Distance: 19km (11.8 miles)
We’re taking a break in Gander for a day, to recharge, see a hairdresser (guess which one of us ;)) and trying to buy a butane/propane canister, and it felt good to see Gander’s Airport come closer and closer. It may be hard to imagine now, but at some point Gander Airport was the world’s largest airport – it was long used as a refuelling stop for transatlantic flights.
Gander is also known because of the attacks of September 11, 2001, when the US closed its airspace and airplanes were rerouted to airports outside of the US. Almost 40 planes were ordered to land at Gander Airport. The population of the town doubled overnight. Until airspace was reopened, the inhabitants of Gander housed and fed all those stranded passengers. We found the book about this event (The Day the World Came to Town) a very interesting read, and there’s also a musical (Come From Away) about it that retells the story.
When we arrived in Gander, we first explored the area around the airport a bit, because that’s were the original town was located. The T’Railway passes right alongside it. About 15,000 people have lived here, and all that is left now are a few foundations of buildings. Incredible how quickly a town can completely disappear!
The next day we spent a big part of the day looking for a butane/propane canister, with the help of Terry of the T’Railway Council, who took us on a kind of sightseeing trip around town trying to find a canister that would fit our camping stove. No such luck however, but we did find Peter Kearly, who gave us his Kelly Kettle to boil water! What a great idea! We’ll return it when we’re done walking, but we’re really happy that we don’t have to do without our midday coffee. Thank you, Terry and Peter!