July 23, 2017
The Confederation Bridge joins New Brunswick with Prince Edward Island. Both are provinces in the Canadian confederation that was create in 1867 some 150 years ago. Prince Edward or PEI became a member in 1873. We crossed the 8 mile span that was finally finished in 1997. Before that a ferry was necessary.
PEI is named after the 4th son of King George III and would father Queen Victoria but never became king himself. The island was originally called “the cradle of the waves” by the Native Micmac inhabitants. The French settled the island in 1720 and renamed it St. Jean. The English push out and exiled most of the French settlers during the French and Imdian War. So,e of these Acadians ended up in Louisiana and became known as Cajuns. The English nobility divide the island amongst themselves and populated the island with largely Scottish Highlanders. Over the last two centuries, the population has become more diverse.
The island of 150,000 or so inhabitants are mostly either farmers or fishermen. Increasingly, the locals look to tourism to support the economy. We drove through the countryside past potato and wheat fields and yellow rape plantings. It was an easy and enjoyable ride following the tourist signage. Around lunch we stopped in the fishing town of Malpeque for lunch. The restaurant was on the small dock. We luckily got seated as most who followed joined a two hour wait. Peggy had chowder while I enjoyed the local specialty of Oysters Rockefeller. Delicious.
We continued along the northern coastal route through the Prince Edward Island National Park that consists of a chain of beaches. The entire region attracts mostly Canadians who come to enjoy the family friendly parks and attractions. There is one exception to this Canadian only magnet and we were soon there. Lucy Maud Montgomery who authored the first of “Anne of Green Gables” novels in 1908 near the town of Cavendish. People come from all over judging by the license plates in the extensive parking lot and the multiple languages spoken by the visitors. We reached the modest home known as Green Gables after first driving into the local post office that looked exactly the same. We managed to find the right place a few hundred yards away.
The well maintained and equally well run facility is the actual home Lucy kept in mind when writing. We toured the normal late 19th Century farmhouse and the surrounding area. The trails were signed with quotations from the novels and the flora and fauna were described. It was well done given the thousands of daily visitors. We enjoyed ourselves.
We managed to find a rotisserie chicken and vegetables for a picnic on the lawn near our motel room. It was pleasant and nice not having to deal with the Canadian specialty of deep fried foods.