Bay of Fundy: 5 Historic Sites

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 45 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #95. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Remembrance Day

November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. So I want to take a moment to honour all Canadian veterans who have served and continue to serve in upholding the peace and freedoms we enjoy today.

Poppy sculpture at The Royal Canadian Legion, Queen’s Own Rifles Branch

PPAC meets WCS

Today I’m combining Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) with Weekend Coffee Share (WCS). I’ve been a PPAC participant so when Marsha at Always Write blog had to step back from hosting and she asked if anyone would be interested in taking over PPAC, I volunteered to host.

I continue to leave the topic open. There is no prompt or theme. Existing WCS participants are free to participate without any PPAC entries and PPAC participants are free to participate with one or more images of public art (outdoor and free) without writing their post as a coffee share.

To new WCS participants:

  1. The weekly WCS linkup starts at 8 a.m. on Friday and ends at midnight Sunday night Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Join the linkup using the InLinkz button at the end of my WCS post. If you prefer to leave a comment with your link, be aware that a link in my Comments section requires moderation and is less visible to participants who use InLinkz.
  3. Please link one post, leave a comment on my blog and link back or pingback to my Weekend Coffee Share post. Links from bloggers who join without leaving me a comment will be removed.
  4. Read one or more participating blogs and leave a comment. Hashtag #Weekendcoffeeshare.
  5. I read all participating blogs and reply to comments left on my blog. I prioritize my visits and leave comments for bloggers who take the time to leave me a comment. Thank you.

Bay of Fundy: 5 Historic Sites

I’m continuing the story of my adventures on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. I wrote my adventures in three posts. The first post on five Natural Wonders is here. This post is the second in the series.

The region surrounds the Bay of Fundy is rich with stories from the native Mi’kmaq people, Loyalist heritage and Acadian history. Here’s five Historic Sites on the Bay of Fundy to explore. Click on the top left image in the gallery to see captions and move through the gallery.

1. St. Andrews

St. Andrews, or Saint Andrews by-the-Sea, is nestled along Passamaquoddy Bay in New Brunswick. Founded by Loyalists in 1783, many buildings in St. Andrews still reflect that history. St. Andrews’ Historic District, one of the best-preserved examples of colonial heritage in North America, is a National Historic Site of Canada.

St. Andrews is also Canada’s oldest seaside resort town and a great place for whale watching, deer watching, outdoor recreation, dining and shopping. I’ll share more on St. Andrews in another post.

2. Saint John

Saint John located on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick is Canada’s first incorporated city, established by royal charter on May 18, 1785, during the reign of King George III. The city offers beautiful historic architecture, funky cafés, creative galleries and shops, and more. Saint John in New Brunswick is not to be confused with St. John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Saint John City Market, established 1876, is Canada’s oldest farmers’ market. It is a good place to browse and pick up a snack, lunch, dinner, or local arts and crafts.

3. Digby

Named after Admiral Robert Digby, the town of Digby in Nova Scotia is famous for the local scallops and the fleet that harvests them. Along the Digby waterfront in Loyalist park are Digby Pier lighthouse and six cannons, five from Victorian era in the 1840s and one from the era of King George III sometime prior to 1820.

The cannons were part of fortifications constructed at Digby, primarily to protect the town from privateers. Each cannon has a plaque affixed to its carriage relating a small part of the story of the fortifications and the cannons.

4. Fort Anne

Set on the banks of the Annapolis River in Nova Scotia, Fort Anne was first fortified by the Scots as early as 1629. The site was later controlled by the French before falling for good to British troops in 1710. It would remain a regular scene of battles until the fall of Quebec in 1759. Fort Anne became Canada’s first administered National Historic Site in 1917.

It is a wonderful learning experience to stroll inside the fort and around the Perimeter Trail to explore a renovated 1797 Officers’ Quarters (now a museum) and a maze of defensive ditches, banks and bastions overlooking the Annapolis River.

5. The Landscape of Grand-Pré

The Landscape of Grand-Pré is both a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated on Nova Scotia’s southern Minas Basin, an inlet of the Bay Fundy, the Landscape of Grand Pré (Grand Pré means Great Marsh) is subjected to the most extreme tides in the world. The tidal range averages 11.6 metres and the tides move in and out of the Minas Basin every 12 hours.

Starting in the late 17th century – an era which predates the introduction of engineered drainage systems – the Acadian settlers applied an inventive and ingenious system of earthen dykes, ditches and aboiteaux, or wooden sluices, to hold back the formidable tides. They also began a tradition of collective management that was community-based. Today, the agricultural landscape is still protected and drained by the same system, still exhibits distinctive field patterns, and is still managed through the same community approach.

Parks Canada website

The landscape is beautiful and the dykes in Wolfville are amazing to examine in real life. Information boards posted at the historic sites give helpful explanatory notes.

I hope you join me next weekend to discover fun attractions on the Bay of Fundy.

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Bay of Fundy: 5 Natural Wonders

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 44 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #94. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

When I was planning for my trip to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in September, I wanted to see several natural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the Bay of Fundy. I had visited main attractions in Halifax and surrounding areas such as Lunenburg, Peggy’s Cove, and Cape Breton in Nova Scotia before. So for this trip I focused on new-to-me places.

I’m happy to say that I saw everything that I wanted to see and more. I wrote my adventures on the Bay of Fundy in three posts. This post is the first of three:

  1. Natural wonders
  2. Historic places
  3. Fun attractions

The Bay of Fundy is renowned for its extremely high tidal range (the highest in the world), geological discoveries (dinosaur fossils) and marine life (whales). Here’s five amazing Natural Wonders to explore.

1. Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is Canada’s 15th UNESCO World Heritage Site. Joggins is world famous because of its fossil record of life on land in the Coal Age. More than 300 million years ago, Joggins was home to giant insects, towering trees and the first known reptiles.

I enjoyed 1) A visit to the Joggins Fossil Centre to see an extensive fossil specimen collection, exhibits, and displays and learn about the “Coal Age,” when lush forests covered the Joggins region 2) A guided tour with knowledgeable interpretive staff to explore the coastal cliffs (up to 15 kilometres of magnificently exposed layers of rock) and look for fossils on the beach at low tide.

Joggins Fossil Cliffs and beach at low tide
Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Rock layers at Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Plant fossils at Joggins Fossil Centre

2. The World’s Highest Tide and Hopewell Rocks

The Hopewell Rocks also called the Flowerpot Rocks are rock formations caused by tidal erosion at the Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park in New Brunswick. This is where the power of the Bay of Fundy tides is most impressive. Not only does the tide rise 14 meters (46 feet) vertically, it also recedes almost two football fields horizontally.

I enjoyed 1) A visit to the Hopewell Rocks Interpretive Centre for an overview on geology, tides and wildlife 2) A walk with an interpretive guide to see the powerful tides and the 40-70 feet tall flowerpot rocks.

There are two highs and two lows each day, with about 6 hours and 13 minutes between each high and low tide. The bay water is brownish-red as organic sediment and red mud are stirred up from the sea bed by tides and currents.

Diamond Rock
Hopewell Rocks

During my visit, the tides covered Daniels Flats, named for one of this area’s early settlers, an immense mud flat that is 4 km (2.5 mi.) wide and stretches almost as far as Grindstone Island in the distance.

Daniels Flats

The tides also covered Lover’s Arch situated relatively high on the beach. The tide needs to rise 28 feet straight up before it touches the base of the archway. The Fundy tides can then continue to rise another 18 feet (5.5 meters) before starting to recede.

Lover’s Arch

3. Fundy Biosphere Reserve and Fundy National Park

Fundy National Park is in the heart of the UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve. Often draped in a blanket of summer fog, the lush lands of the Biosphere Reserve stretch farther than the eye can see. The park maintains 110 km of hiking trails, both inland and coastal, as well as guided nature walks and interpretive programs. I’d love to spend more time here.

Map of UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve
Red chairs at Fundy National Park

All biological communities, including people, lead lives under the inescapable influences unique to the Bay of Fundy. For example, fishing boats can only leave or dock at the wharf when the height of tide permits. The right time could be morning, noon, or night.

