“Southern-Traveller Heads North” chronicles my recent trip to Maine, Nova Scotia, Quebec & Montreal. Today’s post continues with my third adventure in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia. Because of high seas and winds we were not able to dock in Sydney the previous day.)
There’s so much to see on this tiny island of Nova Scotia that I had to make some difficult decisions since our time ashore was limited. Since I am a photographer, the ship’s shore excursions usually frustrate me because they only make one or two stops for photos. For that reason I arranged a tour with Tours by Locals, which I discovered is a worldwide network of independent local guides. (I highly recommend checking them out before your next trip–very reasonable prices also.)
Our guide Terry picked the five of us up at the pier where the Maasdam docked and whisked us away in a very comfortable van for a 3+ hour tour of the North Shore. During the drive through rolling hills and small fishing villages, Terry shared the history of the island with us as well as personal stories that only a local would know.
We drove past a mussel farm in Tracadie Bay to spot how the legendary PEI mussels are grown in the water. We also stopped at the very unique Dunes Craft and Cafe with amazing gardens and statuary in the back. Then on to Brackley Beach and National Park and the famous red cliffs of Cavendish National Park where this photography addict had to be dragged back to the van in order to keep on schedule!
The small fishing village of North Rustico was another great photography opportunity. Our final stop was Cavendish, the home and setting of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book, Anne of Green Gables. Although very touristy, it’s worth the stop to see the introductory film on her life, tour the house, and grab a pastry at the local gift shop. While I have never read the book, I toured the house with an avid fan of Montgomery’s who kept telling me what to take photos of because “when I did read the book, I’d understand why it was important.” (It’s now on my bucket list of books, if there is such a thing!)
Arriving back in Charlottetown, the capital which was settled as a French fortified post in 1720, we chose to have lunch at the port to enjoy yet another lobster roll and some PEI mussels.
(Photos and story by Sandra Chambers © 2015)