The Smallest Canadian Province with a Big Bold Past

Upon entering the Confederation Bridge there is a big bold sign use of cellphones on the bridge strictly prohibited and fines up to… I missed that part obviously as I was driving and taking this photo at the slow rate of speed 50-kmph (35mph).

After the twenty-two minute slow drive across the bridge, we pulled into the tourist information centre to get a map, talk about Anne of Green Gables and to find out what this large concrete block thingy was outside?

Turns out this concrete casting is a memorial and dedication to the Confederation Bridge being a succeess between all contributors of the funding, design and build of it and the inner provincial workings between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island’s (PEI) legislation.

And no trip to any province is completed until you have that unwriten travellers’ picture with the province or territory or country signage. The map which we were provided showed several scenic driving routes around the island, each route with a distinctive sign, such as Central Coast, red shores (south) or green gables (north).

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We opted for the southern route which would bring us along the coast and end up in Charlottetown for the evening. Turning East we drove along Route-10, heading towards Augustine Cove.

Less than fifteen minutes into our drive we deviated down a side road to Bailey’s point in search of a good view of the elaborate Confederation Bridge. Instead of the bridge we found this amazing cove with a hundred sandbar pools of water.

We gazed out onto the clear waters, there was literally no sounds coming at us from any direction. The entire world was silent, in this moment in time.

Driving up the dirt road we encountered our first true wildlife specimen, a small red fox perusing the edibles in the median and as I slowed the vehicle he decided to sprint across the road and out into the corn field.

20180910_1428201628936813.jpgBack on the main roadway we sped east about twenty-minutes or so, until we came across a stretch of houses outside of the small colourful fishing village of Victoria. The people who lived and worked in this area had an amazing 180-degree view of the Northumberland Strait. Even with the overcast skies, you could still make out the Nova Scotia coastline.

Parking the car, we walked over to a rickety-old hand built staircase which landed on the precipice and the beach. We explored the thousands of snails and ripples in the seafloor sand. As we strolled along we watched hundreds of birds hanging about on sandbars while dunking their faces into the brisk oceans’ edge trying to catch a snack. There were seagulls of grey, white and blue colours and more blue herons then I had ever seen congregated in one location.

Our last unplanned stop came at Fort Amherst National Historic Site which is situated at the southeastern entrance of Charlottetown Harbor. Back in history, this settlement was the first due to its easy access to the strait. However after several encounters with the local inhabitants and the British staying on Cape Breton across the strait, the people receded into the location of present day Charlottetown.

The reason for moving is there is only one way in by boat and one way out, which made it easier for the settlers of the day to protect themselves and their supplies.

There are two signifcant monuments at this site. The first, an old set of grassy hills which shows where the original fort and its moat were located and how the attached farm would have been positioned.

 

The second is a monument discussing The Grand Derangement (The Great Upheaval) which occurred in 1755, when the British began systematically deporting 10,000 Acadians (men, women, children), from this area. The British split up families and communities shipping these people back to France, England and some parts of America. The Brits, took everything from these people, their homes and possessions.

During our read through of the Acadian monument, we both encountered our first case of PEI mosquitos. They moved almost as rapidly as I flung my arms about trying to chase them off. Instead we fled the monument heading back to the SUV, at an unexpectedly quick pace.