John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/15

Time & Tide

After a hearty breakfast we took advantage of the laundry facilities in our B&B to do our clothes, then took off for a leisurely long drive across PEI. Well, from Charlottetown up to Cavendish area and back on a loop of several back roads. Clearly this island caters to tourists, so there are lots of kitsch shops including one with statues of riding figures out front.

0114 Riders & Mounts

0114 Riders & Mounts

The steed with a monkey on its back looks less mellow than our mood, but the serene sculpture on the left had the rider apparently using the animal’s tail as a saddle in some way that both seem comfortable with. We stopped because of this sign:

0117 Cafe Open

0117 Cafe Open

Turned out it was only the half dozen or more gift shops that were open, so we saddled up for the short drive out to PEI National Park for a look at the mercifully quiet Gulf of St. Lawrence.

0118 Quiet Gulf

0118 Quiet Gulf

You could see signs of how much pounding this shore gets in more turbulent storms, and ample indications (not just all the wind turbine generators) of how much wind there often is. Back on the country roads though, we saw water parks, amusement rides, and even what looked like a full-size space shuttle.

0122 Landing Error?

0122 Landing Error?

One theory we discussed is that women come to Cavendish to walk the ground of L.M. Montgomery, and the kids (especially the boys) are much happier dropped off at the many nearby entertainments than watching their mothers wander dreamily around an old house. Arriving at the only real focus of our drive, we were greeted by a charming wild, slightly lame and tame fox.

0304 Calmly Alert

0304 Calmly Alert

It was clearly interested in handouts, though we had none, and it circled warily at a fairly exact distance of 20 yards pausing to politely convey a nonverbal request for food before meandering off in search of better-supplied tourists. We then turned our attention back to the other side of the parking lot where a small cottage draws big crowds on sunnier days. My precious Anne was named for this place with the green gables, and she was absolutely sparkling with the joy of being there.

0310 Anne of Green Gables

0310 Anne of Green Gables

For a few dollars we got to wander the original house that inspired the author to write her first book, and to see her upstairs bedroom.

0315 Dreamer's Room

0315 Dreamer's Room

We stood in the yard by a tree that was probably young back then, and looked at the meadow and haunted woods.

0317 Pondering Past & Present

0317 Pondering Past & Present

Arriving half an hour before closing time on a cool day before peak season gave us a quiet and reflective time to be there with just a few other hushed and hardy souls. In a somewhat more contemplative mood we set off again on a loop back toward town, with more glimpses of the Gulf.

0277 Sand & Sea

0277 Sand & Sea

It was raining of course but our friend from Toronto told us not to believe locals when they say it’s not usually like this, so we decided to actually visit Toronto via an enchanting red dirt back road shortcut.

0123 Back Road

0123 Back Road

Toronto itself turned out to be more than a little disappointing, consisting primarily of two intersecting roads dividing two houses marked only by a leaning sign post.

0125 Toronto City Centre

0125 Toronto City Centre

Luckily we did see many picturesque places like the little village of Rusticoville along the way.

0294 Yellow & Green

0294 Yellow & Green

Many places where time and tide await the patient wanderer with the quiet sound of distant birds and lapping waters, above a hint of air moving through trees.

0326 Time & Tide

0326 Time & Tide

On our new route home we looked across the small bay where we walked exploring the restored homes, and the culinary school where we enjoyed fresh chowder.

0128 Another View of Home

0128 Another View of Home

We savored the day, memories of youth, the joys of maturity, and an inner calm that refreshes our love of adventure.

Advertisements

Calm Mist

Filed under: Happiness,Has Photos,MeriTimes Adventure,Random — John @ 03:38

Today a calm mist settled over Charlottetown and infused us with rest. We’ve been leaping states and provinces, moving from one sleeping arrangement to another, packing, unpacking, repacking, and filling our hearts and minds with the spirit of Travel. So we slept in, brought the lovely second B of B&B (Breakfast) to our room on a tray, and didn’t get out until late afternoon. I took a deep breath just now recalling that. 🙂

When we did get out, our first stop was a shop for luxury items named Dollarama. There I got a clear vinyl umbrella for $2, and (after assuring ourselves that none of the other zillions of cheap items were needed) we headed for the Big Tourist Attraction noted on a map: Ardgowan.

0241 Ardgowan Ambivalence

0241 Ardgowan Ambivalence

The first impression is, “What’s the big deal?” It’s the house of a Pope (name, not title) who was instrumental in Canadian confederation, and is a national park. Now to be fair, it was closed so we only saw the outside of an otherwise unremarkable victorian house with few ornamentations. Later we learned there’s also an Anne of Green Gables info centre of some kind next door. Anyway, after a soggy stroll around the front we drove on to see what’s across the short bridge to Stratford.

0256 Stratford Bridge

0256 Stratford Bridge

Out of view to the right are remnants of the stone footings of an older bridge that the cormorants use to dry their wings and think about fish. Stratford seems to be a residential suburb, so we found ourselves looking back at Charlottetown where we noticed what looks like a tanker ship and two tall church spires.

0254 Port Spires

0254 Port Spires

We walked past that church yesterday, and I’ve already forgotten the name but it’s one of several interesting old structures in the heart of town. Heading back across the bridge we drove along the waterfront to see the other side of the tanker, and found it’s parked in front of last night’s lobster restaurant.

0261 Lobster Tanker

0261 Lobster Tanker

There’s also a museum just visible on the left, that we seem to always be near when it’s closed. So driving on we toured more of the quaint side streets downtown with a variety of shops, and a bakery where we got some goodies. Near our B&B we paused to admire the Haviland Club (1869) near the water with an observation tower like the nearby place we saw on our first night in town. We imagined mariners up there watching the comings and goings at the harbor, perhaps yearning for a return to the sea or maybe remembering epic storms they endured in the icy ocean.

0267 Haviland Club

0267 Haviland Club

An institutional looking 2-story building across the street (think DMV) got barely a glance until the aroma of home cooking got us checking wind direction and taking a closer look. Then we noticed something about a culinary college on a sign, and the car began moving in that direction all by itself. We got a really good seafood chowder for two for 1/3 what we paid last night that included ample servings of fresh lobster, scallops, mussels, shrimp, and maybe crab. Spiced just right in a delicious cream sauce and a generous enough portion that even split it left us unable to consider dessert. We brought our warm bellies home, did some laundry, and now find ourselves up late again researching things to do while we wait for the weather to improve. We have a plan, and tomorrow we’ll let you know how it unfolds. Meanwhile, I hope this short tale of travelers becalmed in restful mists doesn’t leave you feeling sleepy as it does me…

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: