On our first full day, we drove up the western coast and I discovered my wonderful husband had arranged for us to take a boat trip in Gros Morne. We saw some unbelievable sights and I even saw a moose at close range. Afterwards we headed further north to our home-away-from-home on the northern tip of the island.
The following day, I visited the home of Sir Wilfrid Grenfell, a medical missionary. As a young man, Dr Grenfell was inspired by hearing the American evangelist D.L. Moody, and decided to serve overseas. He traveled to Labrador and spent some time providing medical share to people in isolated fishing communities, several of whom had never had a visit from a doctor before. Over the course of his life, he founded five hospitals in Labrador and northern Newfoundland, as well as several nursing stations and orphanages. If you have an e-reader, you can pick up his autobiography here.
Later that day, we visited L'Anse aux Meadows, the site of a former Viking colony. They have a mock-up of a Viking village set up, and then you can see where the actual buildings were. So interesting!
Gil did some work during the mornings while we were away, so I took the opportunity of doing touristy things on my own. One morning I went on a whale watching trip where I learned a lesson about the value of wearing long pants at sea. Thankfully the cold was worth it and I saw loads of porpoises as well as one humpback whale.
On our last day, Gil surprised me by taking me to a restaurant that had amazing and fresh seafood, so I
If you've seen the television commercials, Newfoundland looks pretty relaxed and slow-paced. Of course, people there watch cable TV and check their smart phones obsessively just like they do in my 'hood, but I was surprised at the little things that seemed like remnants of a simpler time. For example, on our first day, we took a short taxi ride and the driver took note of all his fares in a spiral notebook. There was no radio dispatcher; it was just one guy in his taxi. At the airport in Deer Lake, the parking lot had individual meters for each spot and they seemed to be cash only. It seemed bizarre at first, but also refreshing to be someplace where technology hadn't permeated everything. And I never saw a single Starbucks or McDonald's or Starbucks the whole time I was there, but don't worry; you can get yourself a good moose burger instead!