Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 38 of 49

We had a full day boarding the tour bus at 8:30 in the morning and toured the L'anse Aux Meadows Visitor Center and Historic Site.

In 1960, the remains of a Norse village were discovered in Newfoundland by the Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad. Based on the root of Vinland being "Vine", historians speculated that the region contained grapes that grew naturally and became a part of the Viking culture. Prior to Ingstad's theories, the common hypothesis was that the Vinland region existed somewhere south of the Northern Massachusetts coast, because that is roughly as far north as grapes grow naturally. However, Helge Ingstad refuted this saying "that the name Vinland probably means land of meadows…and includes a peninsula." This speculation was based mainly on where he believed the Norse would have been comfortable settling and he believed that areas along the American Atlantic coast were not suitable for them. Archaeologists determined the site is of Norse origin because of definitive similarities between the characteristics of structures and artifacts found at the site compared to sites in Greenland and Iceland from around CE 1000 

 The discovery of the Norse habitation at L'Anse aux Meadows gave powerful support for those who believed that Vinland was in Newfoundland. Yet L'Anse aux Meadows appears to have been a small settlement of about eight buildings and no more than 75 people, mostly sailors, carpenters, blacksmiths, hired hands and perhaps even serfs or slaves. It is probable therefore that the settlement was a base camp for repairing and maintaining Norse ships. One bloomery and one smithy have been identified, where local bog iron was apparently smelted into "sponge iron," then subsequently purified and made into nails, rivets, and other iron work. The settlement was probably also a base camp for expeditions further south. During the summer, possibly two-thirds of the camp would have been off exploring as far south as the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Some women must have been present -- artifacts found there, such as a spindle whorle, bone needle, and a small whetstone for sharpening, were a typical part of a Norse woman's everyday possessions. Nevertheless, archaeologists have concluded that the habitation there was little more than a seasonal camp, never occupied for more than a few seasons, and certainly never developing into the sort of permanent settlement which had been established in Greenland. The consensus among scholars today (1997) is that "Vinland" was not a specific site, but a region which included Newfoundland and extended south into the Gulf of St. Lawrence as far as Nova Scotia and coastal New Brunswick. 

the beautiful meadow they come upon 

The replica of the Norse buildings that were found on this sight.


Inside the bigger of the sod houses were two people reenacting the period.  this gentleman is playing a four stringed lair. They also had a woman spinning wool on the instruments of the day.

small hut
Rog standing in the doorway.

Side view to show you what the sod looks like in this area of the world.

 these are the ruins.  In the 1970's they had wooden buildings built over the excavation so one could see, but the buildings rotted and they decided to cover them to preserve them until they can figure out what to do with them.  
We were told by our local guide who work on them that you can see the fire pits and other things when they were exposed. 

We then boarded the tour bus and headed to Norstead A Viking Village.  
Norstead: A Viking Village and Port of Trade is a reconstruction of a Viking Age settlement. Located near L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Norstead won the provincial Attractions Canada award for "Best New Attraction" in 2000, and was the centerpiece of a series of events held that year to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the Vikings' arrival. The site also houses a 54 foot replica Viking knarr which sailed from Greenland to L’Anse aux Meadows in 1998 with a crew of nine men.


This was in the biggest of the buildings on this site and it house the boat or knarr the Vikings sailed in those days.  It is a beautiful piece of work.   

This is just one of the characters helping us to understand the ways and time of the Vikings. They we all very good and we had a wonderful day.
these are some of the houses and buildings of the village.  The next building down housed the ladies of the clan.  They were cooking and knitting with one needle.  It was interesting to watch and learn and the flatbread was quite tasty too.  

We headed back to camp and had lunch then on board the tour bus and to the Grenfield Experience. The Grenfell Mission provided some of the earliest permanent medical services in Labrador and northern Newfoundland. Before the mission opened its first hospital at Battle Harbour in 1893, almost no health-care resources existed in the area – hospitals were nonexistent, no formally trained nurses were on hand, and although some physicians occasionally visited the Labrador coast from the island of Newfoundland or the United Kingdom, no resident doctor practiced there. At first chiefly a summer operation, the mission steadily expanded over the years and began offering year-round services by the turn of the century.  And you read Dr. Grenfield is and always will be a hero to the people of Newfoundland/Labrador.

Jordi Bonet Murals 

Then there is his 1967 wonderfully colored ceramic mural at the Charles S.Curtis Hospital in Newfoundland. Here he depicts the Inuit in their daily lives.These stone murals depict the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, their lifestyles, and their land. One is immediately struck by the beauty and harmony of design and color. The tones of grey, blue, brown, and jewel-like brilliance make the past come to life.

Born in Catalonia, Jordi Bonet was turned to art early in life by the loss of his right arm at the young age of nine. He began to work in paint, ceramics, and murals. After studying in Barcelona, he settled in Quebec in 1954, where he continued his studies. Over the next twenty years, he created more than a hundred murals in ceramic, cement, bronze, and aluminum across the world, and associated with the likes of Salvador DalĂ­. Much of his work was in sacred and liturgical art. He won a place among Quebec's most important artists before his early death of leukemia at age 47.  

They were in a hospital in St Anthony, Newfoundland and I guess I did not get any pix.  You must come and see them for your self.  

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