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  • Day15

    Charlottetown and Green Gables

    August 7, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    We were a little behind schedule arriving on Charlottetown, which gave us a few more minutes for breakfast. We got off just after 9 and met Harry our guide in the cruise termional. He was a great chap, an oyter fisherman by main trade. With a wife who ran the Moo ice cream chain which we had enjoyed in Whistler last year!
    His car was spacious and air conditioned as it was another scorching day. He suggested we head out of town first as roadworks made it slow around Charlottetown at momnt. We headed north through the island and Harry gaeve us lots of info on what we saw. He was really passionate and interested in the area and seemd to know or be related to almost everyone we saw or drove by, which gave loads of great colour to the trip. He showed us freshwater mussel farms (lots of fresh water on PEI as comes up from auifers) and slat water oyster farms. Mussles farms were being converted to oyter in many places as more lucrative. Lobster fishing happens on the North Shore through JUen July then stops to llos them to breed. Starts again on South Shore in September then stops again. So North Shore fishermen only have a 2 month season for lobster.
    Whole area was very environemental conscious, repecting the resources. They ahd formed the first coop in Canada and first bank also. First stop was at a hotel which had been in the Green Gables film. Had been a grand 32 bd house built by an oil baron, but when he died it was taken over by Canadian Parks in lieiu of taxes.Stooped at a bbeach next to a lighthouse (wooden but red and white, no longer used). We wlaked onto the beach, very fine sand, the whole island is a giant sandbar, no real bedrock other than a mall amount that had been quarried years ago and used to build the oldest red bricked buildings on the island. . The sea was very warm due to gulf stream, in the 70’s. Like all the beaches we saw was lovely. Stopped at an art gallery cooperative and got picture of lighthouse.
    Then went to see oldest building on PEI which had belonged to ancestors of Harry’s wife. They had come across from France in 1700’s. Next door was the old bank, the first one and next to that the oldest catholic church in Canada where Harry was married! Went around the villages of Rustico where Harry lived. Went down onto a newly built area for the view. Passed chapo on laewnmower tractor who didn’t acknowledge Harrys wave. Turned out he had moved up from Texas and was quite miserable and not beldning in with island life. We could tell from his manner!
    Went from here to Green Gables to try and beat the buses from our ship which we did just. Was busy, had to queue to get into the house, Sam was v excited, rest of us less so. Was hosue where author of Anne of Green Gables had lived and based the stories here. Lovers Lane and the Haunted Woods from the books were nearby. Had drink and crisps, Sam got model of the hosue then back to the car, stopped here about an hour altogether.
    Went from here to see the red sandstone cliffs with cormorant nests. Red was die to high iron content making rust. Parked at a aheadland where we could look either way and see the cliffs further in than we were, very impressive. Harry said in winter ice floes from Arctic floated down here with selas living on them whwre the seals stayed to breed. As weather warmed they would float out then back again for f ew weeks until it got warm enoygh for them to hit the gulf stream then they were carried away and melted.
    Saw Harrys hosue, a grand colonial style place. Stopped off at the oyster place he runs, showed us the cages they farm them inm had chat with one of the fishermen, who was seeding the cages. Takes three eyars for oyster to grow to saleable weight. Three grades cocktail, small and alrge. Saw lobster pots, new ones were rectangles as easier to stack. Old ones were the rounded tops, better instorms and less likely to smash. New ones were for younger fishermen, older ones had the rounded. Harry suggested the younger guys would learn and convert eventually.
    We headed back to Charlottetwon , saw PEI Uni, specialising in medcien and vets. Saw the old district where the shipbuilders ahd lived then the palce where Canada was formed where the heads of each region in mid 1700s had come to sign the constirution.Also saw guns built by French to repel English, never fired once French saw size of English fleet arriving.
    Dropped near Victoria Street with lots of restaurants. Said goodbye to Harry, a really great guide. Had lunch, fish/lobster all round then went to Cool as a Moose, then Cows Ice Cream. Ed got great T Shirt parody of Fortnite – Farmnite, Cattle Royale!
    Walked back to ship and back on board about 3pm. Had rest in room then Tash had treatment 515 so we played some draughts and table tennis then met her for the quiz with nice couple from Canada who were very jolly! Then went for quick buffet dinner before heading to the theatre for a BBC PLnet Earth film set to live music from the band. Good entertainment then to be exhausted!
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