Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada

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So, we kind of eloped. We didn’t tell anyone and for months had made plans (Since January). Anna and I reviewed many places for consideration. We felt staying in Canada made the most sense as we love our country (wooo happy 150th!) and haven’t had a chance to explore it as much as we’d like. We looked at many both out east and west as well as going up north. The one place that jumped out right away was Fogo Island. The idea of getting married in one of the four corners of the world made so much sense, plus it’s beauty is both unique and breathtaking! Everything else felt like a compromise in comparison. By getting married in Fogo Island, we would be the middle point between Ukraine (Anna’s Family) and Calgary (Ali’s Family). (Well almost middle…. 4100km from Calgary, 6100km from Ukraine.. but there is this big ocean in the middle :P)

Fogo Island is located is the most eastern part of Canada, hence why it’s called “the corner of the world” by the Flat Earth Society. It is in Newfoundland and is home to only 2500 residents. It is a place of rugged nature, unique architecture, the friendliest people, and lots of fish. What you won’t find here is fast internet, traffic jams, an abundance of vegetables, or people staring at their phones.

Getting here is no mean feat, but for travellers like us, it’s kind of expected that we’d take an arduous journey to reach our unique and adventurous destination. Over the course of 36 hours we took 3 flights through 4 provinces. Than drove over 2 hours in our rental car, then had to take another 90-minute ferry ride until we finally arrived at our destination.

Our First Night

Once we arrived we made our way to Aunt Gladys’s place. This is one of 3 houses set up by The Old Saltbox Company. They have several more in other parts of the province. The idea is to live in a Saltbox, which is a type of home that is common in Newfoundland fishing towns where the ground is mostly rock and they need to be close to the water to fish every day. They’re small a-frame style homes that sit on either stilts or wood foundations. These homes date back to the late 1800’s and most of the are still standing today. We stayed here our first night. The next morning, we enjoyed the view of the ocean from the inlet we were sitting in as the waves brought icebergs to our yard.

The Inn on Fogo Island

We then proceeded to check into our main destination, The Fogo Island Inn. There is so much that could be said about the inn. It is one of the top hotels in the world. It only has 29 rooms, but the architecture is both modern, yet homey with the materials and touches that make a maritime destination. Each room faces the ocean and our room was fitted with a wood burning stove. Upon arriving we were greeted by the staff who took care of our every need. They were the friendliest and most helpful staff of any hotel we’ve ever been to. It’s true what they say, you arrive as guests, but leave as family, and that couldn’t have been truer for us.
The amazing thing about the inn is that it really takes environmental and ethical stewardship to the next level. All the furniture and linens they use are all made on the island. You see a nice chair, table cloth, or basket that you like at the inn, they will make it for you down the road employing a great many local artisans and craftspeople.

The Ceremony

We had everything arranged. After spending time with the staff and our photographer, we found the perfect place to hold the ceremony. The issue was having is that the weather was typical of Newfoundland, i.e. very windy with a touch of rain. With our hotel staff witnesses ready to go, we were ushered down to be married. The ceremony (commissioner, 2 hotel staff, photographer and us) went off beautifully on the rocks with the serenading ocean behind us. Afterwards we went on a roaming photo shoot of the island. The wind at this point really started hammering us, but it was so worth it! Upon our return, we were treated to a wonderful 7 course meal with wine pairing by their chef by the fire in the library.

Seeing the Island with Locals

We were lucky enough to have a tour of the island with a local. He explained how many of the people living on the island have been there most of their lives, and so have their predecessors. Our guide showed us the house he was born in, and still lives in today. I should point out our guide is definitely in his mid 70’s. He was full of life and took immense pleasure in showing us his home. He took us to lookout points, docks, and explained the process of fishing cod back in the old days when the cod was salted before the days of refrigeration. There are many small sheds that are on stilts that look like they’re floating over the water. They’re called cutting sheds. This is where the fish were brought from the boats to be prepared for consumption.
Little known fact, Fogo island is the only place in the world where almost every type of rock formation can be found in one place. The beauty of the land here is epic and awe inspiring. Rugged and lush, yet stark in it’s texture. We haven’t explored the rest of the Maritimes, but we haven’t seen anything else like it.

Living Like Locals

After our magical stay at the inn we went to another Saltbox called Mary’s place. Mary’s is in a different part of the island. Where Gladys’s was down in an inlet near Brimstone National Park, Mary’s is located up high overlooking another national park. The living space is intentionally moved to the 2nd floor where we can watch the waves crash against the rocks. Shopping here is not as abundant as shopping in a large city.  We had to plan well though, because of the long weekend and being in a small town the stores were all on reduced hours over the course of the Monday and Sunday, plus the weather was frankly crap. It was so windy (50km/hr + 110km gusts) the whistling kept us up at night, and it rained for a day straight. But none the less it was a very quiet and peaceful time.

Fogo Island is so unique and so Canadian, and I swear the reason we have a stereotype of being nice and kind is because of the Newfoundland folks. #happy150th 
Until the next flight... in Italy, Greece and Ukraine!
- Mr & Mrs
- A&A







Wedding photos are provided to us by our fantastic photographer Heather! (http://heathernolanphotography.com). The rest are by us :) 


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