Ferryland adventures; icebergs, interesting places, and an incredible picnic

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Ferryland Iceberg
On the beach at Ferryland. The rusty bits on the left are the remains of the Tormhavan, a ship that sank in Ferryland Harbour Oct. 29, 1926.

Yesterday’s adventure took us to Ferryland via Brigus South and netted us two icebergs, a house and a half, a dropped shed, a marvelous picnic, a tired border collie, and a lighthouse pyramid.

The second of the icebergs you can see above. It’s grounded in Ferryland Harbour and is absolutely spectacular.

But the house and a half? Well, that was in Brigus South.

Let me back up.

We left St. John’s, bound for Ferryland with an ambition to do one or two interesting geocaches. The first of these (which turned out to be the nicest of the day), was in Brigus South. You’ll know you’re in Brigus South because of this odd little cabin:

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Odd cabin in the shape of an iceberg built many years ago.

It was there and in good repair about fifteen years ago when John and I were backpacking large chunks of the East Coast Trail, but has since been effectively abandoned. I remember that at the time, it was reputed to belong to some “rich European” of Scandanavian origin. Not sure of the substance of this, but that was what we were told.

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Rowan, who is clearly angling for a job promoting tourism in Newfoundland.

In any event, there was an iceberg.

After gawking at the iceberg and setting a few tourists on the correct trail, we turned around to see this old house. And the more unfortunate shed behind it:

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I believe “oops” is the only word that I can use here.

And driving back through Brigus South, we spotted a lovely little house. And a half a house.

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Yellow house and a grey half-house.

More likely it’s the add-on to a house that has since been demolished or maybe the add-on itself has been moved (Newfoundlanders have a long tradition of moving buildings around).

Then we scurried on to Ferryland. We were getting hungry and there was a picnic awaiting us. One of the best picnics in Canada, in fact.

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Rowan, modelling the Ferryland Lighthouse

The folks at Lighthouse Picnics (they’re on Facebook, too) have hit on and executed a gem of an idea.

Set up in the old Ferryland Lighthouse, they offer fresh and tasty picnic lunches and afternoon teas that can be consumed out on a blanket on the rolling green hillside surrounding the lighthouse.

We called ahead for a reservation (very strongly recommended) and showed up at our appointed time to eat.

When we got there, we looked at the menu, made our selections and waited for our picnic basket to be ready. The main room of the lighthouse looks like this:

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Much work has gone into sprucing the place up. There are small exhibits throughout the building about the history of the lighthouse and the area.

While we waited, we wandered around. You can look down on the kitchen from upstairs:

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A busy kitchen, indeed!

On days of inclement weather, they also have indoor areas to eat. Since it was a bit on the nippy side, we opted to try out the indoor seating area. Since I’ve always been there on warm sunny days, I’d never even looked at this option before.

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The Coal Pound, rebuilt several years ago and now a lovely indoor eating area.

This is the part of the lighthouse that once held coal, lamp oil and supplies. It was also once the pottery studio of Gail Squires, when she and Gerry Squires lived here. The Coal Pound fell into ruin and was completely rebuilt some few years ago. We had the area to ourselves, so Rowan pup made herself comfortable under the table and hoped for scraps. Which never fell.

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Some of our picnic.

The basket arrived and we fell upon it with gusto! The ham, brie, and apple sandwiches are my favourite and the orzo salad and freshly squeezed lemonade go perfectly with them.

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Dessert! As you can see, the gingerbread with vanilla sauce was very popular with our crew.

The food was oh-so-fresh and delicious and we discovered that they even sell very decent cups of coffee, which can be tricky things to find on the southern shore unless you know where to look.

To note, should you venture out (and you SHOULD venture out):

  1. You really need a reservation. Trust me on this. Email jill@lighthousepicnics.ca or phone 709-363-7456.
  2. They take VISA, MC, debit cards and cash.
  3. It will take you anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour to walk to the lighthouse from the parking area.
  4. The first hill is a doozy, but after that, it’s smooth sailing.
  5. They have washrooms upstairs and in the Coal Pound.
  6. Dogs are welcomed. Keep them under control so that they don’t exploit someone else’s picnic!
  7. Leave plenty of time on your trip to wander around the Downs (grassy area near lighthouse). Bring a camera.
  8. There are whales in whale season (late June to mid-August).
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After lunch, we wandered downhill to the rocks and clambered around for a time.

And, of course, we made a (very small) lighthouse pyramid.

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Lighthouse pyramids. A new family tradition.

I’ve enjoyed several of these picnics over the past few years and each time I leave wanting to go back again.

Ferryland has that effect on a person, particularly when it’s sunnier and warmer down the shore than in St. John’s. Can’t wait to venture back again later in summer!

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Karin Smith says:

    We love Ferryland and the Lighthouse. I LUST after their curry chicken sandwich. Counting down the days until our July picnic!

  2. hannifrieda says:

    I’ve always wanted to live in a light house i think its fascinating. The interior this lighthouse is amazing. It looks so cosy!

    1. VickyTH says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! It truly is a fantastic building and they’ve put so much work into it.

  3. Dick Murphy says:

    Your blogs, especially this one, whet my appetite to visit your beautiful island. It’s a long way from Silver Spring, Maryland, but someday, perhaps in 2013, I’ll make the trip.

    1. VickyTH says:

      Let me know when you decide to make the assay! BTW, Ferryland was Lord Baltimore’s colony, before he ventured into your fine state and set up in Maryland. 🙂
      Thanks for swinging by!

  4. Tranquil Moments Photography says:

    Good Mrning Vicky, I’ve never been to Ferryland before. I have it on my “to do” list for this summer. Thanks for posting and sharing your wonderful photos 🙂

  5. The area is beautiful and a favorite destination for us, although we’ve yet to do a picnic from the lighthouse! Maybe this year will be the year!

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