Friday, July 15, 2011

July 11, 2011 - Part 1

Before heading to Newfoundland I had two goals: to see some icebergs, and see some whales. With that in mind, we headed north to the tip of the northern peninsula. The weather still wasn't playing nice, but this day wasn't looking too bad, and we were going to make the most of it. We started off by bundling up in all the layers we had and taking a boat tour out of St. Anthony. We were on the hunt for ice.

It was actually pretty late in the season for icebergs, but thanks to a massive 250 square kilometer chunk that broke off of a glacier in Greenland last August, it was turning into a banner year.

We circled a couple of large bergs, one of which gave us quite a show, as the relentless pounding of waves caused it founder right in front of us. It was a pretty awesome sight.

The icebergs were pretty far offshore, so we didn't have time to chase down any whales, but the show was so impressive we couldn't help but feel completely satisfied. Coming back into harbour it was cool to get a close look at some of the local fishing gear and boats.

From St. Anthony we headed north up the coast, passing many cool seaside houses...

small fishing villages...

and epic offshore islands...

all with a steady stream of icebergs visible just offshore. It's easy to see why the area is called iceberg alley.

Next stop was L'Anse aux Meadows, the first known European settlement in the new world, founded by Leif Erikkson, Norse explorer extraordinaire. The recreated sod houses were pretty awesome.

And were full of cool artifacts of the times. Here is Kristal chatting with one of the local Vikings, who was busy making himself a new pair of shoes.

Kristal took the opportunity to channel her own inner Viking.

We hiked around a bit, enjoying the rare nice weather, and some more epic views.

As we were leaving another moose crossed our path, literally, running right through the parking lot.

Had the day ended right then and there it would have been an awesome one, but it was only half over, and the best was yet to come.

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