Picture Perfect PEI

We said a heartfelt goodbye to our good friend Judy and her rum-swilling arsehole of a husband and took the ferry to Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province. Upon arriving at the ferry terminal on the Nova Scotia side, we were told that because of our height (MaBel stands a proud 10’6”), we would have to go in the commercial line with all the semi-trucks and would probably have at least a one ferry wait (4 hours).  We took our chances and were relieved to be the second to last vehicle loaded.  Our good luck continued on board the ferry with a very knowledgeable Visitor Information gal (Cynthia) who not only provided us with a full itinerary for touring the island but also gave us free tickets to a show in Charlottetown.

We arrived to spectacular (unseasonably) warm and sunny weather (20c) and made our way to the East side of the island. Our first stop was at the Rossignol Winery, which we heard was good. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that great and the gal at the counter was a bit of a smart-ass (when asking what they’re known for she responded ‘wine’). Maybe this chick could be as flippant if they had anything approaching the quality of the Napa Valley, or Okanagan or anything Australian but PEI is definitely not a wine mecca – its known almost exclusively for spuds.

img_6725

We carried on along the southeast coast through numerous quaint seaside towns – each with an impressive lighthouse – and arrived at Brudenell River Provincial Park. Brudenell River is listed as a ‘resort’ and definitely lives up to its name with a beautiful golf course, and scenic walking and biking trails.  We booked into a river view site with full hookups ($42) and were impressed that the site also came with a cable box setup so we could watch the Blue Jays wild card game (and they won).

Before the game started, we toured the area and the famous red dirt beaches, as well as the Pioneer cemetery.

The following day, we drove across the island to Cavendish, home of author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous Anne of Green Gables. We toured the national park and took note of all the adoring Japanese tourists – apparently Anne of Green Gables (and subsequent sequels) is translated and read in schools across Japan and every year hundreds of straw-hat wearing and red-hair braided Japanese tourists descend upon Cavendish to pay tribute to their early literary upbringing.  The Bear got into the spirit…

We continued our tour of the Cavendish area by exploring Prince Edward Island National Park on the north coast. The park was closed for the season (way too early in our opinion) but you could still tour the area and hike on the trails.  The beautiful campground was unfortunately closed. [Note: for anyone planning to travel to PEI, a lot of attractions, campgrounds and restaurants close after the Labor Day weekend. Weird but true.] We ended up staying at Marco Polo Land, an RV park featuring a giant inflatable outdoor pillow (we spent quite a bit of time almost breaking our necks jumping on it, after a few drinks…).

The next day, we drove into Charlottetown, the provincial capital and ‘birthplace of Canadian Confederation.’ Charlottetown was impressively funky and seemed to have a vibrant arts and culture scene.   We toured all around the city before driving out to Victoria Park and setting up on the boardwalk for a sunny afternoon lunch with some wine and a couple of beers. It was fantastic, other than all the friendly islanders approaching every 30 seconds or so to inquire about the Bear (What breed is she? What’s her name? What does she weigh? Does she shed? Are those two different colored eyes? Is she friendly?). That last question, is she friendly? is quite amusing given her Muppet-like appearance and we sometimes have fun by saying, ‘No, she’s a killer attack dog – back off!’ but it usually doesn’t stop them from leaning in for some dog-kisses.

img_2549

We then went to an awesome pizza place (Piotta) for dinner then on to The Guild playhouse for the musical Anne & Gilbert (our free tickets from the ferry lady). The show turned out to be excellent – we had front row seats for the 2.5 hour performance and other than Papa Bear almost tripping the male lead with his big feet as ‘Gilbert’ ran across the stage, it was an terrific show.

img_2533

Our last day, we ventured over to Summerside, PEI’s second largest city. Summerside lacks the charm of Charlottetown but we were impressed with the beautiful and stately character homes that were selling in the $350K range (which wouldn’t buy a parking space in Vancouver).

We ended our visit by crossing the impressive 12.9 km Confederation Bridge, which since 1997, has provided a fixed-link to the mainland (New Brunswick). The cost to cross the bridge was a modest $46.

img_2554

Our 4 days in PEI were spud-tacular and we were happy to {partially) detox after 2 weeks ‘on da rum’ in NS. Next stop – USA.

Advertisements

One thought on “Picture Perfect PEI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s