Senior Icelanders Visit Nova Scotia
02 September, 2009
Jonas Thor, tour director of Vesturheimur sf Thortravels, and Almar Grimsson, President of the Icelandic National League, brought 48 senior Icelanders to Nova Scotia on September 10th, 2009, for a one week visit. This was their first organized tour to Nova Scotia.
The Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia hosted the group at Markland on Sunday, September 13th. The group were introduced to the executive/members of the Society and were told the story of Markland and the Memorial Cairn erected in 2000. After a half hour walk into the old settlement, the group came to Lot 3 (Stadatunga, Sigurdur
Jonsson) where the Society plans to erect a erect a replica of the log cabins built by the Government of Nova Scotia for the pioneer settlers (l875-l88l). The visit ended with a drive to Moose River Gold Mines Provincial Park for a picnic and a visit to the local museum.
Jonas Thor wrote a message to the Society as follows: “I can honestly say that this day will be the highlight of the tour. The arrival at the cairn, your very excellent plan, flags, Icelandic music, refreshments, but first and foremost, the very warm welcome we all felt as we stepped off the bus. Many may not understand the English language all too well, but a warm welcome never goes unnoticed…We will begin our plans right away for
next year. This will be an annual event”.
On Monday, September 14th, the group travelled to the South Shore. The first stop was in Lunenburg where the Bluenose was built. Next stop was Mahone Bay to take pictures of the three churches. Finally a stop at Peggys Cove to see the lighthouse and the DeGarthe Monument.
On Wednesday, September 16th, the group motored to the Annapolis Valley.First stop was the look off at Blomidon (183 metres). The group had lunch in Wolfville where they got to see Acadia University. The bus then took them to Grand Pre where the expulsion of the Acadians took place in 1755. The last stop was at Gaspereau Vineyards, where the group were able to test 6 different kinds of wine.
The weather could not have been any better. September is a great time to visit Nova Scotia. The leaves are beginning to change colours. The apple trees are in full bloom. The Society was honored to host the Icelanders on this visit. We look forward to another group of people coming next fall. Jonas is also making plans to take a group of people from Halifax to Iceland (3.5 hour flight) in June 2010.
J. Marshall Burgess, QC
Chair of the Icelandic Memorial Society
of Nova Scotia