Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cape Breton to Prince Edward Island

Our last outing on Cape Breton Island was a visit to the Glace Bay area. We saw the site where Guglielmo Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio messages on Dec. 15, 1902. All that remains are concrete foundations of the wireless operating room, but an information center was built near the site.

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We walked out to see the ruins and look out to sea.

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Imagine our surprise when we spotted a huge iceberg way out in the ocean! It’s times like this I wish I had a giant 300x zoom lens!

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Our next stop was the Miners’ Museum.

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A video and many exhibits explain the process of mining for coal and the Cape Breton Island’s mining heritage. The museum is also the home of The Men of The Deeps, the singing group that we saw perform, as I mentioned in a previous blog post.

Mining was a dangerous process, and many men lost their lives in cave-ins and explosions. A long hall displays a memorial tiles for every person who died in the Cape Breton Island mines.

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We opted not to take the mine tour, which requires that you somehow make it through an opening only 4’ 2” tall (difficult, even for me!) and walk a long distance in the mine – I got claustrophobic just thinking about that! We gained a great appreciation for the men who did this hard work for so many years.

On Tuesday we moved from Louisbourg, on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, to Prince Edward Island. The drive began well, but before long we were in the middle of a big construction project.

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By then Don was driving because I was tired driving about 70 miles on a narrow, winding road. Lucky me, I got to sit back and take pictures! Some of the views from the southwest side of Bras d’Or Lakes were breathtaking.

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Besides several delays for construction, we encountered a one-lane bridge.

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We arrived at Caribou, about 180 miles total, a little after 12:00 noon. Without a reservation, we didn’t know if we’d have to wait a long time to catch a ride. The agent said “No problem, just get in lane 8 behind the other campers.” (All RVs are “campers” in this part of the world.) The next ferry was scheduled to leave at 1:00 pm.

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Before long, we saw the ferry coming in to dock.

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It’s amazing how many vehicles the ferries can hold!

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As the crew began to direct vehicles to drive onto the ferry, cars were loaded first, with motorcycles, trucks and campers later in the process. I was afraid we weren’t going to make it on, but we finally got the nod to move forward and our motorhome was the last camper on the ship. Hurray!

Nobody is allowed to stay in their vehicles during the sail, so we first went to the deck with entertainment. A man and his 9-year-old son (who’s been playing guitar for 10 years!) played and sang.

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We saw another ferry making the trip in the opposite direction. It looked like a smaller boat.

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After a snack and walking around outside to see the views, we saw the island of PEI come into view. This is one of 26 lighthouses, only 7 of which are open to the public. Perhaps we can get to a few of them.

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Once again I took the wheel to drive to the west side of Charlottetown to our RV park. We have a site buried in the trees, but we’re not using our satellite dishes here, so it’s not a problem. It’s nice to have some shade, with a large outside area as our site is wedge-shaped.

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Yesterday we toured a little of Charlottetown. We visited Victoria Park, named in honor of Queen Victoria in 1793.

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The PEI Battery was moved to the site in 1805, to defend the town. Its six guns have never been used for defense, but the area has often been used for ceremonial occasions.

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There’s a nice view of downtown across the North River.

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After lunch in town, we walked to Victoria Row. This is a very old city, and it’s great to see most of the buildings have been preserved or restored.

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Peake’s Wharf hosts musicians in the outside plaza, with restaurants and shops all around, and of course boats.

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I asked Don if he wanted this boat that’s for sale (second from right).

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He said no, he wanted this one!

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A group of flag dancers was practicing.

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We drove through the historic district. This is St. Dunstan’s Basilica, opened in 1919.

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There are colorful row houses similar to those in Newfoundland, but with more subdued colors.

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Today we drove north across the island to Cavendish to see a few of the Anne of Green Gables sites. First stop was the birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of “Anne of Green Gables,” and other novels in the series.

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The bedroom where Lucy was born.

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Second stop: The Anne of Green Gables Museum is housed in the Campbell home built in 1872 by L.M. Montgomery’s aunt and uncle. The house and its surroundings served as the inspiration for the novels.

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L.M. Montgomery was married in this parlor on July 5, 1911, in front of the fireplace.

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From an upstairs window I saw a horse-drawn carriage beginning a tour, with the “Lake of Shining Waters” in the background.

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When I finished looking through the house, I found Don relaxing on the swing outside so I joined him. Anyone who loves the Anne of Green Gables stories should visit here!

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