John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/15

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…

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