Newfoundland, the eastern Gem of Canada

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About a fifth of the population lives in the St. John's area, while the rest are in smaller cities and fishing villages along the coastlines. Originally people lived along the whole length of the twisting shorelines, but in the 1970s a resettlement campaign grouped people into small communities of one to two hundred, leaving structures abandoned along the coast, just begging to be photographed.

We will begin our time together as we live the life of a lighthouse keeper overlooking “Iceberg Alley”.

Here we will hear the Killer Whales’ call echoing off massive icebergs in our own private cove and hopefully awaken to the sounds of the Humpbacks calling you across vast stretches of the North Atlantic. From this location we will explore the rugged landscape made famous in “The Shipping News”, the Pulitzer prize-winning novel and Kevin Spacey movie.

Imagine the feel the salt spray in your face as you journey out to remote Quirpon Island amidst the dolphins and whales. As you land in the cove, imagine you are returning home to the sod huts, thousands of years old, which lay undisturbed here. Forge a link with ancient humans as you stand in the remains of their huts overlooking the cove and picture the tiny beach coming to like as it was eons ago.

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This is your home with us for three days. It lies atop the cliffs at the northern tip of this deserted island. The contrast of the rugged beauty of the island and the cozy luxury of Quirpon Lighthouse Inn will bring back your childhood feelings of laying by the fire as a storm raged outside. Imperceptibly your priorities in life will shift as you become part of the primal connection between humans and the remote reaches of the sea.

You are now in the best spot on earth to visit with whales and icebergs. At dawn, be certain and capture them through your lens while you introduce yourself to your only neighbors – the whales migrating past your doorstep. An abandoned fishing village near the lighthouse will just be one of many hiking destinations at Quirpon. Learn of the tragic but romantic mass murder and suicide that inevitably lead to its demise.

View the “vast cathedrals of ice”. On sunny days they appear lit from inside. On dull days other senses take over as they seem to grow in size. Their chilling effect spreads to your mind and you feel a timeless empathy for sailors who have dreaded these giants for a millennium.

Europeans first arrived in North America 500 years before Columbus. These Vikings settled in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of L’anse aux Meadows. As we visit, one question will fill your mind- Why here? Be sure to ask resident Vikings who work here today. Join them in their huts and sample cuisine from ten centuries ago, take their photos and learn from the past…

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From here we head south along the Viking Trail. If you think the shoreline to this point has been spectacular, wait until your boat tour of Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne. This landlocked fjord was left as a slash in the cliffs when the last ice age ended. 2000 vertical faces slowly come together as your journey on the purest lake in the world. This voyage is guaranteed to give you memories to savor back in the real world. Afterwards, stretch your legs on a valley of ancient earth’s mantle that has made this park a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The landscape evokes images of the moon more than the earth, but this geological wonder has its own charms. You will enjoy it from sun up to sun down through the lens.

We end our trip at Cape Anguille. Surrounding the Inn and our very own lighthouse to photograph, the Atlantic Ocean provides a temperamental backdrop to the peaceful landscape dotted with horses and sheep wandering the meadows and hills.

Avid bird photographers will be left speechless by the common and rare birds. All nature lovers will enjoy the eagles patrolling the cliffs and the silhouette of osprey carrying fish to their young as the sun sets in a limitless sea.

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Last year we hiked the hills and coastline around the lighthouse and surrounding villages. We’re certain all hikers will find enjoyable terrain and spectacular views. Fortunately for those that aren’t interested in the idea of hiking, the beauty of the sea and the sounds of the birds start at the doorstep and a gentle seaside path starts at the lawn of our temporary home.

From this location we can travel along the south coast and photograph scenic vistas and pristine seascapes in the area of Rose Blanche lighthouse and the impressive area waterfalls. The Rose Blanch lighthouse is spectacular… Reconstructed fully in 1999 and furnished with 19th century reproduced furniture and local antiques, this lighthouse is a must-see for all lighthouse enthusiasts. One remarkable feature is the stone steps within the tower walls which kept the tower from collapsing after it was abandoned. The light on display now, a gift from the Canadian Coast Guard, is a 6th order Fresnel lens and is believed to be one of only 27 in existence.

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The lighthouse, which may be the only restored granite lighthouse in Atlantic Canada, is open to the public on a seasonal basis. Rose Blanche Lighthouse was designated on September 7th, 2002, the first lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador to be recognized as a Registered Heritage Structure.

I hope you will consider traveling to Newfoundland with us in 2016. We visit Newfoundland every year and next year we are there for two tours, one of which is already sold out.

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