It was a cold, foggy morning when we left the island. We took the Wood Islands Ferry over to Nova Scotia.
It was quite crowded, so Erica and I ended up leaving our bags at a table to save our spot while we watched Prince Edward Island dissolve into the fog behind us. That’s how we met a wonderful couple from Ontario. The husband was a dead ringer for Cliff Clavin. They chastised us for leaving our bags unattended and laughed when we shrugged and said, “Eh, it’s Canada.” They said that attitude definitely wouldn’t work in Toronto, even if it is Canada. We had a lovely chat with them and got some advice from their recent experience in Nova Scotia.
I hated to say good-bye to PEI. When I was planning our trip there, I had a hard time knowing how to split our time between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. I think I could definitely have used an extra day or two (or seven or fourteen) on PEI, but there was also a lot to look forward to in Nova Scotia.
When we left Cavendish, we headed to the other side of the island. We were going to stay the night in Montague, so we could be closer to the Wood Islands ferry early in the morning. We stopped off at the hotel, which was actually a little cottage on the river, dropped off our bags, changed into swimwear and headed to Panmure Island. Before hitting the beach, though, we visited the lighthouse because we were trying to see them all.
I had hoped that visiting in July would mean more beach time, but each time we tried, it was actually windy and a little too cold. So we visited the beach in swimsuits and cardigans. But it was still lovely to lay out in the sun and read or just close my eyes and feel the breeze and the sand in my hands.
Later that night, we decided to have a picnic on the deck outside of our cottage. It overlooked the Montague River and its wharf. So we ate KFC and waited for the stars to come out, so I could try and capture the night sky.
I’m pretty sure this is my hand accidentally passing in front of the lens during the long exposure, but I like the way it turned out.
It was a magical way to spend the last night on a magical island.
You know that scene in the Anne of Green Gables movie where Anne and Diana are standing on the red cliffs at sunset overlooking the sea.
And Diana talks about how nice it would be to rich? And Anne says,
You know something Diana. We are rich. We have 16 years to our credit, and we both have wonderful imaginations. We should be as happy as queens. Look at that. You couldn’t enjoy its loveliness anymore if you had ropes of diamonds.
Most of the movie was actually filmed in Ontario, but those cliffs are in Prince Edward Island.
It’s the perfect place to stare out over the water.
But it’s even better when you share it with a kindred spirit.
At that moment, I definitely felt rich.
I expected Avonlea Village to be a little cheesy, but I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to the cheesiness until it wasn’t really there. Granted, it was a rainy Sunday morning when we stopped by before leaving Cavendish, but it was also peak summer tourist season. I wanted to see Anne and Diana running around. Maybe Mrs. Rachel Lynde? Gilbert? Maybe some buggy rides? Turns out, I was working on old information. In 2015, they got rid of the characters and turned the buildings into private shops and restaurants. At least the buildings were still there and quite pretty.
Not to mention the flowers.
We couldn’t leave Cavendish without paying our respects to L.M. Montgomery.
Something I didn’t realize about Prince Edward Island before I visited there was that it has a lot of lighthouses. Like, a lot. BUT they’re not exactly the lighthouses that you might imagine. There are those tall, kind of octagonal ones (sometimes striped), but for the most part, we came across squat square ones. So we saw lighthouses marked on the map (and we decided that we wanted to see as many of them as we could), but we never knew what to expect when we actually found them. I was not disappointed by the New London Lighthouse.
When Anne and Gilbert marry, they move to a village called Glen St. Mary where they have their House of Dreams. One of their neighbors is an old sea captain who is now a light keeper and lives in the lighthouse. I imagine it looked something like this.
If only Captain Jim still lived there and could spin us yarns of his adventures. Or if only I could fix up the lighthouse, make it cozy, and live surrounded by that tall sea grass and salty breeze.
My own House of Dreams.
I felt a little awkward taking these photos at Malpeque Harbor, to be frank. There were fishermen coming in for the day, and I just felt like such a tourist. But at the same time, I loved the colors of the sheds, and the huge piles of buoys and lobster cages. I was fascinated by the whale bones (?) hung on one of the sheds. Some day, I’d like to be the person who doesn’t just feel awkward, but who engages. I would have liked to learn more.
One of the reasons I love to have a car when traveling is that you never know when you’ll come across an amazing view…
Or a wildflower-lined road leading to the sea that you simply must take…
Or a lighthouse that’s also a charming home hidden from the road.
It seemed like every twist of the road led to a picture-perfect scene, and I fell in love with the island more and more.