Yesterday we explored around Charlottetown, starting at the visitors centre, Simon having done the first of his holiday homework sessions first thing in the morning and two sessions of reading, as he had missed one the previous day. I was most impressed as I was still snuggled up in bed! Our hotel is a higgledy piggledy arrangement of adjoining buildings, the result of which is that our window looks out onto a corridor and a brown wall so we can’t tell what time of day it is or the weather. It is very uninspiring but we don’t spend much time here so it doesn’t matter too much. The one fun thing at the Rodd Royalty is the 105 foot water slide which I shrieked my way down the first time I went down it! Simon was much more contained but loved it nonetheless!
We went on the Harbour Hippo bus ride, a trip around the city and then into the harbour itself! The bus was used in the Vietnam war as an amphibious supply vehicle though never saw any action. According to our guide all the duck tour vehicles around the world were used in warfare before having a new life as tourist attractions!
We couldn’t resist the pull of the Chip Shack and reputedly the best chips on the Island! They certainly were good! A wander through the downtown, into St Basilicas Cathedral which was very beautiful, into the Confederation Festival Centre and back to the Confederation museum where we learnt how the Confederation was formed, basically because of a big party in Charlottetown in 1864! And the reason that the conference/party was held here was that the PEI premier wouldn’t go to the mainland so everyone else came here! The Confederation was a changeable beast, evolving over many years, most recently with Nunavat being formed in 1999, this was to allow the First Nation peoples more involvement in the government of the huge area where they make up over 85% of the population.
The evenings are long here so we decided to drive to PEI National park in the east of the island, Greenwich, for a walk and to see something of the coastline. As it turned out the coastal drive doesn’t hug the coast so we drove through little towns, the road winding over wooded hillsides and alongside ploughed fields with the red earth for which PEI is known. The red coming from iron in the soil which gives the PEI potatoes their distinctive flavour. PEI, small as it is, produces one third of the potatoes produced in Canada! We had a long and beautiful walk through the wood, though the huge mosquitoes were out in force and determined to feast on us! It was a relief to reach the very long boardwalk, the longest I have ever seen, which went across a huge marshy lake where swallows were swooping and diving, chirping all the while. The boardwalk finally led up and over huge sand dunes to a deserted long white beach where Simon skimmed flat red rocks into the gentle waves. The huge mosquitoes In the woodlands were out in force, determined to feast on us! We spent a lot of time batting them away! We headed back towards Charlottetown, stopping for the perfect light dinner at St Peters Inn overlooking St Pe ters Bay. The drive back in the pouring rain took longer than I thought I would so no water slide and swim before bed for us!
Today was a good day too but it is getting late.Today will have to wait until tomorrow!