Thursday, August 09, 2007

Vacation Pictures

Newfoundland & Labrador was just gorgeous. Absolutely, unstoppably gorgeous. Even the "big city" of St. John's was lovely. The amount of wilderness they have there is amazing. The entire province only has about half a million people in it, and it's not a small province.

Here is the Tablelands, in Gros Morne National Park. It's a barren, rocky place, where the rocks are thought to be millions of years old, brought up from the lower levels of the earth's crust by the collision of the continental plates.

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Here's Battle Harbour. It's a fishing village in Labrador, which was abandoned during the 60's because the government offered the residents incentives to move to more populated areas. Now they're restoring it, and you can stay on-site in some of the restored cottages, and there are other restored buildings you can tour, with lots of artifacts and so on. The island is gorgeous, and you can see whales and icebergs from shore. The guidebook said this would be the highlight of our trip, and it was definitely pretty close! We stayed in the doctor's house, which was a 3-bedroom cottage. If any other guests had booked in, we would have been sharing the bathroom, kitchen, etc, but since nobody did, we had the whole cottage to ourselves. It was great.

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Here's one of the icebergs we saw. Unfortunately, when we saw our favorite one, the camera was out of batteries. But this one was pretty good too, even though we didn't get too close to it.

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And finally, my favorite picture. We took a whale watching trip in Trinity with Ocean Contact. The owner is a bit of a kook, in my opinion - he had all these bizarre ideas about how if you look at something across the room, that means your mind is as big as the room. He also kept bragging about how he worked with Stephen Hawking, and did his PhD at MIT, etc. And he claims to be able to communicate with whales. So we had to sit through an hour-long talk from him at the inn before we actually got into the boat. The talk was interesting in parts but I often had to refrain from rolling my eyes. Anyways, then we suited up in these bright orange exposure suits which were supposed to protect us from the wet and cold. Mine didn't. The good thing about the trip was the boat was really small and close to the water, so when we got near a whale, we got a really good view. We saw one Minke whale from far off (nothing to write home about), one sperm whale from really close up, and one humpback whale from pretty close up. The humpback even breached (jumped completely out of the water) twice. That was really something to see (but of course we didn't capture that on film). So overall, despite the kooky owner and the leaky exposure suit, I'd say the whale watching trip was the highlight of our vacation. Maybe just because we managed to get *such* a great picture.

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ian said...

Great pictures! That first one looks like it belongs in a Highlander movie! And I really like the iceberg! I've never seen one in person.


Jeremy said...

Please drop me an e-mail as I would like to send you back a cleaned up copy of the iceburg, with color correction it is stunning... hope you don't mind?

Joy L. said...

Wow - those are some really great pics (esp. the whale!)