Newfoundland. What should I begin with? The rough beauty of the stormy coastal shore? The welcoming warmness of the locals? The open doors wherever I went? My first trip to Canada was a very special one. Travelling the Eastern outskirts of this wide country I found myself collecting new memories day by day. Being alone out in the nature having only a few other people with me brought me closer to myself and let me cool my breath. And then there were the whales — such huge but tender beauties. The food was rich and it was great to taste so many varieties of freshly caught fish.
It was my first time travelling to this beautiful and unique part of the world. Beginning in St. John’s, I visited Gros Morne National Park and onward into Labrador. In addition to the appeal of this province’s natural beauty, I found the cultural aspects of this land quite interesting. Vikings settled here a thousand years ago. Spanish sailors crossed the Atlantic to hunt Right whales in the 16th century. In the early 1900s, a booming cod fishing industry fed the Atlantic regions of Canada and the United States. Learning about Newfoundland and Labrador’s rich history connected me to it beyond just seeing its pretty landscapes. There’s much more here than I was able to see, so I will be back.
Situated on a near-shore island, Battle Harbour was the economic and social centre of the southeastern Labrador coast for two centuries. A thriving saltfish industry was first established there in the 1770s before cod fishing dwindled and a major fire struck in 1930. The area was abandoned as a permanent settlement until the 1960s; since then the Battle Harbour Historic Trust was given the summer fishing premises and other properties on the island, which it now operates as a living museum. I had the opportunity to stay in the original Inn on the site, and let time slip past in the company of whales and icebergs. A restorative experience I will never forget…