Travel Guides to Canada

2016 Travel Guide to Canada

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TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA H ugging the western shore for 683 km (424 mi.) from Port aux Basques to St. Anthony, this edge of the island has everything Newfoundland- bound travellers crave: little outports, big-hearted people, unsurpassed scenery, and unforgettable outdoors adventures. Above all, it's a place where history still feels like a living entity ( www.newfound ROCK OF AGES Even in 1497, when John Cabot dubbed the island Terra Nova (literally "New Land"), Newfoundland was certifi ably old. Gros Morne National Park is a case in point (www. aspx). Located half-way up the coast, this 1,805-sq-km (697-sq.-mi.) site is a natural wonder almost 500-million years in the making. Begin your visit by learning about the park's geologic anomalies at the Discovery Centre in Woody Point; then see them for yourself at the Tablelands. The red-hued, fl at-topped mountain (which earned Gros Morne its UNESCO designation) resulted from a massive tectonic upheaval eons ago. Next, follow the boardwalk to Western Brook Pond, which offers fjord-like scenery dating from the Pleistocene period. Ogle its glacier-sculpted walls and magical water- falls from a tour boat or take a hike on the spectacular Long Range Traverse. THE HUMAN SAGA Mankind's long history in the region comes into focus as you drive the Viking Trail (,which starts below Gros Morne and extends the length of the Great Northern Peninsula before crossing into Labrador. Remains of ancient Aboriginal cultures have been found at Port au Choix National Historic Site ( lhn-nhs/nl/portauchoix/index.aspx); and evidence of the fi rst Europeans to arrive in the New World lies 228 km (141 mi.) further north. Leif Eriksson's "discovery" of North America in 1000 AD was long dismissed as a Norse myth until what was left of a Viking settlement was unearthed at L'Anse aux Meadows in 1960 ( www.pc.gc. ca/eng/lhn-nhs/nl/meadows/index.aspx). Poised at the top of the peninsula, this UNESCO World Heritage site features sod huts and an interpretative centre housing artefacts used a millennium ago. MORE TO EXPLORE The past here can be enjoyed in less obvious ways, too. In Gros Morne National Park, for example, history isn't only carved in stone; The Gros Morne Theatre Festival breathes new life into vintage songs and stories ( gmtf.html). Cultural Escape packages are available through the festival's host venue, Shallow Bay Motel, in Cow Head (www. Similarly, the L'Anse aux Meadows area turns over a new "Leif " at Norstead ( ), a replica Viking port of trade inhabited by faux Norse folk. Other communities also provide tradition with a twist. In Corner Brook (www. ), you can pay tribute to Captain James Cook at a memorial, then join modern-day whale watchers and boaters on the Bay of Islands, which Cook surveyed in the 1760's. In summer, you can fi sh for salmon in the nearby Humber River, as Natives did for centuries; and in winter you can head to Marble Mountain ( where skiing is supplemented by age-old activities like snowshoeing or dogsledding. Such a rich range of attractions and activities makes it almost impossible to resist Western Newfoundland's timeless appeal. GO WEST QUirPon iSLanD • CtC/LinKUM toUrS TIME'S ON YOUR SIDE IN WESTERN NEWFOUNDLAND BY SUSAN MACCALLUMWHITCOMB NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

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