Did you know…?
The Vikings were actually the first Europeans to discover Canada?
Many centuries before Christopher Columbus, the Vikings actually landed in Newfoundland.
The first Viking was Bjarni Herjolfsson in 986 AD, who by accident, got swept into eastern Canada mid-storm as he was on his way to Greenland.¹ But the most famous landing us when Viking Leif Ericksson, who landed around 1000.² Apparently, he called his new home Vinland. Sadly, due to the cold winter, and the hostility from the Native Canadians, Leif and his posse only managed to survive one winter, before heading back to Iceland.
It is believed that Leif settled on L’Anse Aux Meadows,* which is now a National Historic Site in Canada, as it holds the remains of a Viking settlement.
¹ Alex Kasparie, The Norse Beat Colombus, http://precolumbianoceanictravel.weebly.com/the-vikings-in-north-america.html [n.d.], [Accessed: 23 Feb 2015], (paragraph 2). ² Karla Zimmerman et al, 'History', Discover Canada, (Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd, 2011), pp. 308-315 (p. 309).
* L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/4