Boats by Alma wharf at low tide

4. Reversing Falls Rapids

Reversing Falls Rapids is a unique phenomenon created by the collision of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. It was incredible to watch the tides of the Bay of Fundy actually force the water at the mouth of the Saint John River to reverse its flow.

The nearby Stonehammer Geopark, the only UNESCO-listed global geopark in North America, has information panels on the tides and the geology of the cliffs.

Reversing Falls Rapids
Stonehammer Geopark

5. Marine Life

A whale watching tour is a fantastic way to experience marine life in the Bay of Fundy. My tour with Quoddy Link Marine in St. Andrews was excellent. We passed by East Quoddy Lighthouse built in 1829, the oldest lighthouse in New Brunswick, and saw harbour seals, humpback whales, porpoises, sea birds, and more.

East Quoddy (or Head Harbour) Lighthouse

I look forward to combining Photographing Public Art Challenge with Weekend Coffee Share linkup and sharing historic sites on the Bay of Fundy next Friday.

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Celebrating 6 Years of Blogging

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 41 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #91. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

October 10, 2022 marked the 6th anniversary of my first post on the Natalie the Explorer blog. The milestone inspires me to share some of my thoughts on blogging, hosting and participating in blog linkups and photo challenges.


I started the blog on Blogger in October 2016. I moved from Blogger to WordPress in May 2019. The move to WordPress is good for me as most of the bloggers I connect with are on WordPress, and it’s convenient to read blogs and leave comments when you’re on the same platform.

What I enjoy about blogging:

  1. Having a hobby, a creative outlet and a digital record of my adventures.
  2. Sharing the beauty and wonders of our planet Earth by text and pictures.
  3. Connecting with and learning from other bloggers and blog readers around the world. I’ve had the pleasure to meet several bloggers in real life.

Thank you to everyone who visits Natalie the Explorer. I appreciate all the visits, likes, comments and shares over the years. I value each and every one of my blogging friends and everyone who took the time to leave a comment. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement through the years.


I experimented with hosting the monthly Wellness Wednesday linkup in 2018-2019 and the monthly Wellness Weekend linkup in 2020. I’ve been hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup since January 2021. I hope to reach the 100th linkup soon. 100 sounds like a nice milestone.

What encourages me to host:

  1. Receiving comments from linkup participants who take time to read my blog and leave a comment.
  2. Seeing a good number of bloggers join weekly and connect with other bloggers via comments.
  3. Seeing linkup participants do link backs and pingback to promote the linkup. Here’s WordPress how to create a pingback.

A linkup becomes stale when bloggers join in without leaving comments for the host and other participants. It’s like having a party with no conversation and no social connection.

Some blog hosts use InLinkz. Some hosts have participants leave their links in the Comments and the host does the roundup of participants. I’ve been using InLinkz for the weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup, however, I’m thinking about using the Comments and roundup in the new year. I’ll let you know when I decide to change how I host my linkup.

Thank you to everyone who actively participates in my weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup. I appreciate all the comments, contributions, link-backs and pingbacks.


I enjoy participating in selected blog link parties and photo challenges to support my fellow blog hosts and have fun. The following gallery (and my header photo) is my contribution to Terri’s Sunday Stills October colour challenge and Denyse’s Words & Pics linkup.

I hope to share a pleasant walk with you next week.

What keeps you blogging? What encourages you to participate in a blog linkup or blog challenge?

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Hawthorne Cottage and Brigus

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 37 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #87. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

The beautiful town of Brigus is situated on the Avalon Peninsula, about 70km (43 miles) from the capital city of St. John’s, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Brigus was founded in 1612. The name “Brigus” is derived from “Brickhouse”, an old English town.

While in Brigus, I completed a self-guided tour of Hawthorne Cottage, a National Historic Site of Canada, then took a leisurely hike around charming streets sloping up into green cliffs to explore the town. Brigus’ well-kept old-style architecture, rustic stone walls, lush green gardens, and winding narrow lanes are reflective of its English, Irish, and Welsh heritage.

