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Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

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Brisbane, Australia
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Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

Hello - I have one day free after a conference in St John's Newfoundland next month, can possibly stretch it to two. I'm really interested in the history of Sth West France immigration to the area and originally had the bright idea to take a day trip to Halifax and explore the Acadian history. Then I saw how far it was .... So - onto plan B. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can make the best of my free 1-2 days in exploring the early immigration history and culture?

Thanks ;)

Scunthorpe, United...
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1. Re: Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

Have you seen this website?

www.heritage.nf.ca/society/fishery.html

Much of the early Basque fishing history was based in Labrador which is too far for a couple of days. There is a certain amount of Basque and French history around Placentia.

http://www.laval.k12.nf.ca/basques.htm

I had wondered about the Bonavista Pennsula.....(although this is more English history although the general principles are similar.)

There are the Ryan Premises in Bonavista which tell the history of the early fishing industry.

www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/nl/ryan/index.aspx

Just a short dive away is Random Passage Film set which is an accurate reconstruction of an 1800s fishing village. Locals run guided tours and are a wealth of information about the way of life and fishing.

http://www.randompassagesite.com/

I wrote a detailed trip report on both which can be found here:

http://www.randompassagesite.com/

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

Thank you so much for the links - lots of information in there. After reading through, I've been doing some more research myself - I have three choices I think, either stay in St John's and explore properly, take a day trip from St John's into surrounding areas (national parks etc) or do a day trip to St Pierre et Miquelon. That is the problem with these conferences - great to get overseas, but usually left with no time to explore all of the great sites at your fingertips!

Gros Morne National...
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3. Re: Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

Newfoundland is a classic example of "The winner writes the history". A lot of nationalities such as the Dutch laid claim to Newfoundland over the years but when they were pushed out their history went with them.

Check out the flights from St. John's to St. Pierre, I don't believe its possible to do this as a day trip. Unless you have a true, 24 hour day I don't believe you will have time to fly into SPEM, then back to St. John's then back to Ontario for your flight back to AU all in the same day.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

Thanks for the reply Doggles. My conference finishes on July 19th, and I fly out from St John's (to Australia) on July 21, so I have the full day of the 20th (as well as afternoon of the 19th) to explore. Now that I investigate further though, I see even with a flight in, it is too far, and I would have little time to explore. I was hoping for some kind of day trip where I could leave very early in the morning and return to St John's in the evening - didn't look that far until I realised the road goes to Fortune before the ferry to SPEM. Look's like a day in St John's is the go. Frustrating, as for quite a few reasons, the Basque history of the area really fascinates me. Of course my paper is on the last day, so I can't even sneak off early!

Gros Morne National...
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5. Re: Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

Organizers have told me that conferences in Newfoundland are always well attended, at least on paper, as there are always lot of empty seats in audience :)

6. Re: Basque History Newfoundland/Nova Scotia

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