How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

L’Anse aux Meadows

68 Comments


We entered and registered at the motel through the main lobby. While investigating the door at the other end of our room, we discovered it was another exit to the outside. There were no step(s) down there either. Who worries about mothers-in-law here?

Early on Sunday morning around 8:39 a.m., like Saturday, we saw no traffic on the road. Houses were vinyl sided against weather and salt. Wood needs painting often and it’s too expensive. Vinyl saves work and money. At first only one or two boring colors were on the market, but now a good vinyl paint is available in many colors.

It’s strange to watch history movies, music videos, and listen to music on a bus on video screens like on an airplane. This is a new experience and I had no sense of where I am. The day before and today so far, we’re stuck on the bus covering miles of empty highway (few cars) in rainy, foggy weather, the landmarks drab. At least it’s only drizzle and not a downpour.

We’re lucky the bus is new, the seats deluxe with comfortable footrests. On this kind of day, I could kill for a coffee though I’ve had three at breakfast. The mist hangs low and is dismal. Fog shrouds the scenery around us, painting the landscape in a veil of heavy, listless gray.

Our fellow travelers were foot tapping and singing along to earlier music. By 9:53 a.m., several were already snoozing. The music slowed to something soothing for a rainy day at home. It should have been peppy again to keep us awake. Even my sister closed her eyes and snored. I never sleep in a moving vehicle, as someone has to keep an eye on whomever is driving.

I can’t get over the towns we’ve passed through. We were almost to Cape Onion, the farthest northern point of Newfoundland. Plenty of parked cars, water puddles and houses, but no people. Hallelujah, a truck passed in the opposite direction. Everyone on the bus sat straighter. I hope we see a moose and truly shake it up today.

Sue at traveltalesoflife.com would have had her bicycle in her carry-on and gone off to find another adventure, I think. Would you Sue?

At 10:06 A.M., we passed the house of Annie Proulx, known as a Saltbox house. (Finally a bright spot!)  Annie is best- known author of The Shipping News and Broke Back Mountain, both of which made fantastic movies. She lives in Wyoming and Newfoundland, and is the author of many engrossing books. I know I took a picture of her house, but it’s disappeared.

Norsemen left Greenland and came across Labrador first at L’Anse aux Meadows (now a World Heritage Site). Leif Erikson landed at wonderful sandy beaches with trees as far as the eye could see. The population here has been at most 100. (Today about 20, the number unchanged in many years.)

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In the museum, a replicas of a Norseman and woman:

George Dekker, a local in 1960, wondered about some mounds. Archeologists found Norsemen not Indian paraphernalia, i.e.: cloak pin and iron boat nails. The site has risen at least two meters. After the dig, the building were revuried for future generations.

Insulation (sod, I think):

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Replicas of buried house sites:

Inside actors play the part of the life of Norseman life. They were cooking with seal oil, a most unpleasant smell, unlike what we today know as oil.

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Sealing is one of the occupations at which Newfoundlanders could make a living, but it was dangerous. Our guide told us not to criticize the killing of seals because this work supported the Newfoundland people. They do not kill babies.

 On the bright(er) side:

Two churches stood across the road from each other, one Catholic and the other Anglican. The priest and minister were outside talking. A couple of young men came along in a car.

“Turn back, young fellas, before it’s too late.”

“Go home you crazy apes.”

They took off and a loud yell followed.

“Maybe we should have warned them the bridge is out.”

* * *

Winter in Canada – Should You Get Out of Bed?

Next on January 29th – Grenville Centre and St. Anthony’s.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page.

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

68 thoughts on “L’Anse aux Meadows

  1. The bus sounds pretty cool. I love traveling with you, Tess — even when it’s gray and rainy. Mega hugs!

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  2. Nothing like a gray day to zap our energy. Looks like it turned out to be a good day though. The buried houses are cool, replicas or not.

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    • I always feel listless when its wet out.
      The replicas were cool considering the time period but I’m glad I don’t have to live in one. Stinky and smoky with a hole in the ceiling for the smoky to find it’s way out. No windows. We’re so lucky to be alive in this time. Now. 😀
      Pleased you’re still reading, Carrie. Appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tess, a part of the world I know nothing about! Nice traveling along with you. Thanks for the interesting history and photos. Even though there were gray clouds and drizzle. 😃Elizabeth

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    • Hi, Elizabeth. I had no idea about anything about our eastern province. I whine about the rain but had no real complaints. The tour guide bent over backwards to make everyone’s trip enjoyable. 😀
      Thank you for reading. Even with notes, it’s hard to remember and then I thought I took certain pictures and didn’t. It’s a balancing act I’m not good at. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always yearned to see this place. You need to snag a thermos of coffee!

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  5. The Norse connection and pictures are fascinating, thanks.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your trip notes and pictures. I won’t get there this year, but I might sneak away in 2017. I find this sort of history fascinating. It was so long ago and it was in our backyard.

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    • I agree. Where did the idea come from we have to travel to Europe to taste history? I had no idea we had a whack of it in our backyard. One of these days I’d love to take the train ride through the Rockies. Takes my breath away just thinking about it. Of course, that will have to wait on the back burner for who knows how long.
      Thank you for coming back. I am enjoying our back-and-forth. ❤ ❤

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      • When I was young and kidless, I dreamt of seeing the Rockies. So a friend and I schemed a way to get there: we’d backpack across Canada. We were in the middle of planning and saving when his mom took ill, and he had to stay in Nova Scotia. Not wanting to miss out but not wanting to hike Canada alone, I bought a plane ticket and got a job at the Inns of Banff. I spent the winter there, working and exploring.

        I took the bus back, so I could see the prairie provinces. It certainly was an experience and much of the scenery was breathtaking. But I’ll tell you, when I boarded that bus in Montreal for home, and was surrounded by the accents I grew up with and knew these folks were ‘my folks’, I already felt like I was home.

        I love to travel, but I’ve learned there is no place like home.

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  7. Haha you know me well Tess! I do find it a bit hard to sit still. 🙂

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  8. Wonderful descriptions, Tess, and great history lesson. I can’t imagine living in houses sunk into the earth, but then I guess one must make do with the materials at hand. Looking forward to your next installment.

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    • It’s not that they were sunk in the earth when the Viking came and settled, it’s that the land had risen or settled on the hundred of years. In this case, other part of the land have risen and the main level (as we would see it) dropped. In many areas it was the water that dried up which used to be a lake, which caused other risings and falling. I am intrigued with this now as never before. Everything moves and changes, it seems. Everywhere if we look close enough. 🙂

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      • Of course, now that I think about it, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the further explanation, it adds to seeing the houses. So much change that we often don’t consider until someone points it out. I also loved the mother-in-law door. Mine having been long gone before I met my husband, I would welcome her with roses strewn on a soft path should she ever come my way, but I sure would love to have that doorway for a few other aggravating people. 😀

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  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Teresa Karlinski​ with more of her fascinating travel posts.. The tour of Newfoundland continues.. although the weather is foggy and wet on this particular outing there are some gems to be found.

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  10. Great to read about your interesting travels. 🙂

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  11. Glad the tour found you something to see.

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  12. The coach sounds very comfortable and I love the photos of the re-enactment and replicas of the Norsemen (not the seal oil though….yuck!)

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  13. I love your travel writing Tess, many people would gloss over the dull bits, but you tell it like it is x 🙂 x

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    • I’m always pleased and astounded anyone finds anything interesting in my travel tour. I notice things that interest ME. Tickled anyone has been interested in my observations. I don’t pick and choose what might interest anyone. I use what interests ME and if anyone wants to follow, I’m agog! Thank YOU, Gilly. ❤ ❤ K3

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  14. Love those buried houses – fascinating post.

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    • Thank you for the visit, Mary. I’m amazed how well Vikings so long ago were so smart. Like people everywhere throughout time, they used what was at hand. Exciting visiting these replicas. ❤

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    • These houses are replicas of the REAL buried houses. The ground rose above the originals: water levels dropped etc.
      The original discoveries were reburied because exposure to the air would destroy them. Hopefully, in future there might be a solution…to bring them to the surface–or not.

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  15. A fascinating place ,Tess, although I don’t like the sound of that seal oil! II haven’t been on a coach in years, and it seems odd to think yu can watch films on them now,

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  16. Nice to see the Vikings making an appearance!

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  17. The bus sounds wonderful. I laughed when you hoped for a moose. And I would have been fascinated by the turf houses!

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  18. You don’t read on busses? I know a lot of people can’t–makes them sick. Me, I’d love the time to catch up on my TBR pile.

    Love those buried houses. What a world.

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    • I did read on the bus. Paper books and iPad Kindle. The trouble with iPad Kindle is you always have to juice it up, unlike a book-book, which needs no plugging in. Know what i mean? Anyway, great to have alternatives–not all of them any where near equal.

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  19. You’ll have to invest in a big flask for journeys like this Tess. Never be short of a coffee again.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  20. Thanks so kindly Tess for the links back to my blog. So sweet of you and very much appreciated!

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  21. The turf houses are really reminiscent of the dark houses on the Outer Hebrides which I visited in the summer – probably all developed from the same Viking roots, brought to Scotland and then on to Canada. Fascinating as always Tess

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  22. I would love to see the Viking settlement. Too bad about the rain though. Great pictures.

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  23. Hey Tess–just catching up on your trip to Newfoundland–it’s great to be “on the move” with you again! It’s such a joy to be an “Armchair Traveller” and learn all these bits of our own Canadian history as you are a great story-teller. Like a few others have suggested, you must invest in a big thermos and load up on coffee/tea on your breakfast stop. For such a dreary and long bus ride, a “cuppa” is just the thing 🙂

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  24. Another wonderful addition to your travelogue. With the exception the grey skies, what a lovely trip.

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  25. Thanks for taking us on your journey with you Tess. Even the grey skies didn’t seem so bad with your uplifting tales, Loved the bit about the whales and the grass houses. 🙂

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  26. The information is fascinating and what one can discover, even when the weather is dull. Thanks for sharing, Tess! And happy week

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  27. Enjoyed the post. We are from Florida, so we cut our visit to L’Ance a bit short in June 2011 when we encounterd an inch and a half of snow and fierce winds. Alie was wearing a light plastic parka over her coat and the wind litterally shredded it into confetti. Nonetheless, we would like to go back.

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  28. Interesting! Thank you for taking us on your journeys 🙂 I realised as I was reading this that I didn’t exactly know where Newfoundland was, so I looked it up on a map, so you’re making me educate myself too!

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    • Ha ha. Newfoundland is as interesting as any place in Europe of anywhere in the world. Every place has history to be discovered. Gads, I hated history in grade school, especially Eric the Red and now years later I visited the place where he landed. Isn’t life something? 😀
      Thank you for the interest, Vanessa. I’m pleased you took the time to look at a map or follow along here.

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  29. A lovely travelogue. I’m so glad we no longer living in dirt homes, though I suspect we’d save on heating expenses in winter if we did.

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  30. The dirt is good insulation but it’s d.a.r.k. inside except for the light from the open fire inside. I’m glad I don’t live in one of those either. 😀

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  31. Easy for us to criticize killing of seals, when we buy our (previously tortured) chickens in hermetically sealed packages! Wonderful photos. Particularly like the replica grave sites. A little like hobbit houses.

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  32. Good point. We were told the seals are NOT tortured and they don’t kill babies. It’s a living which had been going on for a long time. I cannot speak to this at all. ❤

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