Here are my pictures of historic structures and scenery in Brigus. Except for the first two pictures, I grouped the rest of my pictures into three galleries. Click on any image in the gallery to see its bigger version and caption.

Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site

Built in 1830, this charming cottage was the former home of Arctic explorer Captain Bob Bartlett, who took American explorer Robert Peary to the North Pole in 1909. I highly recommend the tour of the cottage. Many artifacts commemorate the family and Bartlett’s achievements as the greatest ice navigator of the 20th century.

Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site

During the more than 50 years of his seafaring life, Captain Robert (Bob) Abram Bartlett skippered some of the most famous, dangerous, and controversial exploratory expeditions to the Arctic. He travelled further north than almost any other living person, was shipwrecked at least 12 times, survived for months in the inhospitable Arctic after sea ice crushed his ship, and journeyed hundreds of miles by dogsled to reach civilization. Despite these hardships, Bartlett returned to the Arctic whenever circumstance allowed and almost always came back with photographs, film reels, and scientific data that greatly contributed to the world’s understanding of the north.

Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage web site
Hawthorne Cottage
View of Hawthorne Cottage from its gardens

Historic structures built in the 1800s

From top left, clockwise: St. George’s Heritage church built in 1876; Stonewalls line the river; The Tunnel bored through solid rock on Brigus waterfront in 1860; Pinkston’s Forge built in 1889; The Leamon Museum: Ye Olde Stone Barn built in the 1820s.

Brigus Bay and Bishop’s Beach

From top left, clockwise: Steel Sails Monument erected at Bishop’s Beach in 1972 commemorating Captain Bartlett; Directional signs in Brigus; Blue bench at Payne Family Park; View of Brigus Bay; Stone table and bench at Bishop’s Beach.

Brigus Homes and Town Hall

From top left, clockwise: Brigus Town Hall in a beautiful blue; Brigus winding lanes; Birdhouses on a post; Side door at the Baldwin’s; Door with green trimmings; A house in Brigus.

My visit to Hawthorne Cottage and Brigus was informative and enjoyable. I hope to take you on an idyllic island getaway next week.

Shared with #ThursdayDoors, PPAC#64, Jo’s Monday Walk.

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The Charming Town of Trinity

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 36 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #86. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Trinity is a small town located on Trinity Bay on the Bonavista peninsula in Newfoundland, about 3 hours by road from the capital city, St. John’s.

The harbour at Trinity was first used by fishing ships around the 16th century. The Portuguese explorer Gaspar Corte-Real named the location “Trinity” as he arrived on Trinity Sunday, 1501.

Floating docks at Trinity Harbour

Before 1700, Trinity Harbour was mainly a summer station used by merchants and shipowners. After 1700, several major merchant houses from Poole, England selected Trinity as their headquarters and under their patronage Trinity developed as one of the main Newfoundland trading centres in the English fishery.

Trinity Harbour

The waterfront area on which once stood the commercial and fishery buildings of the Taverners, Lesters, Garlands and Lester-Garlands during the period 1700-1906 and in the twentieth century Ryan Brothers is named the Lester-Garland Provincial Historic Site. Some of the buildings were restored or reconstructed and are open for visitors.

The Lester-Garland Provincial Historic Site in Trinity

I picked up a map from Trinity’s Visitor Centre and explored on my own. A walk along Trinity’s scenic harbour and winding lanes lead to houses, museums, art galleries, and other historic buildings preserved from the 19th century. Information boards posted at the historic sites give helpful explanatory notes.

A grassy lane
Business signs
Lovely walking path

I created an image gallery of some of the historic sites and community buildings that I visited in Trinity below. For more history details on the buildings, check out the Town of Trinity website here. Click on the top left image and use the arrow to move through the gallery. Brief captions are included.

I thoroughly enjoyed my walk in the charming and historic town of Trinity. I found out after my visit that Trinity was named one of the 12 best small towns in Canada by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2021. I hope to take you to another scenic town next week.

Shared with #ThursdayDoors, PPAC#63, #SundayStills, #WW&P.

