Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Exploring Rose Blanche

Rose Blanche Lighthouse
When approaching Rose Blanche, the most striking feature on the landscape is an impressive stone lighthouse, one of a series built between 1871 and 1873 along this coast. The Rose Blanche light is one of the last surviving stone lighthouses on the Atlantic Coast of Canada, and had fallen into disrepair by the 1990s, but the stone steps inside the tower were of such robust construction that they kept the building from falling down; restoration of the building was completed in 1999.

The Harbour at Rose Blanche

The little harbour of Rose Blanche is now accessible by road, but is still well off the beaten path so it sees fewer visitors than many more accessible Newfoundland communities. My own first visit here was on a superb July morning in 2015, on a cruise with  Adventure Canada. We dropped anchor just outside the harbour and made our way to shore in Zodiacs, landing at the public wharf and hiking to the lighthouse. The old path led around the inner harbour and over the hills, where the sun warmed berry fields and small ponds along the way. After seeing the lighthouse and the well-designed interpretation area at the end of the road, there was a warm welcome for the ship's passengers at St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church on the hill overlooking the harbour.

Lighthouse Point
Looking seaward
Rose Blanche now shares government with neighbouring Harbour Le Cou, the subject of a well-known traditional song from Newfoundland, here performed by the group Ryan's Fancy. If you're visiting by road, the community is located on Newfoundland's scenic southwest coast, about 45 minutes east of Port aux Basques via provincial Route 470.

Lighthouse interior

Take a walk through Rose Blanche via Google Street View here. Amenities include bed and breakfast accommodations, shops and cafes.

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