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Just back from: Newfoundland

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Newfoundland is a large island off Canada's Atlantic Coast
  • It is part of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's easternmost province
  • Friendly people, local music and rugged scenery impressed iReporter Margaret Zubert

(CNN) -- Remote and wild, the windswept island of Newfoundland off Canada's Atlantic Coast offers Viking history, stunning rocky landscapes and warm, welcoming locals.

iReporter Margaret Zubert, from Sudbury in the Canadian province of Ontario, recently traveled to Newfoundland as part of a travel quest.

"My goal is to visit all the Canadian provinces on the premise that even though I love to travel to other countries, I should also know my own country too. So, after the Newfoundland trip, I only have one more province to go!" she said.

The large island, which is part of Canada's easternmost province, Newfoundland and Labrador, even has its own time zone -- a half-hour ahead of neighbors to the west.

Zubert, 63, made the trip to Newfoundland with her sister-in-law, Sylvia. They took a 12-day bus tour from Deer Lake in the northwest, along the Northern Peninsula and then south along the east coast to St. John's.

The tour was operated by McCarthy's Party, a local company.

iReporter Margaret Zubert took a 12-day tour of Newfoundland.
iReporter Margaret Zubert took a 12-day tour of Newfoundland.

"Our tour escort was a retired school principal who was just a fountain of information about the history, the people and the culture of the province," Zubert said.

Zubert answered the following questions about her trip:

Favorite spots

That is a tough one to answer since we visited so many wonderful places. I'll give two places: St. John's, the capital city, because it's so different from most North American cities, and Conche, a small fishing village on the Northern Peninsula, which has the most fabulous tapestry I've seen outside of Europe.

Don't-miss experience

Don't miss the chance to hear the locals perform! At almost every stop, local fiddlers and singers performed their own music. At times, it was toe-tapping dances or sea shanties; at other times, sad ballads that brought a tear to the eye.

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First impression

I was amazed by how rugged the landscape was and how close the sea was to every community. It's obvious that this harsh environment has helped to shape a tough and resilient people.

Lasting memory

I will always remember the friendliness of the people. They were courteous yet funny, helpful but proud.

Three adjectives that capture this place

Scenic, rugged, resilient

Biggest surprise

The amazing history -- from Vikings, to explorers, to current-day oil rigs off the coast.

Most delicious food, drink or place to eat

Maybe not most delicious, but most notable is the local rum, Screech. If you go to Newfoundland, you have to be Screeched in!

Most meals featured fish, and the featured fish there is cod. We had wonderful fish chowders and fish cakes. Atlantic salmon was also very good.

Check out Zubert's photos above for more on the places she visited. Have you been on a trip recently? Share your story at Just back from on iReport.com.