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Prime Berth in Twillingate

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 35 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #85. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Before reaching St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, from Western Newfoundland, I passed through many small fishing communities and headed north to the town of Twillingate, located on the Twillingate Islands on the north east coast of Newfoundland.

Twillingate gets its name from the French word “Toulinquet,” given to the islands by French fishermen, who compared it to a group of islands off the French coast near Brest also called Toulinquet. Twillingate is known for icebergs, whales, ocean experiences and outdoor adventures. It was a historic fishing community (since the 1500s), but because of the decline of the fishing industry, its economy now relies more on tourism.

One of the attractions in Twillingate is the Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre. It is a private interpretive fishing center and craft studio created by David Boyd, with the support of his wife Christine, as a tribute to his fisher forefathers. Captain Dave also runs boat tours for iceberg viewing and whale watching.

Prime Berth refers to the age old practice of each spring holding a draw, or lottery of sorts, to determine the place, or “berth” where fishermen would set their cod traps during the coming summer. Everyone hoped and prayed that they would be lucky enough to draw the best spot, or “Prime Berth”, as it was called. In David’s case this was personal and special as all the fishermen gathered in his father’s kitchen each May for the annual cod trap draw. In honour of this tradition, and as a tribute to proud people so dear to his heart, David decided to call his heritage centre – “Prime Berth”- meaning literally -“the best spot!”

Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre

The following two slideshows highlight some of the displays that I found interesting at Prime Berth. Click on the arrows or swipe to move through the slides.

Buildings and Doors

These brightly painted buildings house fishing artifacts and tools. There are hundreds of items on display in the buildings and on or above the doors. The last picture shows the jaw bone of a fin whale found at Trinity Bay in the 1950s.


These murals depict life in a fishing community. Look closely to see fish, icebergs, whales, seabirds, boats, clapboard homes, fishermen and women, the ocean and the rocky coastline. The island of Newfoundland is nicknamed “The Rock” because of its rocky terrain and high cliffs.

I hope to take you on an easy walk in a charming and historic town next week.

Shared with #ThursdayDoors, PPAC#62, #SundayStills.

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5 Scenic Walks in Western Newfoundland

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 32 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #82. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In my previous post I shared a sampling of the delicious meals that I had in Newfoundland and Labrador. I worked them off by taking as many walks as possible. It was easy to do because the province has 29,000 kilometres of pristine coastline and close to 300 hiking and walking trails.

Here are five scenic walks that I enjoyed in western Newfoundland. As always, click on any image in the galleries to see its bigger version and caption.

1. Corner Brook Stream Trail

I was staying at Glynmill Inn and the Corner Brook Stream Trail was steps from the inn entrance so I did two walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon in opposite directions. The trails are well defined with minimal elevation.

The morning walk took me along the beautiful trail to the wetlands and into the forest. Pretty wildflowers, bright dandelions and adorable chipmunks were part of a wonderful start to my day.

The afternoon walk took me to another beautiful forest, then a bridge that crosses rushing waters and Glynmill Inn Pond with swans before I returned to Glynmill Inn.

2. Trout River Boardwalk

Trout River is a small rural fishing town located on the southern coastal edge of Gros Morne National Park, near the Tablelands. This town is known for its boardwalk and trails that connect to the National Park. I enjoyed the views over the water and a walk through town.

Trout River was settled in 1815 by George Crocker and his family, who were its only inhabitants until 1880. In 2014, a blue whale carcass washed up along the shore in Trout River which attracted international attention. The skeleton of this whale was later put on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

3. Shallow Bay Trail

This 1.3-km loop trail is easy and perfect when short on time. I extended my walk to see St. Mary’s botanical garden, St. Mary’s church, and Dr. Henry N. Payne Museum & Craft Shop (the longest running museum on the West Coast of Newfoundland). I returned to Shallow Bay just in time for a spectacular sunset.

4. The Dorset Trail, Port au Choix

The Dorset Trail winds across limestone barrens and through forest and heathland to coastal archaeological sites dating back 2,800 years. This was one of my favourite trails for the unusual landscape. Although the ground may look bare, when I took a closer look, to my delight, I discovered many plants living and thriving on these barrens.

5. Bottom Brook Trail

Bottom Brook received its name due to its location at the bottom of St. Anthony Harbour. The 1.4-km loop trail is an easy walk on a beautiful morning to start my day. After the walk, I took a boat tour from St. Anthony Harbour to see icebergs, seabirds and whales.


I love the uniqueness of the above walks and their beautiful natural surroundings. They are simple walks that I could fit in first thing in the morning to warm up, or last thing in the evening to wind down. I hope you enjoy the landscape as much as I did.

Shared with Jo’s Monday Walk, Denyse’s WW&P.

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5 Notable Lighthouses in Newfoundland

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 29 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #79. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In my previous posts, I wrote about three amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites and my incredible iceberg viewing experience in Newfoundland and Labrador. Today’s post is about my road trip to see lighthouses.

Newfoundland and Labrador has over 29,000 kilometres of twisting coastline, laden with submerged rocks, hidden inlets, and icebergs. The province also has hundreds of lighthouses to guide fishermen and sailing vessels to safety on foggy and stormy nights. To make them easier to spot from a distance, many were painted plain white. Some have red and white stripes.

Lighthouses: A) Point Riche B) Lobster Head Cove C) Long Point D) Cape Bonavista E) Cape Spear

Here are five notable lighthouses that I visited on the island of Newfoundland. As always, click on images in the galleries to see bigger photos and captions.

A) Point Riche Lighthouse

Built in 1892, Point Riche Lighthouse is still active. The structure is 19 metres (62 ft) tall. The white wooden tower is octagonal pyramidal in shape; the entry door and lantern room are painted red. Its location is a windswept landscape with exposed ancient seabeds and expansive ocean views. I saw sea birds and whales here.

B) Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse

In the heart of Gros Morne National Park, Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse has guided ships into Bonne Bay since 1897. The tower is of iron, cast in St. John’s. Iron was fireproof, long-lasting and could be shipped to the site in pieces. The light is from England, built by Chance Brothers. All parts were landed below and hauled uphill by cart-and-oxen, overseen by first keeper Robert Lewis.

The setting of Lobster Cove Head Light was carefully chosen. The view gives the light beam a 180-degree sweep from north to south and out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In fine weather, it can be seen over 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometres) offshore.

C) Long Point Lighthouse

Long Point Lighthouse, built in 1876, is located on a prominent headland at the entrance to Notre Dame Bay, in Twillingate on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. At more than 300 feet above sea level, its location provides an open view of the islands that dot this section of coast, of shipping activities and of icebergs that drift south in the spring.

Along the cliff trails, tuckamores survive. Tuckamores are trees that have been bent and sculpted by constant strong onshore winds. The salt spray kills exposed buds, so growth only occurs on the tree’s sheltered inland side.

D) Cape Bonavista Lighthouse

Built in 1843, the light at Cape Bonavista is one of the few in the world where you can still climb up the stone tower and see the same seal oil fueled catoptric light apparatus that was used in the 1800s. I took the guided tour to learn about the hard life of the lightkeepers and see their quarters that have been restored to the 1870s.

As the place where John Cabot first made landfall in Newfoundland in 1497, Cape Bonavista Lighthouse is one of the most visited Provincial Historic Sites in the province. This is a prime location to view whales, icebergs and puffins. I was delighted to see hundreds of cute puffins fly from the cliffs and a fox family outside the lighthouse.

E) Cape Spear Lighthouse

Cape Spear, Newfoundland’s oldest surviving lighthouse and a National Historic Site, has served as the chief approach light for St. John’s harbour since 1836. Constructed by local builders, it consists of a stone tower surrounded by a frame residence, a common lighthouse design on Canada’s east coast.

The light mechanism in use in the 19th century came from Inchkeith lighthouse in Scotland. Modern equipment was installed in 1912 and remains in use in the concrete tower built nearby in 1955. Much altered during the 19th century, the old lighthouse has been restored to its original appearance.

On the day of my visit, it was foggy and windy on Cape Spear, a perfect opportunity to see the light flash from the new tower and hear foghorn sound.

