First thing about going to PEI is the prospect of driving over the Confederation Bridge. An engineering marvel – I couldn’t wait to see it and be able to feel like you are driving on top of the ocean. It is fantastic. 12.9 KM (8 miles), the longest bridge over ice-covered waters in the world. It was opened May 31, 1997. You can get over the bridge for free but have to pay on the way out. Cost us $65 with the truck and trailer. Way cheaper than BC Ferries which cost us $300 when we left Vancouver Island. (Granted the trip from Vancouver Island to the mainland is longer than 8 miles).
My first impression and what I will always remember about PEI are the colors of the fields. Bright green grass and farmland, rolling hills, fireweed and buttercups providing more color and country roads criss-crossing the island thru small villages and towns – all with churches. The maritime houses with tidy mowed yards that we’ve seen everywhere here on our travels.
You can see potato farms here and there and everyone knows how great the PEI potatoes are. It’s a billion $ industry and a way of life since the 1700’s for the people who live here. The colorful red dirt produces colorful potatoes as well: Russets, Whites, Reds, Yellow, and yes, Blue potatoes are all grown here. You like Poutine? Well it tastes better with these potatoes.. yum yum yum, my poor diet is so shot.. haha. Then of course you have to add Lobster and Mussels to the list of diet crashers. And just when you think it can’t get any worse someone tells you about “cow chips”. What are they you ask? Well they are just ripple potatoe chips dripped with chocolate. No worries, you can try and resist, but it’s probably impossible. Let me know how you make out!
I went on a bus tour of Cavendish Beach, Anne of Green Gables house, the village of Rustico and a preserve shop where I bought a jar of black current rhubarb jam and the diet busting “Cow Chips”. We drove out to Basin Head Provincial Park and saw the “singing sands” beach for ourselves. It doesn’t exactly sing, but it will squeak when you walk on it – cool spot with people jumping in to the river and then swimming thru a channel out to the beach. Looked like fun and it was great listening to all the squeals from the kids as they played in the water.
It was “welcome home” week when we were there so Charlottetown was packed. We drove down to the Race Track / Casino / Fair and joined in the fun for the weekend. It was hard to find parking but the atmosphere of fun and people just enjoying the Island was impressive. It poured a ton on Saturday night and that slowed things down but people carried on. The downtown restaurants were very busy.