Blog Archives

L’Anse aux Meadows Viking Settlement – Where the World Came Full Circle

Imagine, L’anse aux Meadows, Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada is the land of first contact in North America by Europeans. Home of the only authentic Norse site in North America, where the Vikings came over 1,000 years ago and worthy of World UNESCO Heritage status.

img_20160604_172648

A population of just a couple dozen residents today, this tiny community is truly Where the World Came Full Circle. It is the place where humanity met for the very first time, an event more than 100,000 years in the making. When the continents broke apart, people went left and people went right. Europeans reached Iceland and then Greenland and finally settled at L’Anse aux Meadows. It was there they met those who went right, our indigenous population of Newfoundland and Labrador. We have documentation of 5,000 years of their presence, only to connect for the first time 1,000 years ago with those who went left. This is the much bigger story of this ancient and meaningful place that must be told.

img_20160604_172339

L’Anse Aux Meadows UNESCO Site

img_20160827_163253

Annually 30,000 people flock to L’Anse aux Meadows from May-September. The Parks Canada experience is truly something that should be on your bucket list. The interpretation centre offers guided tours in French and English, a film in the theatre, artifacts and storyboards are on display, there are walking trails, get up close and personal to where the ancient mounds were and lets not forget the art and encounters with Vikings along the way. Also, the very talented local, Loretta Decker, has handmade Viking troll dolls available at the Heritage Shoppe. If you have time, take in an evening of Stories and Sagas.

Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade

img_20160827_153343

This social enterprise is the ultimate hands on experience of how to live like a Viking. A fascinating open air museum, boasting the Snorri replica that sailed from Iceland to Greenland to L’Anse aux Meadows in the year 2,000 in the boathouse.

img_20160827_153949

The local re-enactors can read you fortune using ruin stones, cook up a meal by the fire, make nails at the forge, teach you axe throwing for entertainment and skill, play nine man mill, or show you how to weave or knit with one needle. They have animals, a potter’s studio, gift shop and more onsite. Visitation increased by more than 2,000 additional people last year, which is no surprise to me given their exceptional public offering.

Norsemen Restaurant & Gaia Art Gallery

img_20160827_143343

Fine dining with lots of local offerings and fresh ingredients at the Norsemen. It is one of the many exceptional restaurants along Route 436. An offering of musical entertainment during dinner meals and a perfect view if you are lucky during lunch. I recommend a martini with local berries and iceberg ice to start.

img_20160827_140713

I enjoy the Art Gallery, lots of handmade and local products, especially the carvings. Exhibition space and direct sales for our artists is complimentary, providing another unique experience when visiting the Great Northern Peninsula.

There are five additional food offerings on/along Route 436 that come highly recommended:

  • The Daily Catch, St. Lunaire-Griquet – profiled in the Globe & Mail for exceptional seafood offerings
  • Café Nymphe, St. Lunaire-Griquet – located at Dark Tickle Company, a wildberry economusee that has an exceptionally sampling of teas, berry drinks and more
  • Snow’s Take-Out, St. Lunaire-Griquet – home to Herb’s famous chicken. For the traveler interest in something fast and to take-a-way.
  • Northern Delight Restaurant, Gunner’s Cove – a large family restaurant, with broad menu offering. They celebrate their Viking burgers, seafood and entertainment – don’t miss Mummer’s Night!
  • Burnt Cape Café, Raleigh – a local flavouring of moose burgers, sandwiches and also gourmet experience, with Chef seafood specialties.

Skipper Hot’s Lounge in Straitsview is also a must if you want to experience the music at our local watering hole. The Skipper Hot’s band is performing Thursday-Sunday throughout the summer. They do Screech-ins and host kitchen parties and special events.

Along Route 436/37 there is ample choice for accommodations that include Provincial and Private RV parks (including tent sites), Raleigh Historical offers bunkhouses to live like a fisherman, there are cabins, cottages, chalets, b&bs, motels and a short drive to St. Anthony, there are additional accommodations including hotels.

The Viking Shop

img_20160604_174738

Norman Young has been carving whale bones for many years. I highly recommend visiting his Viking Shop. As well, Taylor’s Crafts in Raleigh, has 4th generation carvers. Their soapstone products are phenomenal. Viking art can be found at Thorr’s Studio, Hay Cove. For a great souvenir shop on route to L’Anse aux Meadows, drop into the Hut in Noddy Bay! There is also Labradorite jewelry and youth entrepreneurs selling jams, pies and crafts.

img_20160604_175031

From fish markets, retail, boat tours, ecological reserves, icebergs, cruise ship visits, outdoor art and more. One can see fishers at the wharves, eat locally grown mussels and interact and embrace community en route to L’Anse aux Meadows! Plan your 2017 visit today and you too can say you were where the World Came Full Circle!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing Point Emporium Filled with Newfoundland Treasures, St. Anthony, NL

Fishing Point Park. St. Anthony is at the “Peak of Your Experience” on the Great Northern Peninsula with a host of walking trails, wildlife, nature, lighthouse, dining that includes (The Great Viking Feast & Light keeper’s Restaurant) and retail shopping that includes the largest selection of souvenirs on the Viking Trail at the Fishing Point Emporium. 

