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L'Anse aux Meadows

CANADA | Thursday, 27 August 2009 | Views [2593]

Vikings live! L'Anse aux Meadows

Vikings live! L'Anse aux Meadows

Hurricane Bill has come and gone.  It hammered Sydney, NS and the Bonavista Peninsula here in Newfoundland but the only effect it had on us is disrupting the ferry schedule.  We couldn't get a reservation until Saturday so we are biding our time in the northernmost reaches of Newfoundland near St. Anthony at the end of the Viking Trail.

We wonder why schools insist on perpetrating the myth of Columbus “discovering” America?   Sure, they taught us about Leif Erikson and his father, Erik the Red but it was always “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two….”  Up here at L’Anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland they know the real story. 

L’Anse was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Site in ’78, even before the Great Pyramid at Giza received the honor.  It’s pretty much agreed that Norsemen, maybe even Leif himself, arrived here from their base in Greenland around the end of the first millennium.  The settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows was occupied off and on as an exploration stepping stone five centuries before Ferdinand and Isabella even knew Columbus.

Careful research of the old Norse sagas led to archeological excavations that uncovered the remains of buildings, a forge, and artifacts that present a pretty good picture of life in this inhospitable land.  It’s estimated that perhaps ten times as many people wintered here then as do now!  But this isn’t the fabled Vinland – that is most likely in New Brunswick, the northernmost place where grape vines are found.


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