Cape Spear is home to the most easterly point of land in North America. In this place on the edge of the continent, you can watch the sun rise first before anyone else in North America. Pretty cool, eh?

Cape Spear
Cape Spear

Are you road tripping this summer?

Shared with #PPAC56, #SundayStills, #CellpicSunday252.

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These Icebergs Made My Day

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 28 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #78. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Iceberg viewing is one of the outdoor activities that I hoped to do when I traveled to Newfoundland and Labrador last month. While late May and early June is the best viewing time, there is no guarantee to see icebergs because it’s up to Nature.

To view icebergs, I headed north and took the ferry from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon across the Strait of Belle Isle to the shores of Labrador (C in the map below). It was a clear and sunny day, high 18C (64F).

My itinerary in Newfoundland and Labrador
My itinerary

Iceberg #1

As we approached Blanc Sablon, I spotted a ‘dry dock’ iceberg with a U-shaped slot at water level, and three pinnacles or columns. It was a beautiful first sighting.

Iceberg near Blanc Sablon
Iceberg near Blanc Sablon
Iceberg near Blanc Sablon
Same iceberg, different angle

Roughly 90% of icebergs seen off Newfoundland and Labrador come from the glaciers of western Greenland, while the rest come from glaciers in Canada’s Arctic. It takes an iceberg about two to three years to reach Newfoundland and Labrador from Greenland – a distance of 1,800 nautical miles.

Iceberg #2

Two days later, I boarded a tour boat from St. Anthony (D on my itinerary map) and headed out to sea. St. Anthony is located in Iceberg Alley, an area that stretches from the coast of Labrador to the southeast coast of the island of Newfoundland.

Once again, I was fortunate to have a gorgeous, clear and sunny day, high 11C (52F). About fifteen minutes after the boat departure, I spotted two icebergs in the horizon. One ‘tabular’ iceberg had a flat top and one ‘dome’ iceberg had a rounded top. It was amazing to see these magnificent 10,000 year-old giants float silently in open waters. However, they were a bit far for good pictures.

Until we got close to this ‘pinnacle’ iceberg with one main pyramid on it. It was much bigger than the iceberg I saw in Blanc Sablon. Zoom in to see the streaks on its surface. Regardless of size, each iceberg is unique. As are the bluish-green streaks breaking through the bright white ice.

Iceberg in St. Anthony
The back of the same iceberg
Iceberg and small ice chunks
Iceberg and smaller ice chunks

Iceberg #3

As the tour boat rounded the corner, I saw a massive ‘wedged’ iceberg, with steep surfaces on one side and gradually sloping on the other, thus forming a wedge. And when I considered that 90% of an iceberg is actually below the surface, I was in awe to see this iceberg. Just stunning!

The boat captain turned off the engine so we could listen to hear the melting ice, the faint pops releasing the fresh, clean air previously trapped for thousands of years. As we circled around the iceberg, I realized how deceiving its first appearance was and how an iceberg sank the Titanic because there was more behind its massive size.

Iceberg in St. Anthony
Iceberg in St. Anthony
Streaks on iceberg surface
Beautiful streaks on the iceberg surface
Same iceberg, different angle
Same iceberg, different angle

Most icebergs weigh between 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes, and some, though more rare, as much as millions of tonnes. There are bergy bits the size of a small house and smaller ones called growlers that get their name from the sound they make as they plunge into the swelling seas. Icebergs are harvested to produce Iceberg Vodka, Gin, and bottled water in Newfounddland and Labrador.

On the way back to St. Anthony, I saw bergy bits and growlers. I touched and tasted the iceberg ice that the boat captain scooped up using a net. Icebergs are created from pure, fresh water and snow so iceberg ice is safe to consume and is not salty.

Bergy bits
Bergy bits
Iceberg ice
Iceberg ice

Since these icebergs and I have traveled thousands of miles to reach Newfoundland and Labrador, I was so happy we met on two beautiful days. Iceberg viewing is one of the highlights of my trip and a memorable experience for a lifetime.

Shared with #CellpicSunday, #PPAC55, #WWE135.

