Thursday Doors – September 28, 2017

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below. 

Viking Doors – L’Anse Aux Meadows – Newfoundland (part 1)

After we finished the hiking portion of our time in Gros Morne National Park we hit the road and drove up to the tip of Newfoundland’s northern peninsula to the L’Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic site.

A Unesco World Heritage site since 1978, this internationally renowned archaeological site was discovered in 1960 and contains the only confirmed Norse settlement in North America to date.

Sitting at the edge of a meadow on what feels like the ends of the earth, the haunting beauty of this place sets the imagination free.

One can’t help but think back to a time when the Norse ruled the waters of the north Atlantic, forever in search of supplies and trading partners, or places to plunder in order to supply their permanent settlements on Greenland and Iceland.

In 1960 after years spent studying the Icelandic Sagas of Norse explorers and their frequent mentions of a place called Vinland, roughly an 80-90 day sail to the west, the Norwegian husband and wife team of Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad came to northwestern Newfoundland, convinced they’d find signs that the Vikings had visited these shores.

They were right.

Interviewing older townsfolk in small villages up and down the western coast for clues, they came upon long-time L’Anse aux Meadows resident George Decker who led the couple to a group of seemingly insignificant grass-covered mounds near the village that the locals had always referred to as the “old Indian camp.”

Having seen similar mounds at permanent Norse settlements in Greenland and Iceland, the Ingstads immediately recognized what they represented: Proof that 500 years before Christopher Columbus’ first trans-Atlantic journey, Europeans not only sailed to, but set foot on and for a brief period at least, established livable settlements in the New World.

Over the next decade several archaeological excavations were carried out. They found eight complete house sites and the remains of a ninth.

The Norse origins of the site were confirmed beyond a doubt because of similarities between structures themselves compared to designs throughout the Viking world, as well as the many artifacts found at the site that were identical to those found at similar sites in Greenland and Iceland from the same time period.

Though the original mounds have been left untouched since the 1980’s, Parks Canada has done a great job of recreating the settlement as it would have looked back then, using original materials and techniques.

Walking around the site left us with an eerie sense of isolation that is impossible to put into words.

One can just feel the hardships that were endured on the journeys to get here, gather supplies, hunker down for the winter, and then travel home the next sailing season.

Parks Canada has costumed interpretive guides on-site to share the tales of the Viking sagas and answer questions about what life was like back then.

Open from late May until early October, despite its remote location L’Anse aux Meadows is well worth a visit for both the historical significance and the natural beauty.

Next week I’ll take you across the road to the Norstead Viking Village, a privately run tourist attraction that reproduces a typical permanent Norse trading settlement similar to ones found in Greenland.

Until then here’s one of my favourite Newfoundland and Labrador tourism bureau video’s, and yes the kids they found for this are absolutely adorable!

Enjoy:

 

As always, thanks so much for visiting 🙂

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About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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77 Responses to Thursday Doors – September 28, 2017

  1. Pingback: Vikings Walking Funny Into Imagination #FridayRecommends - Marian Allen, Author Lady

  2. Pingback: Thursday Doors ~ Mui Wo – Thoughts of a Wanderer

  3. Pingback: Vikings Walking Funny Into Imagination #FridayRecommends - Marian Allen, Author Lady

  4. Pingback: Thursday Doors ~ Happy Mid-Autumn Festival – Thoughts of a Wanderer

  5. Norm, this an outstanding “Doors” post; Opens a door to another world, entirely. I visited here many many years ago (at about 11-12 years of age) with my family. That meant 500 miles of dirt road from Gros Morne up the Northern Peninsula. The mounds were just mounds then. With a few interpretive plaques, as I recall. But now!!! Just look! I’m feeling the need for a return visit. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, my, Norm, this is something else… Feels like a beginning of time. And yet they had doors already. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cool. I like the door on the mounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nato says:

    How very interesting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. prior.. says:

    so wonderful to feel the hardships depicted in the pics – and loved the inside view.
    really does stir up gratitude….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! What an amazing discovery. I had not heard about that before. I find stories and evidences from the Vikings to be fantastic.They were real adventurers. I’ll need to put this on my ever-growing list of cool places to visit. And the shots are wonderful Norm!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jesh stg says:

    Uh-of the history books need to be changed then, not Columbus:) The photos say it all:)
    I don’t know if “isolation” would be as hard on them, as it would be in this time.Especially in the cities -we are overstimulated.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ll add my WOW to the chorus of others. Those are amazing doors and they represent a part of history I don’t know much about.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. trentpmcd says:

    Great photos. I know that this is the first one rediscovered, but I have heard of others, so I went to Google and typed “confirmed vik” and it auto-filled “confirmed viking settlements in north america” I guess I’m not the first person to type in such a search 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. amoralegria says:

    Wow! What a fascinating place! We are going to Canada, leaving in a couple of days, but unfortunately Newfoundland is not on our schedule! However, recently we were in Minnesota and North Dakota where we saw some old Norse architecture and then I read an article about the Vikings in National Geographic, with a map showing all the Viking sites they’ve found. Who says Columbus discovered America??

