Nothing else compares to enjoying the best part of a travelling experience with your loved ones. My only daughter worked in Newfoundland as a caregiver and that summer of 2012 was the best time to visit her. From Michigan I travelled all the way to Newfoundland to enjoy that two week vacation from both our work. She planned everything and all she asked was for me to show up at the airport. Discovering this city which is famous for its hardworking people, beautiful scenery and Viking ruins was a welcome change from the usual tourist places I have been to. It was the best holiday ever!
The Gros Morne National Park is definitely the most worth seeing national park in the Atlantic provinces of Canada and tremendously varies with its nearby mountain lakes Fjord moorland. It is pure nature not touristy and got me all fallen for its ideal hiking trails and the beautiful scenery. Dense forest alternates with layers of lush green. There was a lot of fog but this did not spoil the panoramic scenery. Inside the park it is possible to see many animals even if it’s not so quiet and too crowded. The comfort of seeing stunning scenery as we walk along the park was the reward from our long hike into the woods. We took another serene and quiet hike along the edges of the water and rocky cliffs at East Coast Trail. It was quite difficult and challenging but we manage to overcome as the trails were well maintained. I am no hiker but I enjoyed the trail as it was not so humid and the weather was so cool. When we reach the edges of the ocean and the end of the walking trails the breathtaking view of the wide ocean slamming its waters on the cliff was the best part of it all. Aside from having a good walking exercise I enjoyed an enchanting view of the ocean. It was like hitting two birds with one stone.
Signal Hill is a magnificent place for photography as the landscape changes dramatically and it is so wonderful to look at. We climbed all the way up the Cape Spear Lighthouse at the entrance of St. John’s bay and set our eyes to the open sea to spot whales and icebergs which we had the good fortune to see. The beautiful lighthouse that stands on the far eastern tip of North America is an interesting place where we were able to experience the ever changing weather. When framed by the mists from the ocean it has a unique charm that is absolutely not to be missed. Inside the lighthouse we visited a small museum and we get to stand on a terrace on the roof to have a beautiful view of the sea on one side and the city on the other. The trail to go back was made of wood and much easier we even have the chance to eat fresh berries along the way as we took the well marked tracks. Along the road a beautiful music coming from the Basilica of St. John the Baptist seemed inviting as we passed by. The century old church was so interesting as we view ancient artifacts and old icons from centuries past while a beautiful gospel music surrounds us.
I get to learn more about the city, their history and interesting culture when I visited The Rooms. The well done and brand new museum has a marvelous interior design with a modern feel. There is a room dedicated to animals like an extraordinary large squid which truly amazed me. The beautiful building has so many modern art exhibitions that reflect the ambition and hopes of the city. All the exhibits were carefully laid out and are of high quality especially the animal diorama that looks real. The museum gives opportunity for new artists to shine as well as a peek on the historical past of this gorgeous city. Bowring Park is absolutely one of places that is tucked away from the public eye but holds so many surprising things to discover. It was fun wandering through the park taking beautiful pictures while surrounded by nature. It is an experience not to be missed when visiting the city. The statues, ponds, flower garden, and animals make it all very pleasant. The calm sound of the river was very comforting as we walk along the nature trail that ends up on a small man made waterfall. The free admission park is an ideal place to spend a great afternoon family picnic.
The long drive to get to the Western Brook Pond was all worth the trouble when we saw the high walls that overlook the waters. Our magnificent excursion to see the inner fjord was absolutely impressive. After a short walk of less than an hour in the Nordic nature in the plain which was once submerged by marine waters we arrived at a small picturesque wooden pier where the boats for rent regularly leave. We enjoyed our boat tour though the navigation was quite long but it was all worth it. We covered well with a rain coat as we hit the high walls and the water keeps spraying upon us. It was such a thrill! We had a good idea of how the Vikings use to exist when we meandered inside the grounds of the Norstead Viking Village. The presentation of a historical part of Canadian culture was very informative with the exact remake of a real village that existed centuries ago. We took pictures beside a Viking who gamely posed with his warrior stance. The village is ideal for family tour as it is very educational, informative and equally entertaining. The staff inside were totally in character as they wear their complete Viking suits. The replica of the Viking ship is a great conversational piece as it looked so realistic.
The highlight of my beautiful adventure was navigating between icebergs off the Twillingate on board a life raft from the Iceberg Quest Ocean Tour. The iceberg experience was totally unusual and equally unforgettable. Our adventure started when we boarded a rented life raft from the pier and sailed onward a calm sea leading to a vast expanse of large and small icebergs. It offered exceptional photographic opportunities and great bonding time for me and my daughter. The town of Twillingate is undoubtedly and definitely the most fascinating place in the North Canadian region. It was fascinating to watch an iceberg pass under the window as we view it. We stayed all day and night just to view this huge icebergs floating behind the boat as we pass. It was a lucky day as we get to spot some whales along the ocean too. It was so good that I hesitated to leave the boat and my state of mind was so joyous at the same time.
The presence of the big whale skeleton art that welcomes us in Prime Berth Fishing Museum was enough to convince us to check it out. The museum succeeds in giving the visitors and idea how the fishermen use to live and hunt since the early century. I bought cute whale souvenirs from their small shop to remind me of a great vacation. Later in the evening I had a good meal and rollicking fun and laughter when I watched an amazing performance of good musical comedy actors at the All Around the Circle Dinner Theater. Their skits were so funny as well as displaying their great skill in handling musical stringed instruments while performing. It was a great way to end our vacation, fun, happy and enjoying the good life.
Taking the lovely trails, enjoying nature, getting up close with an iceberg, it’s the perfect adventure.