18 August 2012

Trans-Canadian Summer, part IV: Prince Edward Island

The land of milk and honey!  The land of milk and honey!  Er....rather, the land of Anne of Green Gables, which is very nearly as good.  Imagine me skipping a bit, as childhood excitement takes over.

P.E.I., as it is more efficiently called, is an (is)land of striking red beaches, a very long bridge (8 mi/12.9 km), quaint towns, and countless farms.  In fact, if it were not for the fact that Lucy Maude Montgomery's spunky redheaded character trumps nearly everything, the island would be known mostly for its seafood and...get this...potatoes.  You absolutely cannot imagine how many acres of potatoes we saw during our ~48 hours on the island.

Jerod took this photo, the highlight of which is that behind
the acres and acres of potatoes, the ocean stretches out  into the distance.
What a delightful short visit it was!  FYI dear readers, this post is about as long as our 2-day visit - lots of photos, limited text.  Here we go....

After a strategic-though-damp night camped out at Murray Beach Provincial Park (New Brunswick), we crossed Confederation Bridge and headed, in a zig-zaggy fashion, along the Northumberland Straits shoreline.  Jerod patiently stopped for my frequent photo requests, and eventually, we cut inland and north-east, towards the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

First photo stop - a view of Confederation Bridge
fading out of sight in the direction of New Brunswick.

The first major point on our itinerary was - you guessed it - food.  Thanks to (way too much) research on Trip Advisor, I had learned of a little seafood café located at the end of the pier in North Rustico Harbor.  We had a strong appetite by the time we arrived at the Blue Mussel Café, and our only regret is that we did not have time for several more meals there!

The food was fantastic, the servers friendly, the weather was sublime, and everything about the restaurant was as locally sourced and eco-conscious as it could be.  We had no idea it would be so in sync with our own food preferences.  As an added bonus, our table looked out into the harbor where we watched more than ten great blue herons fishing within a fairly limited area.  I was so utterly delighted, I declared the whole trip a success right then and there!

After lunch, we spent a few minutes poking around the harbor village.  
Picturesque?  Absolutely.  
Teensy-tinsy?  Absolutely!

With rain threatening, we continued on to Cavendish and Green Gables Heritage Place.  Due to our limited time on the island, I had selected just one Anne stop, and this was it.  Heritage Place is the site which inspired the setting of Green Gables, and Cavendish is, to a large degree, where Lucy Maude Montgomery wrote the first book in her now world-famous series.  It is a farm-turned-museum which was the home of Montgomery's aunt and uncle - said to be the inspiration for Mathew and Marilla.  It was already a tourist attraction in the early 1900s while Montgomery's relatives still lived there and has since become part of Parks Canada.  

We had a pleasant time wandering through the old barn and farm house, which have been remodeled to reflect how they are described in the books.  Then we took a stroll through the light mist hanging in the woods nearby, where an interpretive sign indicated the little grove was one of the few remnants of 'natural' forest still remaining on P.E.I.

Do you recognize the dress in the corner?

 Following the obligatory Anne stop, we headed further north and west along the coast a ways, then cut inland to reach an area called West Point.  We found ourselves back on the Northumberland Strait, where we spent a really pleasant evening on the beach alongside a striking lighthouse-turned-B&B.

The cedar dunes in this area help protect the beach from erosion, but also host carpets of poison ivy all around the campground.  We grilled our dinner, camped among the cedars, and woke up to the sound of surf.

We were mighty content.


Bertille said...

So, so cool !! The pictures are (as always) wonderful ! And I would like to see The house of Anne someday !! Lucky you ;)

Bethann said...

Merci!  As-tu vu qu'on est sur le même calendrier que vous (concernant le temps entre l'activité et l'info/photos sur le blogue)?! ;)

C'était tellement beau sur l'île.  Mais, en fait, si on a manqué complètement les choses 'Anne', cet île déjà mérite un autre visite!

Jennie said...

You never know what will strike peoples fancy about these posts but my favorite pictures are the ones of you w/ Bethann in the hat and Jerod at the grill - I LOVE the grill picture!  The close-up of the crab is pretty good too.  AND the last sentence - mighty content- was so good.
Did you meal to duplicate the first sentence?

Bethann said...

Thanks for writing back!  You wouldn't believe how long I spent about 2 inches away from that crab! I just loved photographing it.  I even packed it up in some sand, to take home and draw, but sadly, the sand re-hydrated the little guy, and when I opened the container, the exoskeleton was completely dis-articulated  :(  Next time, I'll draw my treasure where I find it.  :)

Yes, I did mean to duplicate the first sentence. :)  Do you remember the crazy little critters in that one Winnie the Pooh movie?  That's what it makes me think of - there were all these elephants (I think), and there was one little one who was always squealing in a high-pitched voice, "The land of milk and honey!  The land of milk and honey!"  Then they would all dash away. :)  Maybe my sisters would remember that scene. :)

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