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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Parks Day at L'Anse aux Meadows

July 17th was Parks Day across Canada. In addition this year Parks Canada is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and so this past Parks Day was special for many people who have grown up enjoying our National Parks.

At L'Anse aux Meadows, despite the construction that is still going on in the Visitor Centre, and despite the incessant downpour that occurred yesterday, we were still able to enjoy Parks Day. For visitors we offered our regular tours of the archeological site. Despite the rain and the icy winds many brave souls came out while our interpreters gave them a background on the mounds that they saw in front of them. In fact, yesterday I, who started about a week ago, delivered my first tour of the archeological remains. We deliver tours in both English and French, though our French language tours are largely by request.

L'Anse aux Meadows, along with a newly renovated Visitor Centre, also has a newly groomed interpretive walking trail this year. The trail is 2.2 kms, and takes visitors right along Epaves Bay. At the moment it is also the only means of getting to the archeological site from the main parking lot. Yesterday the site previewed the new tour, From Fog to Bog, that it will be conducting and while no one, because of the wind and the rain, partook of the 11:00 tour there were two hardy souls from Germany that joined Kevin, one of the interpreters, on the 3:00. The new tour is an hour and a half and should prove to be a popular addition once it is added to the site's programming.

A highlight of the day was the Sagas and Shadows encore presentation that was held in the reconstructed longhouse. Michael Sexton, a.k.a Bjorn the Beautiful, enraptured a record 36 attendees with his renditions of several of the Icelandic Sagas. Shadows and Sagas is typically held on Tuesday nights, around 8pm, and usually there is a fee of $22 for the performance, but as it was Parks Day all our events were free. Partridgeberry jam and drink from local manufacturers at the Dark Tickle was provided for the onlookers.