Monday, November 2, 2009

Atlantic Canada – Our Trip – Part II

Day 5 – Ferry to Prince Edward Island and a Day at the Beach

We got up bright and early and headed up to the Ferry dock. We were grateful the winds had come down a bit, as we’d heard on the radio that ferry service had been suspended the night before due to high winds and rain. It was however (as the picture from our rental car shows), very cold…


The sun started coming out during the crossing, although we had a few of those stomach dropping moments where you’d hear a random “oh my” from folks as the boat pitched up and down through some large waves. Here are a few snaps shots from the ferry leaving Nova Scotia and landing at Prince Edward Island (PEI).

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Given the weather was getting better as we were getting closer to PEI, we decided to make it a day at the Anne of Green Gables (cliche, but we had too…) Parks Canada and PEI National Park.

Here are a few snaps across the PEI as we drove towards Green Gables. One of the first things we noticed that a lot of the roads (even those marked as pretty main roads) didn’t have shoulders in the traditional sense. The road went right to grass. Gave one more the impression of driving along a country lane. Definitely gave the place a whole lot of character.













We’d had a good portion of the Green Gables park to ourselves (it was still pretty early) and then the tour buses (ES and I do our best to “our run them” so that we aren’t battling for space/sites/etc when the busses dump off large groups all at once…) pulled in. We headed in for the introductory movie and each person (in turn) felt the compelling need to come to our specific row (there had to be at least 10 rows) and cross in front of us (there were entrances on either side)…ES and I just shook our heads and chuckled. Sometimes human behavior is so odd that people saw those in front of them do this so it just kept happening….I digress. We saw the intro movie then set out to see Anne’s House (or at least what they have re-created as Anne’s House) and got a little history on LM Montgomery. We walked down "lover’s lane” as featured in the book and saw the “haunted wood.” The whole area does loose a little of it’s charm given it’s next to an 18 hole golf course. It was, however, still a beautiful day and we took advantage of the the day and took a stroll and went through the house. I even managed to get ES into the “Anne wig” for a photo!




































We had a lovely picnic at Green Gables (complete with Lobster rolls) and headed off to PEI National Park. The views were amazing. Given it was such a lovely day, we headed out for a long walk along the dunes, marsh, and the beach for a few hours.



























Next stop…Charlottetown (PEI capital). Although it looks big on the map (scale is very small as we were driving), it didn’t take long for us to cross half the island and make it to Charlottetown for our 1st night on the island.

We stayed at an Inn close to Victoria Park (see below) and found this amazing Italian restaurant for dinner, where we both had homemade ravioli with prosciutto and cream sauce. We got there early and a good thing too – we heard the waiter tell the next set of diners that they were out for the night.

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Day 6 – Charlottetown, PEI and points west

We headed to downtown PEI to do a little exploring the next morning. Our first stop was Providence House, the site of meeting that worked out the confederation proceedings for all of Canada. We also visited St. Dunstan’s, the island’s largest basilica.


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After walking around the streets of Charlottetown, we decided to head out “west” to the West and North Cape coastal drives.

Along the way, we stopped at a wonderful bakery, called the 3 Sisters bakery, where we had homemade hot turkey and beef sandwiches and bought yummy treats called “tweeds,”” which were a chocolate cake treat with a maple frosting sprinkled with nuts.

IMG_2281We visited an Acadian (said with a hard ca unlike in the US) museum. There is a large French population on the island; after visiting the museum it made more sense why we saw French flags with a yellow star – the Acadian flag. We only wished we’d found a restaurant open for the season….Alas we did not.

We kept driving to the west, looking for the “bottle house” as noted by our guide book. When we found it, it was closed for the season, but ES inquired at the door if we could just take a few photos (which we were graciously allowed to do). If was really interesting. Three of the houses were made entirely out of different types/colors/sizes of bottles. It was a grayish day, otherwise we may have seen even more brilliant coloration with our photos.

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We spent the remainder of the day driving along the coast and heading up to North Cape, the northern most point of the island (on the western portion). It was so windy, that it was unbearable to walk around for more than a few minutes. The folks there have taken good advantage of all that wind….a good bit of this area was covered in turbines to harvest the wind power. We were pleasantly surprised that we found the Visitor’s Center/Gift Ship still open (a large number of places on the island were already closed for the year). It was the last day it was open…and it closed in ~30 from the time we got there. Even more surprisingly, 2 more cars pulled up in the time we were there. Nothing like a last minute rush.

We stayed at a small B&B (we were the only guests that evening – like many of the places we stayed). The Inn was in a very small village and had beautiful wood work. ES and I walked through the Inn and admired all the handwork that must have gone into the trim, staircase, furniture, etc. It was however, a very old house, and for a time (the Innkeepers stated they’d be out until late that evening) we were all alone. And it made lots of scary house sounds.

It was, alas, our last night on PEI. Off to the Confederation Bridge and New Brunswick the next morning.