№ 8 – Norris Point, Newfoundland, Canada

Norris Point is a quaint little town in Bonne Bay, within the beautiful Gros Morne National Park. It is home to the most excellent Bonne Bay Marine Station where we had a fun, educational time one morning, getting introduced, up close and personal, to some interesting sea creatures, some of which we even got the chance to touch.

While I was busy taking pictures of the sunset one evening, a local man was filling my husband and his dad in on all the latest local gossips. Later I learned that the man actually had his own show at the local radio station. We sure got all the gossips from the best source!

Anyway, I just realized that I had lost a two-day’s worth of photos from the Newfoundland trip due to some photo transferring kerfuffle that happened about a year ago. Pretty bummed about it, but there really isn’t much we can do about it. Oh well. Live and learn.

№ 7 – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Victoria is situated in Vancouver Island. We took a ferry ride there from the mainland. It was a pleasant one. We passed quite a few cute little islands along the way and enjoyed some beautiful views.

The picture above is of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. I believe it was tai chi day when we were there, which explains the crowd in front of it.

I don’t really remember much about this city other than that it was a beautiful city and that my husband accidentally drove the car into an opposing traffic lane one night. Ooops! I blame it on the stupid car GPS.

I would love to go back there again one day to see more of the city. We didn’t get to see much at the time due to time constraints.

№ 6 – Hvítserkur, Iceland

Of all the rock formations in Iceland that are said to have been a troll at some point, Hvítserkur is my favourite. It looks like a 15-meter tall monster rising out of the sea. Pretty awesome. We visited it on an unusually sunny day which happened to be the day of the 8th anniversary of our wedding. It was high tide when we got there so we couldn’t get closer to the rock. It was a beautiful spot nonetheless. I loved it and am glad that we found it even though its locations is a bit off the beaten path.

As we were driving out of the area, we were stopped by a young farmer who explained to us in broken English that the road was closed (in actuality, it was blocked by a tractor; it was a narrow, dirt road) because they were trying to get a flock of sheep to another pasture across the road. Three people were involved in the whole ordeal. They looked so frustrated and the flock of sheep so panicky. The whole thing lasted for about 10 minutes but I don’t think we would have minded so much if it had lasted longer because it was actually rather entertaining to watch.

So, if someone asked me how many Icelandic farmers it takes to get a flock of sheep across the road, I’d confidently say: it takes three, and a tractor.

№ 5 – Gatineau Park, Quebec, Canada

The photo is actually from the Mackenzie King Estate but it’s within the Gatineau Park so I’m not really cheating. The other photo I have of the park is kind of boring so this one will have to do it.

William Lyons Mackenzie King is the 10th Prime Minister of Canada. This estate was his summer home. Upon his death, he left his estate to the people of Canada. I was especially interested in all the ruins that can be found all over the estate but was somewhat disappointed to learn that the ruins were more like salvaged parts of various demolished buildings and not really ruins of buildings that used to be in the estate. It was still interesting to learn where the ruins came from. I think the arch in the picture came from a now demolished bank building.

And gosh, if you are a bug magnet like me, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT visit Gatineau Park in the springtime. The black flies will eat you alive! They are such a bunch of tiny, blood-sucking, flesh-eating jerks!

№ 4 – Reynisfjara, Iceland

We arrived at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland at the same time a bus full of tourists did. We tried to rush towards the beach to get some pictures without the horde of tourists in it but, alas, they were too fast! Then the weather changed from cloudy to cloudy with some drizzles and the wind started to pick up. Soon we found ourselves standing in the middle of a storm. We saw some pretty big waves crashing against the basalt columns this beach is famous for. A bunch of tourists took cover in a shallow cave. We just made sure we were standing far enough from the water because the waves on this beach are known to be treacherous. I heard it’s due to the fact that there is nothing between this beach and the South Pole.

Luckily the weather changed back to the way it was earlier after 5-10 minutes of stormy weather and the tourists took the opportunity to go back to the bus, except for this one guy who was busy taking close-up pictures of the rocks. I figured he must have thought we were part of the bus tour and the fact that we were still sticking around meant he was good. Just to let him know that we weren’t part of the tour, I asked my husband a little loudly (just loud enough for the tourist to overhear me) where we’re planning to drive to after this and where we’re going to have lunch. Well, dude got the hint and he started running towards the bus. Good thing the bus hadn’t left without him. Finally, we had the lovely beach all to ourselves. Win!

№ 3 – Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland, Canada

We took a boat tour here and the walk to where the boat tour started was like 3 km long through a swampy land. Being a whiny hiker, I was not impressed, especially since it was a sunny day. I always get grumpy on sunny days. Fortunately, the boat tour was worth the long walk. Like I mentioned in the haiku, this “pond” used to be a fjord connected to the sea before all the glaciers melted many, many years ago. The rock walls surrounding the “pond” are about 600 m high. The waterfalls on the right-hand side of the picture is called the Pissing Mare Falls (I kid you not). It is supposed to be one of the highest waterfalls in eastern North America at 350 m. All through the boat tour, I was crossing my fingers that no boulders would break off into the “pond” because the last time it happened in the early 20th century, it caused a 30 m tsunami!

I love Newfoundland. It’s kind of like Iceland but with more trees and moose and less volcanic activities. Will definitely go back there at some point.

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