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3 Amazing World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 27 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #77. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In June, while in Newfoundland and Labrador, I explored three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the province:

  1. Gros Morne National Park
  2. L’Anse aux Meadows
  3. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In case you’re unfamiliar with local name and geography, the official name of the province is Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). The Strait of Belle Isle separates the province into two areas: 1) Newfoundland and 2) Labrador.

This post includes the highlights of my visits to the three sites. The first two sites are along the Viking Trail on Newfoundland’s west coast and the third site is on Labrador’s south coast. I included links to Parks Canada and UNESCO official websites for more information. As always, click on photos in galleries to see a bigger version and read their captions.

1. Gros Morne National Park

In 1987, Gros Morne National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its unique geological history dating back 1.25 billion years and its exceptional scenery. Gros Morne French meaning is “big lone mountain” or more literally “great sombre.”

The park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed. More recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.

UNESCO Gros Morne National Park

I visited the majestic Western Brook Pond, a fresh water fjord which was carved out by glaciers. The photo below shows the Long Range Mountains where the fjord is located. The steep escarpment on the right marks a crack (or fault) in the Earth’s crust. The fault was created when continents collided about 400 million years ago.

Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond photo in my hotel room

I took a boat tour on beautiful Bonne Bay. It was a clear and sunny day so the 806 m high flat-topped Gros Morne Mountain and the Tablelands with a dusting of snow were visible.

I also visited the park’s informative Discovery Centre and hiked the picturesque Tablelands Trail. The landscape is so spectacular that I can easily spend two weeks here to explore more hiking trails.


2. L’Anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows was designated a National Historic Site in 1975 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. It is the only authenticated Viking site in North America and the earliest evidence of Europeans in North America. It comprises 80 square kilometers of forest, bog, coast, bay and islands.

L'Anse aux Meadows reconstructed sod huts
L’Anse aux Meadows reconstructed sod huts

Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad and his wife, archaeologist Anne Stine, were searching for Norse landing places along the coast of North America. With the help of local resident George Decker, they would uncover the only Norse encampment ever to have been discovered in North America. Following excavations, they determined Leif Erickson and crews of Norse explorers arrived here and built a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings over a thousand years ago.

My visit started from the Visitor Centre to watch a short documentary for an overview and to see the authentic artifacts that proved the site’s origin. A tour guide took visitors along a beautiful boardwalk to the Meeting of Two Worlds sculpture, created by Luben Boykov and Richard Brixel and unveiled in July 2002. This sculpture symbolizes the meeting of human migration from the east through Asia to North America and from the west through Europe to North America. The two groups met when the Norse landed at L’Anse aux Meadows. Anse French meaning is “cove“.

Meeting of Two Worlds sculpture: Viking ship (left) and Aboriginal sword (right)

We continued to the actual site to see the fascinating archeological remains of three halls and five smaller buildings where the Vikings lived and worked have been carefully preserved as they were when discovered by the Ingstads. We then followed the boardwalk trail to the reconstructed sod huts and met costumed interpreters.


3. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is the earliest, most complete and best preserved 16th-century Basque whaling site found anywhere in the world. Red Bay was listed as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979, and designated a World Heritage Site in 2013.

Red Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

For about 70 years beginning in the 1530s, whalers from the Basque region of Spain and France used the harbour at Red Bay as a seasonal base for hunting whales and producing the whale oil that lit the lamps of Europe. Each spring as many as twelve ships and upwards of 2000 men arrived after a dangerous voyage from Europe to set up operations at Red Bay, one of about a dozen seasonal whaling stations along the south Labrador coast.

To visit Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, I traveled from Newfoundland to Labrador by ferry. Labrador means Big Land. At the Visitor Centre, I viewed a remarkable collection of original artifacts, archaeological remains, videos, models and the restored 16th century Chalupa, the oldest known whaling boat in the world. Behind the Chalupa exhibit is a stunning ‘whale and mariners’ mural created by Newfoundland-born artist Lloyd Pretty in 1999.


I’m grateful to be able to visit these three amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. I hope you enjoy them through my lens.

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