Prince Edward Island, home of Anne of Green Gables

Trip Start Aug 07, 2013
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Flag of Canada  , Prince Edward Island,
Friday, September 13, 2013

We set off in the morning for some more coastal driving before heading along the motorway to Caribou and the free ferry crossing to Prince Edward Island (PEI). Until May 1997 the ferry was the only means of getting to the island.  In 1997 a 12km (8 miles) bridge was opened.  Now, no one pays to enter PEI – the bridge and ferry tolls are paid only on departure or, as the locals like to say, only if you decide to leave!

The ferry was a good chance to have a bit of a relax after a lot of driving (as mentioned in previous post) and also provided great amusement!  Jenny did a lot of driving today and as we arrived at the booth for the ferry terminal, Jenny had some trouble opening the electric windows!

There are four doors in our car, and each window is electric.  First Jenny opened my window (passenger side), then the rear passenger window.  Then she thought she had solved it and opened the driver's side rear window!  So she started talking to the lady without realising that her window was still closed!!  The lady found this very amusing and eventually Jenny got her window open and explained that it was a rental car!

We arrived in Prince Edward Island, whose main tourist attraction is Anne of Green Gables, the books (published between 1908 and 1939) written by L.M. Montgomery who was born and grew up on the island.  The books were unknown to me but Jenny was very excited!

Bar this PEI is famous for potatoes, red dirt (mud), mosquitoes, and some very scenic coastal views.

For dinner on our first night, we sampled some of the local seafood at a very cool but casual restaurant called Richard’s on the waterfront.  We tried the local fish and a lobster roll which was very nice.

Our first full day we visited Anne’s house, or at least the farm she based her description of Anne’s house on.  This was a well looked after place (run by Parks Canada, so included in our annual pass) with a couple of pleasant short walks, which according to Jenny feature in the books. The original farmhouse here has been restored and items placed in the rooms to match descriptions from the books.  Anne is so popular on the island that it is hard to believe she is actually a fictional character!!  Locals talk about her lovingly.  We also visited the grave of L.M. Montgomery which is only a 5 minute walk from the farmhouse.  In 1942 just after her death, L.M. Montgomery was declared a person of National Significance by the Historic Board of Canada.

From seeing Anne and drinking some of her very tasty raspberry pop we headed off to Charlottetown, the capital of PEI.  The town itself is nice and we had a pleasant walk around and visited Province House.  At Province House the first meeting was held in 1864 by the province / states that eventually joined up to become the nation that we now know of as Canada.  The house is free to visit and includes a 17 minute video of the story of the first meeting which led to the creation of Canada!  I was a little tired so must confess I nodded off once or twice for a few seconds!  Despite this not so ringing endorsement from me I would recommend a visit if you are in town.

From here we went to Greenwich, a pretty bay and headland with a large beach.  In addition to being a popular spot for locals on a sunny day it is also VERY popular with mosquitos!  We didn’t get too badly bitten but it made for an uncomfortable walk.  From here we arrived at a local restaurant at 1901 to be told they closed at 1900!  They did serve us (thankfully) and we had a good meal but we were surprised to hear they closed so early!

The drive home took around 45 minutes and we made good progress thanks to Jenny’s excellent map reading.  The roads are well signposted but they have come up with a network system that is not based on the fact that the roads run concurrently.  The 6, which was our road home is a combination of junctions and other roads so a map reader is very handy!  Jenny’s map reading style is a little unorthodox (involves a lot of turning the map so she is facing the same way as the map) but she gets us there (almost every time)!

We were up and out the following morning after an ok night at the Brackley Beach Hostel.  The hostel is nice enough, if a little worn in general, but the real problem is mosquitos!  The hostel has them throughout and does not have fly screens on all the doors.  To clear our room I spent ages and probably squashed around 10 mosquitos.  Then Jenny was pounced upon by a scorpion whilst I was in the bathroom!  I was a little surprised to hear this and managed to hunt it down!  It was actually an earwig haha!  It was that sort of hostel.

Our first stop of the day was a fancy museum / café / shop where Jenny saw lots of things she would like to buy if she had the money or a bag big enough! Haha. (see photos)

Today was the first day (of our two week trip) where the weather has really stopped us from enjoying the scenery and outdoors! 

Our next stop was Dalvay by the Sea.  An Edwardian hotel, it is a beautiful building inside and out and a pretty setting on the north coast of PEI close to the beach.  It is also featured in some of the Anne of Green Gables books.  As we pulled up in the car park, we noticed two people standing on the veranda – we thought they were guests at a wedding as they seemed to be pretty dressed up.  We didn’t notice that they never seemed to move and we were quite surprised to walk around the corner and see Wills and Kate in front of us!!  Dalvay made international headlines in 2011 when on their Royal Tour of Canada, Prince William and Kate visited Dalvay, had a dragon boat race as well as Prince William landing a helicopter on the lake at the hotel!  (See picture of Jenny with Wills and Kate).  If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me and Jenny!  I don’t know how much it costs to stay but I’m guessing it was more than 40 GBP (per night for the two of us) that we paid at the hostel! 

From here we drove down to Summerside, a small town in PEI.  Summerside features a street called Glover Shore Rd (see photo of me in the pouring rain).  After lunch and a short walk around we were off to the Confederation Bridge that would take us to New Brunswick and then onto Nova Scotia and our stop for the night a charming old house now a hostel in Wentworth.

The bridge is impressive at over 8miles long. It costs $45 CAD to cross but this includes the ferry we took earlier over to the island so it’s not so bad.
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