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, what a fabulous place to visit. I love the earth berm homes, a perfect way to keep themselves warm on frigid days. Plus, they blend nicely into the landscape. Beautiful.
    Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  16. JT Twissel says:

    Wow – sounds like a great place to visit – especially those hobbit style huts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Jan. Apparently the short hobbit style doors were a deliberate design feature. The vikings wanted to make sure that any potential intruders forcing their way in would be coming in bent over with their heads down.

      Like

  17. Hi Norm,
    The Eat.Pray.Love.Travels blog link on the Frog page seems to go directly into my blog editing page. Can you please take a look?
    Thanks, Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  18. marianallen says:

    Fan-freakin’-tastic! OH, how I’d love to spend a day there! Great doors, and thank you SO MUCH for the interior shot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks so much Marian. That interior shot is one of my faves from the entire trip. At first I didn’t want the lady taking his picture with her phone to be in my shot. I waited a while but she settled in and started asking him questions, so I just went ahead and took the shot. Looking at it now I think it’s a better shot with her in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Suzanne says:

    What a magical place. Beautiful photography of some amazing doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Vanessa says:

    These are among my very favourite doors so far. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. lifelessons says:

    This is an amazing post. Thanks, Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lynn says:

    I have yet to visit this beautiful & historical part of our country. Hoping to rectify that sooner than later!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Newfoundland was the last province for me to complete my Canadian provincial bucket list. The entire time we were there the question that we kept asking ourselves was why we had waited so long.
      I hope you get to check it out for yourself – I’m sure you will love it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. dennyho says:

    Simply fantastic, and a different way of life. Lovely post, Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sherry Felix says:

    You outdid yourself Norm. Best door ever! I love Vikings and the history. Love to go see that reenactment village. You took lovely photos of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jackie says:

    I’m on the other side of the country this week.
    Newfoundland is the only province I haven’t been to and it’s been on the list for a while. Perhaps next summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      I’m sure you’ll love it there if you get the chance to go.
      Until this visit at the beginning of the month Newfoundland was the last province on my Canadian bucket list too. Not sure if I’ll ever make it up to the territories but at least now I have visited every province. It’s a reminder of how incredibly big this great country is 🙂

      Like

  26. It’s amazing where people could go in boats, isn’t it? I would so love to see all of this in person, but you’ve given me a chance to see it without even going there and for that I thank you! I’ve always been interested in the Vikings and ancient history, so this is really fun.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Vicky says:

    Wonderful post, thank you for sharing your visit, there is so much to learn about in this world and when there are doors involved, well, it’s even better!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. joey says:

    SSSWOOOOOON! Oh how I long to walk such a gorgeous landscape, Norm! Beautiful place. I am quite happy to know you enjoyed it and I’m so glad you’re sharing your photos. Love that boat! Looking forward to Viking village 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Reblogged this on Jean Reinhardt and commented:
    Interesting Thursday Doors on Norm’s blog this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Dan Antion says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, Norm! I would love to visit this place. As I try to imagine making that journey, so many years ago, I come up short. The hardship of being at sea for so long, and struggling to build a settlement in what had to be unforgiving surroundings. It boggles the mind (well, my mind, anyway).

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and the history of this place and its people. Columbus, pfffft.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Such a great place, Norm. They recreated it so well and I loved that video.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. willowdot21 says:

    Sorry I got carried away I forgot to say great photos too 💜😱

    Liked by 1 person

  33. willowdot21 says:

    This is a very interesting read, the Vikings were amazing seamen and navigators. Put into perspective these journeys were as ground breaking to them as space travel is to us. The ventured out into the unknown

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Norm, this post is why you are our leader. 🙂 What a wonderful opportunity to step back in time and appreciate the strength and resilience of our ancestors and understand history is not always as it is written. I think they could have written the book on living off the grid.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Jennie says:

    Wow! This is a terrific piece of history. And the doors photos are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Wow, what a place to visit. I’ve read about the excavations carried out in Newfoundland, but to see these reconstructions is amazing. Nice doors, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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