On Monday, August 7th, the fourth day of our vacation in Canada, we hit the road early. The plan was to visit three areas along the central northern coast of Prince Edward Island. We drove to the Cavendish and North Rustico area to see the Green Gables House. There we toured the house and took a short hike through the nearby woods on a trail called Lover’s Lane. Along the walk were placards showing photos of L.M. Montgomery at various ages alongside quotes from her about writing and her love of the woods. A barn, other out buildings, and the requisite gift shop were reconstructed to match the period. Tourists took turns taking their photos in a buggy.
The home that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery to write her stories.
I suspect this place was brutally cold in winter.
I bought a set of Montgomery’s novels for my granddaughter. After she reads them, we’ll rent the movies.
We stop at Cavendish Beach to see the red cliffs.
On the way to our next destination, we visited Cavendish Beach. The Red Cliffs area featured rocky beaches and eroded red stone cliffs.
At Brackley Beach, the Canadians were getting tans.
Next, we returned to the Brackley Beach and Dalvay area to hike on low dunes along the seashore. Many families rode bicycles. After the hike on Brackley Beach, we drove toward the Greenwich area, stopping at St. Peter’s. We ate at Rick’s Restaurant out on the deck. Handsome, on a dare from a pal, ordered mussels and ate them. I tried one. I like lobster, shrimp, and scallops
Handsome tries mussels at Rick’s Restaurant in St. Peters, Prince Edward Island.
more. The chewy texture and gray appearance didn’t appeal to me. I ate fish and chips.
GREENWICH INTERPRETIVE CENTER
The Greenwich Interpretive Center provided information about the history of the indigenous Indians or First Nation known as the Mi’kmaq. The Indians helped the Scottish and French settlers
We hiked through a marsh to dunes on the beach at Greenwich.
adapt to their new environment. The Canadians, apparently, were far smarter than the American settlers in how they treated natives.
We continued to another parking area for the 2-mile round trip hike across an open plain, through a small wooded area, over a floating walkway on the marsh, to the large beach dunes. I’d read that in celebration of Canada’s 150th year as a nation, the park services had placed red Adirondack chairs at prime viewing sites. I had heard there were two such chairs at the end of this hike. A
#Sharethechair at Greenwich Beach.
park service worker confirmed this and gave directions.
At the beach, I turned left and hiked to a dune with a marked trail. Atop the dune, I saw the red chairs. A kind couple from Toronto took my photo. Thirsty and in need of a bathroom, I fast-walked back to the parking area. Two isolated blue portables were worth braving for relief.
By late afternoon, we drove to Charlottetown and wandered through the historic area. We saw Dunston’s Basilica, a theater, trendy shops, and a block of cafés and pubs. We drove back to Dalvay by the Sea for dinner and a gorgeous full moon. That night, I had the choice of washing my face in hot or cold water. I chose cold and went to sleep with my face tingling.
Zero counter space and either hot or cold water.
We faced a ferry ride and a long drive the next day to Cape Breton Island.
On Sunday, August 6, the third day of our Canadian vacation, we rose early to see Hopewell Rocks at low tide. Ours was the third car in line at the park entrance at 8 a.m. We parked and hiked down to beach level at the stairway down to Flower Pot Rocks. From there we hiked along the temporary beach on the ocean floor to see five of the six coves before the rising tide cut off access to the coves one by one back to Flower Pot Rocks. It rained the entire time. We took many photos. By mid-afternoon, the same area where we walked would be visited by other tourists in kayaks.
Tide in at Hopewell Rocks
Tide out at Hopewell Rocks.
We were on the opposite side of the Bay of Fundy from Nova Scotia. The Bay of Fundy has the world’s most dramatic regular tidal changes. Every six to eight hours, the tide changes up to 16 meters (54 feet). The tides carved out the coastline, creating places of freestanding columns of rock as seen at Hopewell Rocks.
On our way to Prince Edward Island, we stopped for lunch in Truro at Boston Pizza. Our waiter asked where were from. We told him Central Florida. He told us he attended college in Tampa. Small world.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
We drove north on Highway 15 north to the coast along the Northumberland Strait, to Highway 16 North. Lovely seaside vistas along the way. Moose crossing signs reminded us we were in Canada. On the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island, the signs are in English and French. The island is known as PEI and IPE for Ile-du-Prince-Eduard. All tourist guides, maps, and signs were in English and French. Roadway speed signs were in kilometers. The speedometer read 100. Kilometers per hour. At 100 kilometers per hour, we were traveling 62 mph.
We arrived at Dalvay-by-the-Sea, an historic home converted into a hotel, where we would spend two nights. In 2011, Prince William and his bride stayed here. A lovely lawn gently sloped down from the front of the building to a lake, facing the setting sun. When we arrived, guests relaxed in scattered Adirondack chairs facing west.
I read in the tourist literature that red Adirondack chairs had been placed at scenic overlooks throughout Canada. While I’m not wild about social media, I wanted to participate in the Canadian #sharethechair campaign. Perhaps Handsome and I could get our photo taken in red chairs this week. Canada is celebrating 150 years as a nation. #Canada150 signs abounded.
We checked in. The gentleman behind the desk lugged our bags up a wide central staircase to our room on the second floor. We unpacked, then wandered through the building to find the restaurant and the library. The library was more of a gathering room with games, a fireplace, and books consisting of traveler’s castoffs, a few reference books, and a Reader’s Digest condensed books. Egad. I was grateful to have my iPad with the Kindle app. I had hundreds of ebooks and a larger collection of unabridged classics than this historic hotel. No television. Weak internet.
Dalvay Beach on Prince Edward Island.
The hotel was a short walk to the beach. A storm front followed us from New Brunswick, so we didn’t spend long on the beach.
The restaurant recommended reservations, but they squeezed us in. During dinner, a light misting rain turned into a full rainbow over the lake.
We retired to our spacious room to review the next day’s agenda. As a writer, I was excited about seeing the Green Gables House, a place where Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote her books. Her stories inspired movies about life on Prince Edward Island beginning in 1908. We were set to explore three sections of the northern central coastline on Prince Edward Island.