Maritimes trip travel blog

Green Gables

View from the yard

The Haunted Woods trail

Lover's Lane Trail

Lover's Lane Trail

Marilynn as Anne

Sand dunes at Cavendish Beach

Cavendish Beach

Kitchen

Living room fireplace

Pantry

Sewing room

Pam listening to a conversation

St. Dunstan's Basilica

Province House under renovation

Beaconsfield House

View from backyard of Beaconsfield

View from backyard of Beaconsfield

View from the boardwalk

Ice cream

Charlottetown from across the water

Toll booth of Confederation bridge

Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick side


June 8

A lovely sunny day. We headed for Green Gables House in Cavendish. We passed through beautiful countryside of rolling hills, fields and farms. There was hardly any traffic and when we arrived at the site, there were not many people. Again, it is an advantage to be early in the season to avoid crowds. We took lots of photos of the Green Gables house, which was actually the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery's grandfather's cousins, and the surrounding countryside. We offered to take a photo of a mother and her two adult daughters in front of the house and got into quite a conversation. They were from Minnesota. The mother had read the books about Anne to her girls and watched with them the Megan Follows version countless times (no other version will do, apparently). They were true fans and very happy to be at the house.

We toured the house, which is set up as a typical island farmhouse of the late 1800s. Then we walked the Haunted Woods trail and Lover's Lane trail, both of which were well-loved by Lucy Maud Montgomery, who visited the house often. She grew up with her grandparents, who lived near Green Gables. Also nearby were the sites of her childhood school and church, as well as the foundation of her original family home. As we walked along the trails, we read plaques that told how Lucy Maud wove the familiar places and natural surroundings of her childhood into her stories of Anne. Sometimes Pam picked up the pace when the mosquitoes got too bad in places we lingered. Back at the farm, Marilynn was a good sport and posed in a buggy while wearing a straw hat with red pigtails hanging down Finally, we watched a short film about Lucy Maud Montgomery's life, her connections to Prince Edward Island and how it influenced her writing. Well satisfied with our time there, we left Green Gables.

It was after 1:00, so we drove along looking for a place to eat. We passed many resorts renting cabins, an amusement park and other facilities that indicated this was a busy place in the summer. At The Lost Anchor, a restaurant, the waitress told us that when the annual country music festival is held here in the summer, there isn't a room or cabin available. The Lost Anchor actually has a huge ship's anchor fastened to its wall. It belongs to a 19th century ship, the Marco Polo, which went down near Cavendish.

What attracts all these summer visitors are the beaches. After we ate, we drove a short distance to Cavendish Beach, one of the most well known. It is a long stretch of white sand guarded by sand dunes on the landward side. There were quite a few people on the beach, but only one brave soul who waded out and dipped himself quickly into the water. He then waded back out fairly briskly. A woman near me said only a few weeks ago, there was ice floating in the water here.

After admiring the beach, we headed back to Charlottetown. After some quiet time at the hotel, we walked to The Old Triangle, an Irish pub, which advertised live music most nights. Around 7:00, musicians started trickling in, seating themselves around a table in the middle of the room. At first there were three musicians but eventually there were seven playing Celtic music with fiddles, guitars and harp. They had no sheet music and their gathering seemed very casual but they all knew what they were doing. We had hoped to hear some traditional music while in the Maritimes and we got our wish. When we left, I walked back to the hotel. Marilynn and Pam took a walk before they came back to settle for the night.

June 9

An overcast sky but nice enough to walk from the hotel to St. Dunsan's Basilica, which is the fourth cathedral to be built on this site. It is an example of Victorian Gothic architecture, built after its predecessor was destroyed by fire in 1913. We were impressed by the elaborate interior. One item of special note was a boat that had been used by a priest in the 1790s as his transport to visit his parishioners who lived in a vast area that included Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton Island and the Northumberland shore of Nova Scotia. In winter the boat was fitted with runners so it could serve as a sleigh.

Walking back to get the car, we passed by Province House, where the Fathers of Confederation met in 1867. It is under renovation and, much to Marilynn's disgust, it is not open to the public. A construction worker there told us it was a three year project, planning having started two years ago and construction one month ago. That seems very poor planning to us. With 2017 being Canada's 150th anniversary, the place where the country began should be open. Next, we drove to Beaconsfield House, a mansion from the late 1800s situated right on the water. Unfortunately, it didn't open until 12:00. We decided to park near the boardwalk that follows the shoreline and take a stroll. Across the water we could see the skyline of Charlottetown, which does not have the typical skyscrapers profile of large cities. The highest building was St. Dunstan's, whose spires rose above the surrounding rooftops. On our way back to the car, we stopped for ice cream cones (by this time it was getting a bit cool, but there's never a bad time for ice cream).

Back in the car, we headed for Halifax. We went over Confederation Bridge. It is eleven kilometres long, so the trip only took about ten minutes. While approaching the bridge, you can't get a side view, so we stopped at a viewpoint on the New Brunswick side to take a look. As we walked the trail to the lookout, it began to pour, but we managed to get a few photos of the bridge span through the mist.

The rest of the trip was done in rain, sometimes fierce rain that lowered visibility. At Aulac on the Nova Scotia border, we stopped at the Irving station, the same place we've stopped twice before. We've become regulars there. We were glad to get home and had a quiet evening after a dinner that included a leftover banger from Marilynn's banger and mash at the Irving restaurant.



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