Sunday, September 14, 2014

Prince Edward Island (PEI) - Enough Said;-)

Boy - were we excited to be back in the land of English.  AND - to be in The Maritimes (PEI, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia & New Brunswick), which was the major objective of this trip.  First stop - Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Only two ways to get to the island - ferry or the Confederation Bridge!  This time, Magic opted for the bridge - built in 1977 and almost 8 miles in length - to get her over the Northumberland Strait.   

The causeway bridge is the only way to drive to and from PEI.

We were all delighted to arrive on the island and find our camping spot!  It had been a VERY long travel day of 10 hours - unusual for us - but, just wanted to get here and relax for an extra day.  And we were sooooo excited to see our 'home' for the next several days.  A FULL harvest moon shone down on our spot right on the West River, which feeds the Northumberland Strait;-)

The harvest moon rising shortly after we arrived at our campground. Seems appropriate as the entire island is a checkerboard of farms.  (Taken from our camping spot!)

There is little time to rest when there is so much to see and do.  The KOA Campground was quite near the capital of PEI, Charlottetown.  This year was a "once in a generation celebration" as they marked the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference.  In 1864 the Fathers of Confederation met at Province House in Charlottetown to discuss the formation of Canada.  And so it began.

After a nice lunch at the harbor and a walk about town, the Northern Central Coastal Drive was on the agenda - in order to find Green Gables where that little girl named Anne lived.  No imagination needed - it was there for real -----

The house that inspired the author of Anne of Green Gables.

Of course Anne was a fictional character.  I know that!!  But, the house was the inspiration for the setting of the book as the author (Lucy Maud Montgomery) spent much of her girlhood here with cousins of her grandfather.  Even the special places she discovered and named such as the Haunted Wood and Lover's Lane still exist at Green Gables.

As one drives the Scenic Heritage Drives about the island, you weave through farm lands, over rivers and coves and along the various bodies of water that surround the island.  On the north it is the Gulf of St.  Lawrence - on the south the Northumberland Strait.  When the road strays inland a bit there are always little side roads that lead back to the water.  And, sometimes those side roads present the most wonderful, exciting places and views.  As these tidal pools and red cliffs ---

All of PEI seems to be red clay.

Many fishing villages, like this one...  

...and this one, dot the island's coastline. .  and coves.  Right up against the farmland.

Of course (no pun intended), golf could not be forgotten as there are 20 courses on this little island.  First up - The Links a Crowbush Cove on the north side of the island.

Beautiful golf courses.  Tourism and agriculture are the islands two primary industries.

This fox was helping us find G's errant golf ball.  Aren't the wildflowers wonderful?

A view from the Crow's Nest.   Tough course, UGH.  thankfully, tomorrow we will roam the island.

Now it was time to investigate the Southern Coastal Drive, which we started in Victoria-by-the-Sea --a storybook village if ever there was one.  Galleries, studios, restaurants (where E actually ATE mussels) AND a chocolate factory (where E ate lots of chocolate to cover up the mussels!!) line the cozy treed streets.  Although only two blocks long, we spent several hours wandering and enjoying the sights.

Another fishing village, Victoria, provided great views and a very pleasant cafe for lunch.

The Landmark Cafe was terrific - family owned.  E even tried the PEI Mussels.

There was still more to the day - and more of the drive.  Remember about the little side roads that will take you to the water and 'exciting' sights???  Well this one almost took us into the Gulf!!!

The road morphed into a pathway before we knew what happened.

Back to the Argyle Shore and another one of those little side roads that took us to a park with  a VERY steep staircase right to the water.  E was dying to know how cold the water was and couldn't resist any longer.  Off with the shoes and roll up the pants --

How long can I keep my feet out of the water?

There just aren't enough days wherever we go and how ever many days we stay.  Only time for one more of those 20 courses.  This time Dundarave Golf Course (a relative of Crowbush) and more beautiful scenery.  The wildflowers were beautiful and plentiful here - as were a few trees beginning to change color;-)

Dunderave Golf Course was a little more forgiving than Crow Bush.

Early evidence that the fall colors are on their way.

In our travels about the island, we were surprised at how much of the land was given to farming.  Not to be resisted, a stop at a local farmers market yielded dinner additions for several nights.

Delicious locally grown vegetables...
And - remember that chocolate shop in Victoria?  Well, E didn't leave there empty handed.

...and locally made chocolates.

While there are lots of sights unseen, roads not traveled and courses not played - it is time to move on again.  So - the sun sets on our little spot tonight and tomorrow we move on to Cape Breton.

The sun brushes the horizon as our stay on the island comes to a close.

More in a few days if Magic makes it back across that bridge.

E & G from the mystic island

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