The Island of Prince Edward has 3 parts, the Capital Charlottetown is in the middle facing the mainland New Brunswick across from the straight of Northumberland. There is a bridge connecting the Island to the mainland of Canada, The Confederation Bridge is 13 Km long and it takes 10 minutes to cross it, the toll fee is $45. per car. It is closed in bad weather or if there’s a high wind. We did not take it as we flew into Charlottetown airport.
On the first day we drove 40 minutes to Victoria by the Sea to visit with friends who live there and have a business. The Trans-Canada highway takes you there, on the way back we took the more scenic Provincial road 19.
This old house in Victoria B.T.S. has in front the largest tree on the Island.
On another day we went to Kensington and Indian River. Kensington can be reached by using Highway 2, the town has a railway museum, the island had a well established rail system and in fact the rail question was an important factor in PEI joining the union known as Confederation in 1873. Strangely they instigated the talks back in 1864 but then in 1867 when Canada was united into one country PEI refused to join until 1873 when the newly created Federal government promised them money to finish paying for the island rail system. The rail system was not such a good idea, the soil of the island is very soft and constant maintenance was required to ensure the rail would not sink into the soil or be washed away in the Spring. The other problem was the gage, on the island the gage was narrowed than what was the norm in the rest of Canada. It was finally abandoned. Indian River which is on Malpeque Bay is where the Indian River Festival is held from June to September at the Church of St-Mary.
We then travelled to Cavendish where the fictional town of Avonlea is located, the site of the story of Anne of Green Gables. We visited the home where the story of Anne is set to have taken place, it is in fact the actual home of a relative of Lucy Maud Montgomery the author. It is beautifully done and very respectful in all detail of the story. It is surrounded by a beautiful vegetable and flower garden, all the plants and flowers are of the period. The barn and other farm buildings can be visited. There is also the forest and path featured in the story, all quite nice and it comes under the administration of Parks Canada, the Federal government department responsible for all national parks. There is no crass commercialism to distract from the story of Anne.
We also went to the Provincial Park of Brackley-Dalvay with its forest of sea pines and red sand beaches. You have kilometres of natural beaches, it is very quiet and peaceful. Cavendish and Brackley-Dalvay face the Gulf of St-Lawrence and the Atlantic, there is a fee to pay to enter the park and under the Harper Regime the fees have become quite steep, I would say almost unaffordable for the average family, a park is suppose to be open to all but under the nasty Harper Regime that is not the way of thinking.
At Dalvay in the Park there is this giant Victorian mansion built by an eccentric fellow Alexander Macdonald as a little cottage for him and his family back in 1896, it is a 26 room hotel nowadays from to June to October. Very nicely preserved and in the style of the time again no modern additions.
We went also to visit a shop, restaurant and garden called The Dunes which has a fantastic botanical garden with ponds and heritage flowers, banks of them everywhere, meaning lots of butterflies and bees pollinating.
The owner Peter from Toronto and his partner Nash who is from Java in Asia have dotted the gardens with Asian deities and Buddhas, all quite lovely if a little incongruous. We briefly looked into Blooming Point said to be a nudist beach on PEI. Because of the low density of population on PEI, there are lots of camp grounds, National Parks on the Seashore and much protected historical sites. What I noted was how clean it all was and devoid of cars or noise or large groups of people. The beaches are just that a place to relax. A friend told us that she likes to just go walking for miles on end, a relaxing therapy.
During our stay we did not visit the North Cape area nor the East point of the island. We basically stayed in the middle part between Malpeque Bay and Hillsborough River.