A Day on Prince Edward Island

The Maritime Inn in Antigonish where we stayed the night before we went across the bridge to PEI. That is our rental car on the left side of the picture.

After we visited the Red Shoe on Cape Breton we wanted to spend a day on Prince Edward Island. We had come too far not to see the green gabled home of Anne.

So, leaving the Cape we drove as far as Antoginish where we stopped for the night. A pretty little town that we really had no time to explore. The drive to Confederation Bridge in the morning would be easy from there.

In the morning it was cloudy and a bit wet and foggy. We set out after breakfast working our way along the South shore of the Northumberland Straight and that is where we ran into the “Happiness Rocks”. I can’t recall now exactly where along the coast we were but we stopped in a little park to have a bite to eat from the stash Susan always had in the back of the car.

There was no one about being the middle of winter and such a grey day. I walked to the far end of the park and on my way back a saw a colored rock sitting on the edge of a small picnic shelter. Picking it up I realized that it was painted on the top and on the back it had a label scotch taped to it: “F-Post a Pic Happiness Rocks, Moncton, N.B.”. (I looked it up and you can go to their FaceBook Page here.) 


Susan in the Park where we found our Happiness Rocks.

And these are our treasured Happiness Rocks

Susan leaning on our car outside the Tatamagouche Buy and Sell.

When I got back to Susan I found her holding another Happiness Rock. She had found one too just sitting on the curb in the parking lot. It is amazing how these silly little things brightened our day. We took them with us and as I write these words these two rocks are sitting on my desk in front of me where they will stay for many years. I think they are our best souvenirs from our trip. Such a simple thing that made us feel so welcome. However, we had a bridge to catch so we were on our way again.

We had one other stop. It was a second hand store in Tatamagouche and it was a great place. The owner was closing as we drove up and he opened up for us to wander through his shop. He had great stuff. I think we would have bought a lot if we weren’t travelling but with a flight home to face it did not seem like a good idea.

Along our way, and again I can’t say exactly where, we passed this abandoned farmhouse. I could see a picture there and so I turned around and came back and spent several minutes framing my images. I was not expecting New Brunswick to be so rural.  Absolutely unexpected and totally delightful!

The day was overcast and it did not let up. And as we approached the Confederation Bridge I didn’t notice any place to pull out and see the bridge so we drove out on it really before we knew it. Susan had been aprehensive about it but it was really nothing to worry about. It is wide and there are good barriers on the sides so the views are not frightening. But it is long: 12.9 kilometers long! That is really impressive. It must be the longest bridge I have ever been on.

Once off the bridge it was a short drive into Charlottetown where we checked into the Delta Waters Edge Hotel which was right down on the water, as you might guess. Very nice hotel. Once settled we were out and walking about. What a pretty little town!

Down by the harbour next to the hotel we found this touristy spot that was a natural for a picture. No doubt the whole reason for it being there.

On our walk we found St. Dunstan’s Basilica on Great George Street. The present Basilica was built in 1916 after a fire destroyed the earlier church which stood on this site. All of the buildings in the area are old and some are very grand. The architecture in this neighborhood is interesting and makes a walk quite delightful.

We met all kinds of interesting characters to talk to. These two gentlement were carrying on a great conversation across the road from St. Dunstan’s.

I had a great talk with Sir John A. about the role of Charlottetown in the formation of Canada as a country.

On our walk we came across the Northern Watters Knitwear shop which looked really interesting so we went in. Boy, was this a neat knit place! They had imported stuff from the British Isles and Ireland but best of all they knit the most wonderful sweaters right there in the back of the shop. Not cheap, but just fantastic.

Susan wanted to buy me one which I picked out. She wanted one for Caesar as well but the color and size they didn’t have but they offered to knit it right away. We could have it in the morning. So Susan ordered it. 

While that was going on we wandered about the shop trying this and that on. I bought a great Irish made wool cap for me and Susan picked up a few souvenirs for people back home.

When you are travelling it is experiences like this that make a trip rich with good memories. We could have stayed longer but it was getting late and we were getting hungry. We said our good byes until the morning when we would pick up Caesar’s sweater. It was time to find a restaurant and have our supper.


Finished sweaters waiting for new owners.

The fellow on left is making Caesar’s sweater.

By the time we left it was half done.

A selfie of me in the Norther Watters shop with my new Irish cap on my head.

The card of the maker from inside my new Irish Cap.

After we left the Northern Watters shop we went looking for a good place to eat and found the Claddagh Oyster House for our dinner. I took no photographs which I regret because it was one of the best meals I have ever had. My supper was fish chowder and the seafood was heaping up out of the broth there was so much and the flavor was incredible. Just fantastic. Best meal on the trip by far.

The next day the plan was to take a quick tour around the island and then make our way back to the Tait House so we were close to the Moncton airport for our flight home. But first we had to find Anne Shirley’s house.

The morning was foggy but we got out for a walk to go and get Caesar’s sweater. In the mist the harbour was very beautiful and the walk was nice. The sweater was ready for us and we walked around for an hour and then into the car and we were on our way.

What a beautiful island. Very rural, the soil is really very red, and the farms, even in winter, appear lush. Looks like a great place to live!


The Charlottetown harbour in the mist. Every thing was quiet and there was no one about as we walked by the water not far from our hotel. What a peaceful place.

Walking back to the hotel along Queen Street we can see how much Anne of Green Gables fits into the Provinces tourism picture.

Susan standing outside of the Anne of Green Gables Store on Queen Street in downtown Charlottetown.

We set off across the island to find Green Gables. We had a tourism book from the hotel with a map so we had no trouble finding it. This island is full of little towns and communities set in beautiful woods and farmland. It is really beautiful. I would like to return here in the summer and spend some serious time getting to know the island better.

We all know that Anne of Green Gables was a work of fiction. But it has been so popular that PEI Tourism has capitalised on it by creating Anne’s house in the province’s countryside.

Susan standing on the front steps of Green Gables. The farm and adjacent visitors’ center was closed for the winter season when we were there. In fact, the place was deserted and we were there alone.

When we finished at Green Gables we set course for the Confederation Bridge but this time I wanted a picture. It was not a very good day for photography: heavy overcast and rain showers. But we found the park at the entrance to the bridge and stopped for a few minutes. This bridge is something to see. On this day you could not see the other side and the bridge disappeared into the mist.

The Confederation Bridge from the Prince Edward Island side. 12.9 kilometers long it is something to see. On this day you could not see the far New Brunswick shore and the bridge just dissapeared into the mist in the distance. Totally beautiful!

And that was our trip Down East. That night we stayed at the Tait Mansion again and in the morning drove to the airport in Moncton for our flight home. All in all it was a great trip. The weather could have been much worse but it was good. Lots of cloud and rain but we had our share of sunshine as well. We had been travelling pretty well constantly since mid December and we were tired. Susan wanted to go home and spend a year in her garden. I don’t know if we will have enough time to return to Eastern Canada but we would like to. We loved it and there is so much more we would like to experience. So, we shall see.