Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Exploring the Avalon Peninsula

We did a couple of road trips from St. John's to explore more of the Avalon Peninsula. One was on the Irish Loop Drive south along the Atlantic Ocean, Trepassey Bay and and then north along St. Mary's Bay where we toured the Colony of Avalon in Ferryland and visited a couple lighthouses. The other was the Baccalieu Trail along Conception Bay with stops in Cupids and Harbour Grace.

The Colony of Avalon was started in 1621 by Sir George Calvert who later became Lord Baltimore of Maryland fame. The colony thrived through the 1600's until it was destroyed by the French in 1696 as part of the ongoing dispute with the English over Newfoundland. For the last twenty years archaeologists have been doing a dig at the site. It is the best place we have visited for being able to watch the ongoing excavation along with viewing the results of the past twenty years.
This is the cobblestone floor and part of the walls of the mansion house at Avalon. The wood shows where walls that have collapsed would have been.
Here you can watch the archaeologists at work. There were at least 25 people working at various phases from digging, to cleaning, to cataloguing items. These people really do dig their work.
This is the original waterfront with the walls of a warehouse and the paved street. The new buildings in the background are built on top of the site. The neighbors have been very cooperative in allowing the dig to happen on their property. In some sections after the artifacts were removed the site was recovered as they were in people's yards.
Some of the 1,000,000 plus artifacts that have been found here.
They also have built a 17th century kitchen to show a typical upper class home.
The Ferryland Lighthouse
This light is a short walk from Ferryland. You can purchase a picnic lunch at the house. It comes complete with a blanket so you can kick back and enjoy the view of the ocean while eating your lunch.
The Cape Race Lighthouse at the Southeastern tip of Newfoundland has the strongest light along the Atlantic Coast. There was a Marconi wireless station here that received the distress call and communicated with the Titanic as it sank. To get here was a 25 mile round trip on gravel road across a treeless tundra. We saw three pods of whales feeding not too far off shore which made the trip worthwhile.
Cupids, Canada's oldest British colony, is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. The flag is a replica of the one flown a hundred years ago for the 300th anniversary. There is an archaeological dig going on here that we did not visit.
In Harbour Grace the S.S. Kyle has been grounded since 1967 when an iceberg pushed it to its present position. Top is Nanc with Amelia Earhart who flew from the airstrip (right) here on the first successful solo trans-Atlantic flight by a woman.


MarkandRenita said...

"Dig their work", man I bet you got lot of groans while lecturing.
Really nice blogs of your Newfoundland adventures

Keir said...

Would love to find a Cupids flag to add to the collection in my classroom: