By Kevin Tuerff
Special to The Telegram
Imagine if you were stranded in a foreign country, and you had to rely on the kindness of strangers. Do you think you’d go on holiday with these people 17 years later? When I was stranded in Gander, I was profoundly grateful for the compassionate hospitality, but I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see them again.
On Tuesday, I travelled with 9/11 friends who live in Gander to Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador as part of the Come From Away Experience tour. Twillingate is an active fishing community on a harbour, a 90-minute drive from Gander. It’s an active tourism destination starting in spring when the icebergs arrive. There are several art galleries, museums, restaurants, a brewery and winery.
Despite the forecast for showers, we had a beautiful sunny day. I checked into the Anchor Inn Hotel & Suites. The rooms are beautiful, with wood floors and locally-made quilts on the bed. Each room as a view of the Twillingate Harbour. The complex includes Georgie’s Restaurant with great food and views, Blue Barrel Café and Captain’s Pub, all which are open to the public. The café includes paintings by local artists and other crafts.
My Gander friends knew the first spot we should visit was Long Point lighthouse in nearby Crow Head. We also stopped off to hike around Shady Cove, site of a former copper mine. The waters of the North Atlantic are a deep blue wonder to behold.
Read more from Kevin Tuerff’s travels here.
Seeing icebergs in Iceberg Alley is unpredictable. Last night, they moved on toward Fogo Island. There are several iceberg and whale watching boat tours in Twillingate, Bonavista, Fogo Island, Bay Bulls and St. John’s areas. The best way to find their location is through Newfoundland Iceberg Reports Facebook group, which is managed by Diane Davis, one-half of the composite character Beulah Davis in “Come From Away.”
Next stop was Auk Island Winery and Downhome Gift Shoppe. We did the wine tasting of their uniquely branded wines (up to five tastes for $6). Each is made with local blueberries, partridgeberries, bakeapples, raspberries and crow-berries. I really liked the Krooked Cod, Funky Puffin and Mummers’ Wine and the popular Moose Joose.
For dinner, we ate at R & J’s restaurant. The fish & chips are popular, but I opted for the full lobster meal, fresh from the North Atlantic. It was delicious.
Finishing the night at Captain’s Pub was fun. Mike Sixonate is a local musician who plays Newfoundland music and tells stories. Deborah Bourden, co-owner of the Anchor Inn, tipped off Mike about my presence in the pub, and soon I was called up on stage to tell my 9/11 story in Gander, and briefly discuss my book and the Broadway musical.
The people of Twillingate are just as friendly and kind as the folks in Gander, and it’s no surprise that locals here collected food, blankets and pillows and drove them down to Gander to help out in 2001.
Kevin Tuerff is author of Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11, one of the true stories inspiring the smash-hit musical Come From Away. He is also an ambassador for Charter for Compassion. See more photos and videos from #USA2NL Maxxim Vacation’s Come From Away Experience @kevintuerff on Instagram and Twitter.
In the spirit of “Come From Away,” we’re encouraging readers to commit random acts of kindness this week. Send photos and details of your acts of kindness to this paper’s social media accounts. We’ll share them with our readers and https://www.payitforward911.org/.