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Next, we headed to another viking-themed destination. Immediately adjacent to the L'Anse aux Meadows site is an attraction called Norstead. I'd heard several positive comments about the place both on the internet and from locals. Norstead is an imagining of what a Viking 'trade port' might look like, and includes a huge boat house, a blacksmith shop, church, etc.
Boardwalk down to the Boat House
Viking ship Snorri
Our first stop at Norstead was the boat house. Inside the boat house is a very accurate replica of a Viking ship called a knarr. This boat was actually used in a recreation of Leif Eriksson's crossing to Newfoundland in 1997. Arguably, this is the most interesting item on display at Norstead.
Billy the Viking
The second most interesting item on display at Norstead, in my opinion, was flesh and blood. Billy was his name, and he was playing some sort of Viking-ish role, all dressed up in sheepskin and leather, and sporting a snow-white beard. We met Billy in the boat-house, and he was extremely knowledgeable about the Viking ship. Billy's most impressive capability, however, was the ability to endlessly talk about it, and anything and everything else. He was able to seamlessly transition between viking ships, newfoundland fishing tradition, his own experiences growing up, his prior work experience, and anything and everything else under the sun. It was a challenge to keep up with him.
courtesy JInnes
Billy gives tour
It didn't take long to realize that Billy had a fun, mischevious air about him. He always seemed to have a gleam in his eye, as he conveyed gigabytes of information to us. It was nearly impossible to get a word in edgewise, and when we did, he seamlessly incorporated what you said into his narrative.
Sod and wood buildings, Norstead
Chieftain's Hall
The small group of tourists who had gathered 'round Billy slowly dwindled away until just Jenn and I remained. I think he decided that he liked us when he realized that he wasn't going to weird us out with his ramblings, and he became our personal tourguide around Norstead, leading us from building to building and loquaciously introducing us the follow employees.
Interior, Chieftain's Hall
Church and Blacksmith
Interior, Church
As Billy walked us back to the administration building, he gave us a few parting recommendations. One of them was for a small restaurant nearby called Northern Delight, and strongly hinted that we'd have a much better culinary experience there than at any of the other, fancier-looking restaurants.
Billy's Tall Tales
Seagull and boats
Northern Delight
Finished with Norstead, we started the drive back south. We soon came upon the Northern Delight restaurant, and, seeing as it was lunch time, we decided to give it a go. The building and the decor is by no means fancy, but the food was honest and [as it seemed to us, anyway] authentic. I had a dish of Fisherman's Brewis, an interesting and very-filling mixture of cod and hardtack, supplemented with some very salty scrunchins. I liked it.
courtesy JInnes
Fisherman's Brewis
Pan Fried Shrimp
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[ Return to "Overland to the Rock" Home page | Introduction | French Connection | Transition to the North | Manicouagan & Monts Groulx | Mt Provencher & 389 North | Entering Labrador | Churchill Falls | The Trans-Labrador | Southern Labrador Coast | Northern Peninsula & St. Anthony | L'Anse aux Meadows | Norstead | Limestone Barrens and Wreck | Arches Provincial Park | Green Gardens Backpack Day 1 | Green Gardens Backpack Day 2 | Green Point | Western Brook Pond Backpack Day 1 | Western Brook Pond Backpack Day 2 | Twillingate/Crow Head Hike | Awk Island Winery | Heart's Content Cable Station | City of St. John's | Cape Spear | Ferry to Nova Scotia | Cape Breton to Bathurst | Bathurst, NB | In-depth: Provencher Climb | In-depth: Churchill Falls Hike | In-depth: Birchy Nuddick Hike | In-depth: Green Gardens Backpack | In-depth: Western Brook Pond Backpack | In-depth: Crow Head Hike, Twillingate | Where we drove | In-depth: Quebec Highway 389 | In-depth: The Trans-Labrador Highway | Video Clip Index | GPS Data ]

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