Sunday Special – L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland (VIKINGS!)

Canada’s most easterly province of Newfoundland and Labrador, in the Atlantic region has a long history dating back 9,000 years with the Maritime Archaic people. Through the millenias other cultures thrived from the Dorset Culture to Beothuk Culture. Then Europeans arrived in the 16th century. Or so we though – until it was discovered that Norse Vikings landed there long before. The Viking tales of old describe Leif Ericson landing in several places in Canada, including Newfoundland. Now there is proof.

Reconstruction of Viking settlemen, L’Anse aux Meadows – Photo credit: rokker, L’Anse aux Meadows – panoramioCC BY 3.0

This province has plenty to offer and is in my top three of Canadian provinces/territories to visit, along with the Yukon and PEI. A roadtrip around Newfoundland seems like a fantastic way to see the island part of this province. Starting in the capital city of St John’s and visiting Gros Morne National Park, stopping at historic Signal Hill, and weaving my way about the colourful towns and villages sounds like a great way to wander. And of course there would be a stop at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site – where the Vikings were.

The discovery of Vikings was by a simple cloak pin. Found by achaelogists in 1968, this cloak pin changed the lore into history. The finding of the pin lead to further findings and excavation to reveal a full Norse settlement dating back to the 11th century, similiar to those found in Greenland and Iceland. The timeline runs paralell to those Viking sagas of Ericson’s travel in Vinland, now modern day Newfoundland.

L’Anse aux Meadows, located on the northern tip of the island’s Great Northern Peninsula, was delcared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. It is the only proven Norse site in North America. Visiting the site now is a portal to the past where you can hear of the Viking stories of old and see actors play the part of these historic voyagers. Nearby is Norstead, a recreated Viking port where the 11th century comes to life. This would definately be a place I would visit!

Outlines of Viking buildings, L’Anse aux Meadows – Photo credit: Clinton PierceLanseAuxMeadows LargeBuildingCC BY-SA 3.0

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place at this time.

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