IMG_20140902_112128

Rest awhile, and enjoy the surrounds of the coastline where you see fishing boats and glimpses of whales. During May to August the iceberg giants dominate the viewing vistas, as hoards of tourists flock to this space to enjoy many unique experiences the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer.

After taking some of the natural walking trails or reading interpretative panels placed by St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), you’ll want to stop into the Fishing Point Emporium, which has a unique Polar Bear display. It also has many panels depicting life in rural Northern Newfoundland & Labrador from re-settlement, mummering, whales, icebergs, fishing, Vikings, Dr. Grenfell, provincial symbols and everyday living. 

Shop and learn about the area at the Fishing Point Emporium and Interpretation Centre. They have so many unique treasures from Viking swords, hand painted rocks, Newfoundland tartan pajamas, music, books and a host of other souvenirs and local crafts. Iceberg water is for sale there with a dairy bay and other light snacks. One of the photos above gives you a view from their window. It is just spectacular! There is a high speed internet cafe and WIFI readily available. The owners/operators exemplified customer service and knowledge of the area. They have a passion for this place!

I encourage you to visit Fishing Point and all it has to offer. Support locally owned and operated small businesses in rural communities, they are a driving force to our economy.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Everything Handcrafted at Stagehead Carving Shop

IMG_20140815_105210

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting with Norman Young at his carving shop in St. Lunaire-Griquet. 

IMG_20140815_113621

The shelves boasts a variety of carvings that were handcrafted by Norman from a variety of stones, bone and antler, just as the outside sign states. A beautiful sword, masks, inukshuks, animals and Northern figures capture your attention upon entry.

IMG_20140815_113615

We talked about small business, trade shows and opportunities for partnerships, as his products truly deserve a broader audience. If you are en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO site, as tens of thousands of people do, I recommend you drop by Stagehead. I purchased a lovely set of whale bone earrings for $30. They will make a lovely present.

  IMG_20140815_112656

 Before I left, Norm showed me how baby powder was made, as he filed a soapstone to create a talc dust. 

We have incredibly talented carvers, weavers, knitters, potters, artisans and artists of all kinds throughout the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. Start exploring today!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

Iceberg & Whale Watching Tour on French Shore

Scenic Pursuit Boat Tours of Bide Arm (Roddickton-Bide Arm), NL are now operating for the 2011 Season. 

**********SHUTTLE SERVICE AVAILABLE********

Adults 18 and over $50 per person

Youth 13 to 17 $25 per person

Child 5 to 12 years $20 per person

Child 2 to 4 years $10 per person

Infants FREE

10% Senior’s

Groups 31 or more $ 35 per person

The Scenic Pursuit is also Available for Party Rentals on water call for details

709-457-2706 or 709-457-7678

Tours will start at 9 am and end at 8 pm. Please call for booking. Groups are welcome! Charters available! We love animals so Pets are welcome at owner’s responsibility.Kennel will be provided on request

Scenic Pursuit Daily Schedule:

Leaving 9:00 A.M.

Leaving 1:00 P.M.

Leaving 4:00 P.M.

 Depending on the exciting sites – the schedule is subject to minor changes

Scenic Pursuit Rates Sign new5

Visit their website at www.scenicpursuit.com. An opportunity to experience Canada Bay while you tour the North Eastern Heritage Corridor of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Jack was Every Inch a Sailor – Folk Music

Newfoundland & Labrador has produced a wealth of traditional folk music. They typically discuss people, the fishery and other mis-adventures and served as a great form of entertainment and could be heard in local kitchens with accordions a playin’. I written the classic lyrics of “Jack was Every Inch a Sailor” for you all to enjoy.

Chorus:

Now ’twas twenty-five or thirty years since Jack first saw the light. He came into this world of woe one dark and stormy night. He was born on board his father’s ship as she was lying to ‘Bout twenty five or thirty miles southeast of Bacalieu.

Jack was every inch a sailor, five and twenty years a whaler, Jack was every inch a sailor He was born up-on the bright blue sea.

When Jack grew up to be a man, he went to the Labrador. He fished in Indian Harbour, where his father fished before. On his returning in the fog, he met a heavy gale, And Jack was swept into the sea and swallowed by a whale.

The whale went straight for Baffin’s Bay, about ninety knots an hour, And every time he’d blow a spray he’d send it in a shower. “O, now,” says Jack unto himself, “I must see what he’s about”. He caught the whale all by the tail and turned him inside out.

It is nice to take the time to write down the lyrics of a song, as you really get to pay attention to the story that is being told. One may get inspired to scribe their own stories and churn out the lyrics to a song of their own that is quintessentially Newfoundlandia.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

%d bloggers like this: