Thursday Doors – October 5, 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 2)

Viking explorer Leif Erikson

Across the road from the L’Anse aux Meadows National Historical Site on Newfoundland’s northern peninsula you’ll find the privately run Norstead Viking Village.

Designed to appeal to tourists already drawn in by viking lore to the authentic Parks Canada viking settlement, Norstead is a recreation of a typical Norse trading village similar to ones found in Greenland.

It’s set up like a working village with sheep and chickens, small boats for fishing, racks for drying fish, and everything a self-sufficient community would need to thrive out in the middle of nowhere.

Interpretive guides roam the site in period garb engaging with visitors and answering questions about the Norse lifestyle.

The sod-roofed structures on the site include a repair shop, a traders bazaar, a typical home, a church, and a traditional longhouse.

The longhouse is used as a boathouse for a 54 foot (16.2 m) replica of a viking sailing ship called a knarr. I wish I had gotten a few pics of it but the lighting inside the longhouse was terrible 😦

Standing over the open deck boat it was hard to fathom how they could have sailed across the north Atlantic all the way from Greenland while so totally exposed to the elements.

In order to prove that these trips were actually possible, this ship named The Snorri, was built using traditional methods in Greenland and then sailed over by a crew of a dozen in the late 1990’s. You can read more about that here.

I’m not sure at what point in their history the vikings began converting to Christianity, but we were told that a village church would be fairly common by the time they discovered North America.

We went into the trading post but since we had nothing of value; keys to the rental car and digital camera equipment simply left our viking hosts scratching their heads, so no deals were made that day 😉

In the end all we left with were dozens of pictures and many fond memories of our visit.

Open from early June until mid-September between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm, Norstead Viking Village is a fun way to experience firsthand how Norse settlers lived over a thousand years ago.

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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62 Responses to Thursday Doors – October 5, 2017

  1. reocochran says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this Old World setting. I liked all the rough hewn doors. 🙂
    Norstead Viking Village is really somewhere I would enjoy sitting and absorbing this place’s history. One of my two grandfathers was from Sweden, a Norse whose father brought them to Rockport, Massachusetts. It is rocky part of our landscape. It has a lot of antique, historic and strong areas which have endured storms.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. marianallen says:

    Great post! I love the earth-bermed structures. They always look so snug and solid, and the idea of critters grazing on my roof tickles me, somehow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are great doors! And I love the sheep.

    Like

  4. I love these photos Norm! The church was surprising to see. I’ve watched the (historically inaccurate) Vikings show on the History Channel (which makes it even more confusing that it’s historically inaccurate) and it goes a little into the beginnings of the conversions toward Christianity with Rollo. I love these grass covered roofs. They have a Lord of the Rings quality. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sherry Felix says:

    Life must have been pretty bleak back then. I like sod houses. They blend so well with the environment. I hear they were warm too. The Brits had drafty wattle a daube.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! Grass roofs on rustic structures and an awesome old wooden church building; really enjoyable post this week, Norm!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cool. I like that treading post. The longhouse would have it long to house a ship.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy P says:

    Beautiful images and great information! A vivid walk down Memory Lane for me as I visited back in 2008. I feel like the site and its importance should be on more radars!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vanessa says:

    Awesome. The original “green roof”… we could learn a thing or two 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jesh stg says:

    So unexpected to have another culture so nearby , and one with an illustrious history. Great idea to use sods as a cover and insulation. I admire self-sufficiency, but I don’t think I would be too good at it – having lived too long in a big city:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lifelessons says:

    I love these photos, Norm. I’ve always wanted to go there. Now I don’t have to.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jennie says:

    Fascinating history, Norm. And, incredible photography. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I loved them all but especially loved the church and the one with the sheep. That fence and the water was a great back drop!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love the sod roofs, Norm. It’s funny how we are going back to those old ways, with living roofs becoming more popular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Jean. It is funny but I can’t say that I’m too surprised. I was amazed at how well insulated these places were. Perhaps a little too damp for my old bones but otherwise quite comfortable despite the harsh conditions.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. JT Twissel says:

    I have the same question as Retirementallychallenged – where did they get the wood? No rabbit pelts to trade? Dude!! ; )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Jan. Actually beaver pelts are what Canada was built on, but no, I hadn’t been out to check my traps before we left on this trip so I arrived there with nothing to trade 😉
      Regarding the wood: see just below.

