They probably reached the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland; some think that the farthest point south reached by the settlers, as described in the sagas, fits best with Maryland or Virginia, but others contend that the lands about the Gulf of St. The area was named Vinland, as grapes grew there, but it has been suggested that the “grapes” referred to were in fact cranberries.Attempts at colonization were unsuccessful; the Norsemen withdrew, and, although the Greenland colonies lingered on for some four centuries, little knowledge of these first discoveries came down to colour the vision of the seamen of Cádiz or Bristol.
About 890 , Ohthere of Norway, “desirous to try how far that country extended north,” sailed round the North Cape, along the coast of Lapland to the White Sea.
Herodotus tells of five young adventurers of the tribe of the Nasamones living on the desert edge of Cyrenaica in North Africa, who journeyed southwest for many months across the desert, reaching a great river flowing from west to east; this presumably was the Niger, although Herodotus thought it to be the Upper Nile.
with 60 ships and 30,000 colonists “to found cities.” Even allowing for a possible great exaggeration of numbers, this expedition, if it occurred, can hardly have been the first exploratory voyage along the coast of West Africa; indeed, Herodotus reports that Phoenicians circumnavigated the continent about 600 .
Where he landed he found a wooden prow with a horse carved on it, and he was told by the Africans that it came from a wrecked ship of men from the west. Scylax traveled overland to the Kabul River, reached the Indus, followed it to the sea, sailed westward, and, passing by the Persian Gulf (which was already well known), explored the Red Sea, finally arriving at Arsinoë, near modern Suez.
The greater part of the campaigns of the famous conqueror Alexander the Great were military exploratory journeys.
He may have sailed around Britain; he describes it as a triangle and also relates that the inhabitants “harvest grain crops by cutting off the ears…and storing them in covered granges.” Around Thule, “the northernmost of the British Isles, six days sail from Britain,” there is “neither sea nor air but a mixture like sea-lung…binds everything together,” a reference perhaps to drift ice or dense sea fog.