Acadia, Anne of Green Gables, Canada, Confederation Bridge, Fishing Harbors, Lighthouses, Lobster, Lucy Maude Montgomery, PEI, Prince Edward Island, Wind Energy, Wind Energy Institute of Canada, Wind Turbines
From New Brunswick we headed across the 8 mile long Confederation Bridge which since it’s opening in 1997 has opened Prince Edward Island (PEI) to easy accessibility, something that was actually put to a vote by the citizens before construction could begin! At the visitor center we discovered that at least for tourists, the island is “divided” into touring sections, Points East Coastal Drive, Central Coastal Drive and the North Cape Coastal Drive. Having now done a lot of it, they do indeed each have a different feel to them. The one thing that is very consistent however, are the colors of PEI: RED ~ GREEN ~ BLUE.
Crossing over the bridge deposits one on the southern Red Sands Shore of the central section where we headed east following the mapped coastal road (it varies from 10 to Trans Canada Highway to 19) arriving at the cute town of Victoria just about lunch time. The Lobster Barn Pub & Eatery had those magic words lobster and pub so of course in we went 🙂 Put it on your list if you get this way…YUM!
Continuing on along the coast to just outside of the capital city of Charlottetown we headed northwest towards New Glasgow Highlands Campground where we had reservations for the next couple of nights. Fellow RVer’s put this place on your list, not only is it private, pretty, and have all the amenities, we can’t say enough about how wonderful the owners Marlene and Les are.
The red (due to iron-oxide i.e.rust) sandy soil of PEI, the warm summers, cold winters and moisture retaining ability of the dirt is perfect for growing potatoes. In fact it is so perfect that they are the top producer of excellent spuds in all of Canada. With our visit coinciding with spring, the turned, hilled red earth of the potato fields in the surrounding, incredibly green rolling countryside was quite unlike any other landscape we’ve seen.
Almost every time we told anyone that we were coming to PEI the response from females was, “Oh that was/is my favorite book!” or “Oh I have always wanted to see PEI and Anne’s home!” or “You are going to Green Gables aren’t you?” As a child I too, of course, read Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and clearly having so many of our dear readers in love with Anne’s story we thought that we’d better go, and we did 🙂
Blue is also the color of Prince Edward Island, water and sky. To the north is the Gulf of St. Lawrence and along the southern shore the Northumberland Strait. Scattered all about are streams and rivers flowing out the many fingers into the coves and bays which form the picturesque harbors for the many fishing vessels that produce PEI’s other main crop, shellfish. While lobster is the main crop they also farm oysters and their famously delicious mussels.
We drove up the North Cape which is heavily Acadian. Acadia, (New France) was the colony settled by the French in Northeastern America as early as the mid 1500’s. By the mid 1700’s and years of fighting with the English the Acadians were forcibly removed or fled to among other places Louisiana and New Orleans, hence the strong Acadian (Cajun) influence in that area. The history of the Acadian people in this whole region is rich with strife, suffering, conflict and compromise which was just finally completely settled in 2003. We leave it to you to do some very interesting reading.
The North end of the island has very few towns or people. It is considerably more flat and we did not find it nearly as pretty, but our visit to The Wind Energy Institute of Canada was interesting.
We stopped at Cedar Dunes Provincial Park to see the West Point Lighthouse where we enjoyed seeing the small museum as we climbed to the top.
We had thought to spend the night at Linkletter Provincial Park but with the recent rains it was a bit of a swamp so we chose not to and headed back to New Glasgow Highlands.
Next morning we headed east on the coastal road crossing into the Points East section of the island. We took the short side trip to Red Head Harbor on St. Peters Bay and the prettiest harbor yet.
Directly across the bay is Greenwich, PEI National Park where we did the fabulous boardwalk trip out to the shore. Put this in on your MVL (Must Visit List).
We stopped at the East Point Lighthouse and later stopped at Basin Head and paid to see the Fisheries Museum…really sad ( they did try though), unfortunately, don’t waste your money. At Red Point Provincial Park we stopped for the night. It presented some serious leveling issues but the view was pretty and I literally ran about a quarter of a mile to see Northern Gannets diving for their dinner…..really fun 🙂
Our last morning we ate at the Blue Fin in Souris where Ed ordered the Hungry Man Breakfast and it was more than he could finish. Continuing down the coastal road to Charlottetown we walked around the old section and stopped for a drink and shared a good lobster dip at the John Brown Richmond Street Grill. We like this town and it would have been fun to spend more time poking around.
Ed and I have heard nothing but rave reviews about Prince Edward Island for years and we are very happy to have spent a week seeing the sights. We met many friendly people, saw gorgeous farm country, quaint harbors, lots of lighthouses and had some very good seafood. No trip to the Canadian Maritimes would be complete without a tour of PEI, and yet we don’t feel the desire to explore it further. Can’t say why, just the way we feel. That being said we’re sure most folks will love it, especially the Central Coast so do put it on your MVL!