If you ask me about Prince Edward Island (PEI), I can tell you 3 things: red soil, potatoes, and its tiny size. That’s it. I remember having a conversation with a friend and I mentioned something about how cool it is to be able to run along its width, like from the south to the north side. I even went as far as searching for a running event to participate in! I mean, its area is only 5,685 Km2, roughly 1/200th that of Ontario, i.e. you can put ~189 PEIs into 1 Ontario. All that is to say: PEI is TINY.
Once we were done exploring the ocean floors at Hopewell Rocks National Park, we got back in our car and made our way eastward towards the Confederation Bridge. I highly recommend getting off at exit 51 to visit the Cape Jourimain Visitors’ Centre. Not only do their comprehensive displays explain the ecological habitats of the area, there is also a tower look-out that you can climb for a great view of the Bridge and there are hiking trails available. Not to mention – it’s the perfect spot to photograph the Bridge!
The Confederation Bridge spans for 12.8 Km over Abegweit Passage of the Northumberland Strait, connecting the provinces of New Brunswick and PEI. Driving on the bridge itself is nothing special – it is only a bridge, after all – but it is a great way to reach the island. I would choose the bridge over the ferry any day!
Anne of Green Gables House
Setting the story in PEI, Lucy Maud Montgomery masterfully blends the beauty of the island into the story of an orphan girl desperately trying to fit into her adopted family. Considered to be a classic Canadian literature, the book has sold over 50 million copies, translated into 20 languages, and it was made into a movie and later, a television series since its publication in 1908. Given this popularity and its potential to drive more visitors to the island, the local government then recreated the scenes of the books into reality, much like what Universal Studios did with the Harry Potter theme park, except in a much smaller and less impressive scale.
We arrived around 5 PM and the ticket booth was already closed. However, you can still go into the grounds and take pictures of the buildings, you just don’t have access to go into them. It’s fair – that’s all I wanted to do anyways.
I tried to get into the hype, I really did. I even bought the book on my kindle, so I can be all excited when I finally see things brought to life. But, I just couldn’t do it. I never finished the book and so, I didn’t appreciate this as much as I could have.
From Anne’s House, we made our way to Graham’s Lane, which is one of the access point to the famous Cavendish Beach. Somewhere along the way, the sun decided to shine… Not that its warmth provided any relief from the cold winds we had to endure.
Miles of sand dunes stretched eastward and with a boardwalk available, it is possible to walk through them. We opted not to do so, though, because it was getting late and the weather predictably got even colder as the sun started to dip behind the horizon.
With its rolling green fields dotted with cottages, patches of lands with cows grazing on them, the occasional whiff of manure, winding and hilly roads, and the expansive blue sky, driving through PEI reminded me so much of Ireland. It is small and very charming. I wish we had budgeted more time to explore the island, but I suppose there is always next time.