      Like

  16. What gorgeous scenery… and, of course, doors. Others have questioned the lack of trees in the landscape as I did when I looked at the pictures. I have read of other societies that over-harvested their trees, leading them to the unintended (yet certainly foreseeable) consequence of a barren land. Did you get any insight into this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      This was a common question with the other visitors while we were there too. Apparently the area was heavily forested back then making it an ideal spot to set up shop, for boat repair and for harvesting timber to bring back to Greenland.
      We were told that over-harvesting and a gradually cooling climate was what led to the deforestation.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. joey says:

    Love, love, love! I want to go, too! I was disappointed that the story of the modern day trip in the knarr was about construction of the knarr and not the adventurous, dangerous details of voyage at sea in one. Perhaps I should investigate more Viking literature, until I lose feeling in my fingers, toes, and nose! 🙂
    Great share, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joey. Glad you enjoyed. Honey and I were both certain we had seen a documentary before about the late 90’s Snorri voyage but I can’t find any references to it online anywhere.
      If I find anything I’ll let you know but in the meantime, if you have 8 mins to spare and want to get a feel for what it’s like onboard a viking style ship have a look at this: https://youtu.be/XORSpUUy0lQ

      Liked by 1 person

  18. dimlamp says:

    Thanks for this post Norm, several of my friends and colleagues have visitedL’Anse Aux Meadows, and were quite impressed with it. Why they didn’t stay and settle there on a permanent basis is still, I think, a matter of conjecture at best, since they did settle in Greenland, which, I suspect would have been a more challenging place to live than Newfoundland. As for when the Vikings converted to Christianity, I think the dates are different for the various Scandinavian countries – for example, in Norway the oldest cathedral, in Stavanger, dates back to about 1125. However, some of the other churches may be older yet, as conversion to the faith in Norway began in 1000.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      The leading theories behind why they didn’t stay were: hostilities with the locals, and the fact that is was just too far out of the way from the rest of their regular trading routes. I suspect we’ll never really know with any certainty though.
      Thanks for your insights on the religious aspect 🙂

      Like

  19. DG MARYOGA says:

    Gorgeous thematic park imbued with history and the Vikings’ spirit,dear Yvette!Fabulous photography,lovely old wooden doors and bucolic scenes 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Almost Iowa says:

    I see wooden beams, wooden doors, wooden wagons – but no trees. Which leads me to conclude that either they chopped them all down to build these things 🙂 or they brought in wood from other places. You have to wonder how they fared in Greenland – perhaps driftwood?

    Great post, Norm – and great doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      You conclude correctly 🙂
      Apparently the area was heavily forested back then making it an ideal spot to set up shop, for boat repair and for harvesting timber to bring back to Greenland.
      We were told that over-harvesting and a gradually cooling climate was what led to the deforestation.

      Like

  21. I want to go! The stark, the precise, the grey… I want to see!
    But until then, thanks for these images. So good.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. cwaugh212 says:

    Great post, Norm. I will be doing a Viking post shortly on the Fyrkat Fortress near Aarhus, Denmark. Keep you eyes peeled.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. if i had a bucket list, you’ve convinced that this would be on it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Joanne Sisco says:

    Your photography, as always, is outstanding. I certainly get a sense of how isolated it was, but also how they adapted to the environment to survive.
    What I can’t figure out is the wood. Every photo I ever see of Nfld is of the barren expanse of rock – not forests. Where on earth did they get all that wood?!! I have to guess that at one point, Nfld was covered in forest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Joanne. As for the wood, yes you guessed right. They told us that back then this area would have been heavily forested. In fact it was one of the reasons the Vikings kept coming back and why they tried to stay. Great wood for ship-building and repair. Over harvesting and a cooling of the climate gradually transformed the landscape.

      Like

  25. As I said on your other post about this, I’d love very much to see this place as I’m a big history buff. Wonderful buildings for where they were, but seeing from that first shot how big they were, no wonder they could do anything! 🙂 Seriously, I find it incredible that they could sail all such distances in their ships. Good stuff.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looking back, I also wonder where they got the wood!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norm 2.0 says:

        Thanks Janet. We humans can be remarkably creative and resilient.
        As for the wood, we were told that back then this area was heavily forested. In fact it was one of the reasons they kept coming back and tried to stay. Great wood for ship-building and repair. Over harvesting and a cooling of the climate transformed the landscape.
        Today an overpopulation of moose on the island is keeping the forest from regenerating. There are no natural predators on the island and they can strip a small tree bare in minutes.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m sure glad you took a break, Norm, because we have been treated to some amazing door photos. This post could be a coffee table book. Gorgeous doors – I love them all. If I had to pick my favorite it would be the fourth photo – those doors are a work of art. Thank you for taking us on this tour. 🙂 The header photo is gorgeous too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Judy. It was good to get away and unplug for a few weeks but as you can see, doors were never far from my mind.
      Overall I feel very fortunate to have been able to see this place and I’m glad the shots turned out as well as I had hoped 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Dan Antion says:

    The buildings are amazing, Norm. With the sod roofs, they appear to grow out of the earth. Great doors, fashioned to be strong and I like the lives and angles of the doors and the gable end walls. Especially the church!

    I can’t imagine sailing in an open boat, across the North Atlantic. What s coragious spirit they must have shared.

    Thanks for bringing us along on this visit. Great stuff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Dan. It was special to see in person. I had not expected to see a church so that was the one that surprised me most. The inside was fairly spartan. No pics though…those sod buildings are wonderful well insulated structures but the lighting is awful.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Interesting, I’m partial to the image with the sheep in it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  29. bikerchick57 says:

    Love the church, Norm. What a cool place to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. dweezer19 says:

    This must have been an awesome place to visit. So much history…

    Liked by 1 person

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