On the Northern tip of Newfoundland with a view of Labrador, there once was a Viking settlement founded by Leif Erickson some 1000 years ago. They selected that particular site because there were three distinct islands right off the coast, making excellent landmarks for future travelers. The settlement was small, less than 200 people, and was established as a base camp–a place to rest after the arduous journey from Greenland, to repair ships and gather supplies before further explorations of Vinland (News Brunswick) and beyond. This settlement didn’t last long—perhaps 10 years. The First People’s weren’t friendly, which was a total bummer. Also, peeps were pulling out of Greenland and heading back to Iceland and Norway because, with the death of so many people caused by a plague which swept through Norway, there was once again land to be stewarded. Life was easier in Europe with the established trade routes. Who needed to further explore an unfriendly land, even if wild grapes grew there?
The Viking era was coming to an end.
So, the people living at L’Anse aux Meadows, packed up everything they could use, burned their longhouses and left.
L’Anse aux Meadows was the very first UNESCO world site. And it proved, beyond a doubt, that the Vikings were the first Europeans to set foot upon North America…some 500 years before Columbus. Actually, according to the Sagas, it was two Scottish slaves who actually were the first Europeans to step foot on North America. Lief, unsure of what would be found, sent these two ahead…just in case mischief lurked.
Near the settlement site, a village has been constructed exactly in the manner as a Norse Village. It was like stepping back into time. And Mr. Al felt he had come home.
I know that feeling. I felt it in Scotland. There’s this quickening in your bones, perhaps within your very DNA, that knows where it comes from…that knows HOME.
We have taken masses of pictures and you, dear peeps, are in for a treat when I can finally upload the lot to you.
This experience has far surpassed any adventurous expectations to date…except, perhaps, my 3 week solo adventure to Scotland, the home of my bones.
Mr. Al and I are very grateful.
And we still have two more days!