Tuesday, September 01, 2015

O Canada!

[Apologetic note on showing no love to my poor little blog for 2 years goes here]

I take up my pen laptop once again to take you with me down memory lane while I re-live a great trip. 'Twas a happy week I spent fulfilling my dream of visiting Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Yes, I was part of the group of million little girls who fell in love with Prince Edward Island because L.M.Montgomery taught us to do so via her Anne books. And finally, I was there in person! Here's the story of what happened:
It was a relaxed start on a Saturday night flight to Halifax (the closest cheap airport to PEI). However, about 40 minutes before landing, the pilot scared us by saying the due to the fog and the ensuing poor visibility, they might re-route the flight to Bangor, Maine (The last place on earth I wanted to be. Not that I had anything against it) While I was crossing all the fingers I had, happily no such disaster occurred. Thanking my lucky stars I set foot in Halifax. And in a short while at the rental car place, I had occasion to thank the same lucky stars with a big whoop when I set my eyes on the Chevy Camaro that had been given us. Color me materialistic but there it was - sitting black and beautiful and delighting me. Bless you, Thrifty!

We zoomed on to PEI and stopped at this place called Gateway Village - aptly named as it lies at the gateway at the end of the 13 KM bridge into the island. I expected to see Anne at the island and I did - at Anne of Green Gables Chocolates store. I guess Anne books are the most important claim to fame  for the island and they were going to milk it for all that it's worth!

It was a late evening when we reached the B&B and we spent it at a nearby beach called Brackley. PEI is known for its red soil - this beach was no exception. The beach sand had thousands of red stones mingled with it.
Stone castles at Brackley Beach
Get the joke?
Next day - the best day ever - was Green Gables day. A little history (skip to the pic if not interested/you already knew): Green Gables was a house owned by relatives of LM Montgomery, whose Anne of Green Gables series of books are part of classic literature. The author based the books on the house and its surroundings. She was a very descriptive writer so the island and its people become very real to the readers. I had lived in PEI through her books when I read them. And now, I got to see the actual Green Gables house, the actual Haunted Woods and the actual Lover's Lane. Oh, to be walking the same paths where I imagined Anne walking! For those of you not familiar with the books, this was like Disneyland without the ridiculous amount of people, dollars and wait times.
Green Gables
Haunted Woods
Lover's Lane

Next stop was Cavendish beach which had stunning red stone cliffs. 
The ruddy cliffs
With the elements
On the way back, by a very lucky chance, we happened upon a group of people waiting in line for a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) - an Irish and Scottish music and dance party. If you are ever in PEI, do not miss one of these. Ours was performed by the Ross Family - a very talented brother-sisters trio who along with their mom had the crowd tapping along to their lilting music. A fantastic end to a fantastic day.

The next day, I attended a musical - Anne of Green Gables, the Musical (what else, right?). Well, the best thing I can say is they had some good parts. Anne herself was a really huge disappointment. If you've read the books you know that Anne is a very high-spirited, talkative girl with a love for long words and wild imagination. And Anne always took herself seriously, very solemnly. The actress who played her had zero imagination and played Anne as a comical child who screams and scampers around. She was high-pitched not high-spirited. Jittery, not solemn. The saving graces were the few musical numbers which kept me not too irritated.

Phew, that rant felt good. I can't believe I've taken up so much space with just 2 days of stories. And we spent an entire week there! I'll wait till you refill your coffee for the five more days' worth stories.

Most of the the Islanders are a really nice, friendly bunch of people (now don't be all cynical and say that since tourism is a main business they can't afford to be un-friendly. Let's not forget the New Yorkers.) Wherever we went, there were people willing to talk to us about local history, direct us to favorites and haunts and always curious to know who we are from. When we visited the eastern part of the island the next day, thanks to some of these friendly folks, we visited an artist at his store where he let our 6-year-old make his own sea-glass necklace, had an excellent breakfast featuring the famous PEI potatoes, visited a 148-year-old lighthouse and saw and heard the Singing Sands ("more of squeaking sands", as the lady said) at Basin Head beach.
East Point Lighthouse

Bridge Jumping at Basin Head
The Basin Head beach was interesting because the sands there make a sort of squeaking rustling sound when you drag your foot on them. And it also had this bridge spanning the boardwalk from which strong swimmers were jumping into the swift deep waters below, get dragged by the current into a sort of natural pool formation.

PEI is a very beautiful island. And I believe summer time was the best time to visit since it was an amazing visual treat to see the contrasting island colors - the red soil, the varying shade of green crops, the blue sea, the yellow and purple wildflowers filling the meadows, dark and light clouds sailing in the blue sky. Nature was at her very best and her human creations hadn't dared to disrupt much of her canvas. 

I will leave you now with a few pitifully inadequate images of the island that I was able to capture. In my next post, I'll tell you all about the rest of the trip where we dipped our toes in a deliciously named river, went back in time, delighted in yet more samples of nature's hand at work and saw an interesting phenomenon that can't be seen anywhere else but there. 

1 comment:

Bala said...

Welcome back to blogspot.com
Who is the primary photographer? you?