commons for the locals as much as it is for tourists and other visitors. I am glad this space is shared because it is breathtaking, tranquil and beautiful.

"Leifsburdir"

The Lightkeeper’s Cafe, which has remarkable sea food  and sits on the hill with the best views in Town. Just underneath is the Great Viking Feast and Dinner Theatre, “”Leifsburdir”. It is the only sod-covered restaurant in North America.  It seems the Great Northern Peninsula has a lot of firsts, unique findings and other oddities that appeal to me and many others as those who live or chose to visit enjoy the fabric of everything rural!

As well, the Fishing Point Emporium has a wide selection of souvenirs and a textile exhibit which includes a polar bear display and many interpretative panels noting the wildlife that lives in the region. After spending some time it was certainly time to take in more this fair Town has to offer. However, when leaving my friend wanted to take a photo of the cemetary I was passing. He noted that our graveyards are so much different than in other parts of Europe. I’ve travelled to more than 25 countries and never thought the way we bury our dead as being different, but after recalling all the cemetaries visited in Europe, I understood. I guess you often don’t question your own culture and heritage as you do with others. I don’t have an explaination for this difference, but I do know it exists. I guess growing up rural we accept our way of life and continue with some traditions, despite being exposed to the world around us. We are unique in many ways and have many things to offer…..Fishing Point is just one of those great places you must go again and again….

Take another look…

CCM

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