Though we are now in Halifax having fun exploring the Citadel and the Maritime Museum, we thought we would say a few words about the rest of our stay in PEI.
A Beautiful Drive
After our adventures with our vehicle, we were able to settle back into our routine of exploring new places with renewed confidence! We head out onto the roads of PEI into the area where we heard there were some Amish farms.
The Amish have been moving into PEI with the encouragement of the PEI government as a way to maintain the farms that have slowly been disappearing from the PEI landscape. As it is harder and harder to make a go at farming and make a profit, farmers have been trying to sell their farms, especially as their children have expressed a disinclination to go into farming themselves. The Amish, faced with rising land prices and a shortage of land back in their own states, have been moving to PEI in small numbers and taking over the farms. As we drove the back roads, we found a few traces of Amish settlers, including signs warning of horses and buggies on the road, an Amish woman walking on the side of the road and a farm with a horse and buggy in the yard.
There wasn’t a whole lot to see other than that as we made our way to Cavendish. I had been looking forward to finding some of the lighthouses along the north shore and, while we did discover some, we also discovered that a large swath of the area was a National Park and would have to pay to park. While we are not averse to doing this, we were not planning on stopping for any significant amount of time, and so did not want to pay to just stop to take a couple of pictures. We did stop to take some pictures of one of the lighthouses but quickly got out and back into the car.
One of my favorite stops that day was to the Green Gables house. I love the movie and book, as I know you probably do, and was quite excited about making a stop to the house that inspired the book and movie, though I was a little afraid that it would feel really tacky with crowds of buses packed with tourists. Happily, this was not the case and we had a wonderful time exploring the house and paths around the area.
If you are ever visiting a national parks site like Green Gables or Fort Langley, they have these wonderful booklets you can pick up for the kids. These booklets have lots of activities for the kids to do to help them experience the site they are visiting. When they are done the booklet, they can return it to receive a dog tag with the name of the site on it. We have done 4 of these now and the kids enjoy adding the tag to their collection. We did the activities at the Green Gables site and the kids got their dog tags. I would have thought they would have chosen the green tags for Green Gables but, instead, they chose the blue ones!
While we were at the site, they had costumed interpreters including Anne, which was fun. We wandered the house with each room decorated to recreate how the book had described them. The site is not actually where Lucy Maud Montgomery had lived but where her Aunt and Uncle had lived. She had visited it many times and used it as the inspiration for the book series. Her actual house was not too far away but we did not stop to explore it. Once we had finished the tour of the house, we heard some music being played. Wandering over, we discovered a folk player under a tent beside the house playing music from the area. This was actually my favorite point of the day. The musician, Shane Pendergast, played the banjo and the guitar singing along with a beautiful folkish voice. Siena and I stayed and listened to the end while Liam and Deanne continued to explore the woods and “Lover’s Lane”. I took some recordings of the music as I wanted to remind myself to look him up but, alas, he does not have any albums yet. I included the recordings below (quality might not be great) along with a video I found.
The Search for Lighthouses
Continuing on in our search for lighthouses, we made one last stop at French River to take some picturesque village along the bay ending at the nearby lighthouse. All the lighthouses are still in use, though most, if not all, are unmanned now. They are still quite striking to see nestled into the rolling, red sand dunes. We walked along the beaches, squishy our feet into the red sand. The sand is very distinctive in its redness which it gets from the high concentration of iron within it. The iron rusts with the contact from water giving the sand its distinctive red colour.
From there, we headed back to our dorm room for one final night, excited for the experiences we had had and happy that our vehicle had driven us there and back with no issues. Next: the drive to Halifax and a stop at Hope For Wildlife.