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Saturday, 22 September 2018

From on board: Gros Morne Rock Stars

#expeditioncruising .

From on board Silversea Silver Cloud

Location: Woody Point, Newfoundland
Date: Thursday, 20 September 2018

Rock Stars: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

It's not every day you get to see the centre of the Earth, but that's what's going on at UNESCO-listed Gros Morne National Park near the delightful hamlet of Woody Point, Newfoundland. Huh? Well, stick with me on this.

The Main (and only) street in Woody Point (RE)

Just outside the town is the Parks Canada Discovery Centre devoted to the neighbouring 1800 sqkm Gros Morne National Park which, by the way, was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1987.

UNESCO state: “The property presents the complete portrayal of the geological events that took place when the ancient continental margin of North America was modified by plate movement by emplacement of a large, relocated portion of oceanic crust and ocean floor sediments.”

Here in the park, we go on a leisurely hike with our guide who fills us with knowledge of this most unusual landscape.

Silversea guests explore the landscape of Gros Morne NP (RE)

In the days when the theory of plate tectonics was still hotly debated, Newfoundland-born geologist Harold Williams (among others) advanced the theory of colliding super-continents much to the dismay of the established theorists, but the landscape of the Tablelands within Gros Morne held all the evidence he needed.

Great hiking and views in the Gros Morne NP (Parks Canada)

Here we see a distinct change in the landscape with barren, toxic Martian-like rocks on one side and lush green hills on the other. The minerals disgorged in the violent 'obduction' of the continental plates contain both the ancient ocean floor and minerals rocks like peridotite and chromite which can only come from the Earth's semi-liquid mantle. Got it? Enough geology then.

Silversea Silver Cloud at anchor in scenic Bonne Bay, Newfoundland. (RE)

Before we reboard Silver Cloud there's time for a bit of a stroll through the tiny township and its delightful retro buildings, bars and shops.

Expedition Cruising editor, Roderick Eime, is travelling as a guest of Silversea with assistance from  Tourism Canada.