As an Anne of Green Gables girl when I was growing up, a trip to the home of the red-headed heroine was a must on our trip. A train, a bus, a taxi and a day took us to the famous maritime island which is also famed for it’s beautiful seafood.
It is the people that really make a place memorable and this was certainly the case on Prince Edward Island. Chris, the accommodation finding king, booked us into The Trail Side Bed and Breakfast near Charlottetown, also home to Grandmas Tea Room. Our hosts Cindy and Guy were wonderful going above and beyond to make our stay a special one. We were invited to watch a movie with them one night and Guy made fresh popcorn for the occasion. Home cooked hamburgers with them another night were a lovely treat and the four of us polished off more than one bottle of wine over the week.
Our highlight with them was our final evening, an authentic PEI experience. Cindy and Guy took us to one of the areas most popular eateries to taste an Atlantic donair (think kebab on a fluffy pizza base.) A drive down to the beach for a seaglass hunt along the shoreline proved fruitful, Chris and I both finding pieces. Cindy makes beautiful jewellery out of the artifacts and I happily walked away with a couple of new accessories.
We were also taken to the grave of LM Montgomery, the writer who helped put PEI on the international map. Our next stop led us from an old church up a hidden pathway which the writer used to walk along. It now leads to the ruins of her grandparents house where she grew up. An insiders view that you won’t easily find.
We did get up to a few activities of our own as well. Over the course of two days we cycled about 80km. Up the confederation trail one afternoon and from Charlottetown past Pownal the following day. We discovered a baked goods stand on the side of the road and a strawberry stand a little further on. Thus lunch consisted of fruit scones and strawberries. It finished with a welcomed night of sleep.
I did happen to notice some lovely looking wild strawberries growing along the side of the trail. It seemed an excellent idea to stop and have a little taste or five. All was good and well until midway through my picnic I looked down to find ants crawling all over my jeans
We were a little limited by not having a car, transport around the island is far from amazing. We opted for a tour which incorporated Anne of Green Gables for me and some island industry and history information to keep Chris happy. The Island’s Finest Tour fit the bill.
We learnt about the islands lobster and shell fish industry as well as the farming (mainly potatoes for Lays these days.) Green Gables house provided part of the inspiration for Montogemery’s famous character and of course we had to take a stroll down Lovers Lane to complete the visit. There was also the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silverbush where the writer was married. Silverbush is also the home the Lake of Shining Waters. The houses are totally decked out as they would have been in Montgomery’s time but there is a procession line to get through them so we had to take it all in quickly. Being with a tour instead of self driven means your time is also limited in each location.
We stopped in at Kensington Station which (under a different name) is where Matthew picks up Anne for the first time. It also where Chris fulfilled his wishes of tying me to the train track. He was a little disappointed that there was no chance of a train coming along.
Food wise, we got our fill. Chris and I fought a lobster out of its shell at The Old Dublin Pub where a band was playing fabulous traditional island music. Stupendous oysters were eaten at Claddagh Oyster House and great muscles from a little hidden gem, the Water Prince Corner Shop. Cow’s ice cream is the islands pride and joy so naturally we partook in one of their chocolate sundaes. A visit should also include a taste of another island speciality: PEI potato chips covered in our rich milk chocolate. If you are an Anne Of Green Gables fan, you must try the raspberry cordial.
With our time in PEI now done it was time to get back on the train and head off to Quebec.