Last June was a special month for me when finally, after many years of anticipation, I got to take my long-awaited trip to Newfoundland and Labrador on Canada’s gorgeous Atlantic coast.
There were many reasons why I wanted to go but one of the major draws was to see Iceberg Alley, the waters of the Atlantic Ocean that run along the coast at the easternmost point of North America.
As the weather gets warmer, giant swathes of frozen water break off the ice shelves and begin their journey south. Every year, between 400 and 800 icebergs pass along Iceberg Alley, some of them 10,000 years old.
A couple of iceberg stats:
While each berg moves at its own pace, dictated by ocean currents, waves, wind and its own shape and size, the average drift speed of an iceberg is 0.7 km/h.
There is truth to the expression “the tip of the iceberg”, as only a small portion of it can be seen above water; typically, 90 percent of its mass is underwater.
We had a couple of nights of our road trip in the world’s iceberg capital, Twillingate, a group of islands in the Notre Dame Bay on Newfoundland’s northeast coast.
It's a small, picturesque fishing village containing various types of accommodation and some lovely seafood restaurants, and it's one of the best locations for viewing these giants of nature as they travel down from Greenland.
Early summer is usually the best time to spot them, but it can vary from year to year with them being seen on occasion in April with some even staying until July.
One of the best ways to view the icebergs is by getting out on the water, and there are several tour operators offering boat trips.
So, while the UK was experiencing a heatwave, I wrapped up in as many layers as possible in the rain and the fog to join one of them, Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours, and ventured out to sea.
It was such an amazing feeling and sight that I quickly forgot how cold and wet I was and just took in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Even though we saw the largest icebergs up close from the water, we were fortunate to also spot them whilst driving along the coastal roads.
Icebergs are not just for viewing though; their water is used in spirits like Iceberg Vodka, Gin, and Rum and the famous unique blue bottled Iceberg Beer, brewed locally in the Quidi Vidi Brewery in St John.
Not being a big drinker, I was more interested in the bathroom toiletries made from iceberg water in one of the hotels we stayed in, and honestly, my hair has never felt so clean.
This was a special part of my latest amazing trip to Canada, and I will be sharing more experiences from my travels in due course.