Friday, July 31, 2009


After our adventures on Cape Breton, H and I headed to PEI for a little more civilized fun. We traded our tent for a room in a B&B, the middle of nowhere for the middle of a city.
First we had to get from Cape Breton to Charlottetown, PEI. Our initial plan called for a six hour drive and an hour ferry ride. Instead of following the GPS directions, however, we decided to take the scenic route. H wanted to check out a Celtic Music Museum and eat at a place called the Red Shoe. This added about an hour to our plan. We got stuck behind two asphalt trucks in the mountains. Then we got to the ferry and had to wait for an hour before we could board. We finally arrived at the B&B around 9 pm.
The Snapdragon B&B is a great little place in Charlottetown. We stayed in the Fitzroy Room on the second floor. It was a great room. The breakfasts were also top notch. We had pancakes twice. They were light and tasty.

Our first day on PEI was overcast and misty. We decided that we would do indoors activities. On the north western tip of the island there is a large wind farm that H wanted to check out. There is also a Seaweed Pie Cafe that sounded interesting. So, we got into the car and drove the hour and a half to Tignish.
The wind farm has a nice restaurant in the visitor center. I got an excellent burger. There is also a small, but informative, museum at the visitor center. We watched some seaweed farmers collect Irish moss.

After the wind farm, we drove to the Seaweed Pie Cafe. The Cafe is also a museum about Irish moss harvesting. Irish moss is a form of sea weed that is the primary source of carrageen. Carrageen is a food additive that is used to thicken and stabilize milk products like ice cream. As part of the "tour" we enjoyed a piece of Seaweed Pie - a sponge cake with a light green whipped topping made using Irish moss.
The second day in PEI was our big adventure day. A couple we ran into several times on Cape Breton told us that the section of the Confederation Trail (The Confederation Trail is a gravel paved bike trail that runs the length of PEI. The province recycled the defunct railway routes to make the trail.) along St. Peter's Bay was the prettiest part of the trail. We also wanted to see the parabolic dunes and the PEI Vodka distillery.
So, we drove about 45 minutes to the National Park HQ in Greenwich. From there we road our bikes along the road back into St. Peter's where we could pick up the Confederation Trail. From St. Peter's the trail follows St. Peter's Bay into Morell where there is supposedly a great bakery (which is closed on Sundays when H and I want to get pastry after a bike ride). The views along the trail are pure pastoral prettiness. It is the most scenic bike trial I've ever ridden. The ride to Morell and back was about 25 miles.

After finishing the bike ride, we had a quick lunch. Then we headed out to see the parabolic dunes. The trail is well marked and goes through a combination of forest, coastal beach, and marshland. It takes about an hour an a half to complete the walk, but it is worth it.
After getting back from our walk we hopped in the car and drove to Hermanville to tour the Prince Edward Distillery. It is the only Canadian distiller of potato vodka. It is a small place and the tour ($10 a person) is short. To make the price palatable, they offer tastings of the potato vodka and the blueberry rye vodka. Both are very good. The potato vodka has a smooth, creamy taste. The blueberry vodka has a hint of blueberry flavor.

On the way back to Charlottetown, we grabbed dinner at a gas station. The Sheltered Harbour Cafe in Fortune Bridge is part of a gas station. We were a little skeptical of stopping, but the parking lot was full. Once inside, we were glad we stopped. The food was excellent and reasonably priced.
Our final day on PEI was a lounging day. We spent the morning strolling around Charlottetown. It is a small city, so there is not much to see. The waterfront is nice and the mall is oddly happening. There are a bunch of little shops.
In the afternoon we headed out to Cardigan for another bike ride and to visit a little craft center. This offshoot of the Confederation trail is also scenic as it runs along the Brudnell River, but it is not as pretty as the section along St. Peter's Bay.

No comments:

Post a Comment