The following day held more Viking-related discovery as we made our way in to Newfoundland’s northernmost tip to the L’anse aux Meadows archaeological site. We landed utterly soaked from the zodiac ride, rain and wind pelting our faces on our way in. A warm bus awaited to deliver us to the visitor center, where we had a chance to dry out a bit and watch an introductory film about the discovery of the Norse village on the site in 1960. After the film ended, our guide announced the walking tour was beginning; those still shivering from the zodiac transfer were not excited to step outside in the drizzling rain, but we all soldiered on down to the sites of several longhouses, now not much more than raised outlines in the ground. Forges were also identified--we learned these were utilized mainly for boat repair, instead of the much more dramatic notions of weaponry I had in my mind from tales of the Berserkers. As we made our way forward through the excavation sites, it was clear how rich the land had been for sourcing that iron; the creek running through the site contained so much of the element that the water flowed a reddish hue.
Further along, we came to the second attraction: Norstead, a recreation of a Viking settlement complete with sod longhouses, smithy, and other crafting workshops with costumed interpreters. Dad, a wooden boat builder himself, especially loved the boat shed, which housed a full-sized replica of a Viking ship that actually sailed from Greenland to L’anse aux Meadows. It was almost like a mini-Viking Disneyland, and despite the drizzly weather, Dad and I considered L’anse aux Meadows a definite highlight of our trip.