VOV: St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada

Monday, August 8, 2022

Dinner was in the main dining room tonight. We each had the pork chops. They were good but just too big.

Tonight’s show as another performance by Colleen Williamson who was going to sing more show tunes backed up by the Ocean Bar band. Since Chuck didn’t care for her and I was ambivalent, we just spent some time in the Casino before calling it a night.

Today was a tender port. Our HAL tour today was not going to meet in the main stage area today. We were supposed to meet on the pier at 12:15 for our tour that started at 12:30. We decided that if we got on a tender around 11:00, we would have plenty of time to look around the pier area before the tour started.

The Captain came on the loudspeaker around 9:00 and said the wind and waves had picked up so the tender process was slowing down. We should give ourselves extra time to get ashore.

Since we had priority tendering, we went to the meeting area at 10:30 to wait for our tender number to be called. Even with priority tendering, our tender number was not called until 11:30. It took 30 minutes to load the tender and get us to the pier. We ended up having only enough time to use the restroom at the Visitor Center and then find our tour guide. Not a great start.

Our HAL tour today was called “L’Anse aux Meadows: A Viking Experience.” The tour description:

Travel back in time 1,000 years to the first European settlement in the New World located at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also a National Historic Site operated by Parks Canada.

Here you will visit the park’s interpretative center and see firsthand how this site was discovered. View 3-D displays depicting how the Vikings lived. Travel through the site and see the small smithy, where nails and rivets were made from bog ore. A large sod hut will show you how these tough people lived, ate and rested when not at sea.

Next you will visit Norsted, a real Viking port of trade located about a mile from L’Anse aux Meadows. Your guide will take you to the Chieftain’s Hall as you journey through this rough and ready site in the footsteps of fierce Viking warriors of the past.

Notes: Walking is over sloped boardwalks and packed gravel walkways. Transportation is by school bus.

Because the transportation for this tour was a school bus, the guide did not have a sound system. She had to stand about in the middle of the bus and talk very loudly for everyone to hear. I know it must have put a strain on her voice.

It also didn’t help that there was a fellow cruiser who couldn’t stop talking to his seatmate while the tour guide was speaking. So rude. Finally, one exasperated person in the back yelled at the talker to stop talking. He did for a while.

Our first stop was the Viking archeological site – L’Anse aux Meadows – the only authenticated Viking site in North America and the earliest evidence of Europeans in North America.

In the interpretive center, we watched a movie about how the site may have been started and then how it was discovered. Afterwards, we were able to walk the path through the site. There were park officials at each major stop to describe what we were seeing and to answer questions. We had an hour to wander through this site.

Largest hall – built for someone of high social status
Large Hall with small hut probably for servants
Reconstructed sod home

Our next stop was a Norse trading post/village. We went in and out of the different buildings. Had a lot of interesting artifacts and the reenactors were very skillful in interacting with all the visitors. Chuck got to be a Norse Chieftain. We had an hour and a half at this site.

Peat logs
Black Smith- very smokey in here
Descendent of Erik the Red? – “Chuck the Gray”

During the bus drive back, the tour guide ended up in the back of the bus as someone took her middle seat. I guess she was too polite to ask the person to move. She did not give very much information on the way back because she kept having to answer questions from a couple of people in the back. Made the trip back to the pier somewhat boring. However, I guess the talker was happy because he was able to keep up a steady stream of commentary to his seatmate without being scolded.

We got back to the pier at 4:15 and got on the second to the last tender back to the ship. The wind and waves had died down so it was a faster process of loading and getting to the ship.

There was another tour group behind us going to the same stops. For some reason, they got a later start and had their times at each site cut short. I heard more than one person in that group say they were making a trip to the Shore Excursions desk to complain and ask for a partial refund. They were on the very last tender to the ship.

I liked the excursion despite the tender ride and the boring bus ride back. But it had been a long day and I was ready for some dinner.


Baked Apple berry – Said to be edible (didn’t try it)

Travel Trivia

St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada

Named in 1534 by French explorer Jacques Cartier it held a strategic location to rich fishing grounds and a haven to fishing fleets.

In 1892 a British doctor named Wilfred Grenfell arrived in St. Anthony and built a medical system that has grown to serve the entire region of Northern Newfoundland and Labrador.

The area of St. Anthony hosts the highest concentration of moose in the world.

St. Anthony appears as a playable area in the 2014 videogame Assassin’s Creed Rogue.

The earliest recorded name for L’Anse aux Meadows appears on an 1862 French chart as Anse a la Medee (Medee’s Cove). The name is probably from Medea, the heroine of Greek tragedy, after whom many 17th and 18th Century ships were named. Settlements and shore stations were often named after ships. After the English settled in the area the name was anglicized to its present form. The bay in front of the village is still called Medee Bay.

*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and Holland America documents

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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