musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Green Gables

This is a summer of celebration in Canada – we're 150 years old – so it seemed like a great time to hit the road with my friend Kate and discover new-to-us places in this great country. Our ultimate destination: Iles de la Madeleine, a remote and breathtakingly beautiful archipelago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, five hours by boat from Prince Edward Island. But with so much to see along the way, expect a post or two before we get there.

Our travels took us through Montreal, Quebec City, and Rivière-du-Loup in Quebec; Miramichi and Shediac in New Brunswick; and then across the spectacular Confederation Bridge to lovely Prince Edward Island – famous for its rich red soil, excellent potatoes and, of course, that little red-haired girl known around the world: Anne of Green Gables.

Confederation Bridge, at 12.9 km (8 miles) it's the
longest bridge in the world that crosses ice-covered water. 

Beautiful Prince Edward Island 

We spent three days on Prince Edward Island, enjoying the scenery, red sand beaches, and some of the best fish and chips I have ever eaten. From the window of our ocean-view room in Summerside, we were delighted by the sight of tall ships entering the harbour, part of a Canada 150 celebration tour.

Tall ship approaching Summerside PEI

This trip was a second visit to PEI for me and also for Kate. Our first times were many years ago and we both traveled with husbands who had no interest whatsoever in anything Anne-related. This time, we vowed to see it all, beginning with a drive-by photo op of the little house in New London where author Lucy Maud Montgomery was born. 

Birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery in New London, PEI

From there, we headed to Silver Bush – the lovely farm where Lucy Maud spent summers with her cousins, the Campbells. Members of the Campbell family have owned the farm since 1867 and now operate it as a museum. Montgomery called Silver Bush "the shining castle of my childhood" and it's easy to see why... such an incredibly pretty place.

Silver Bush, The Campbell family home since 1867.

The farm at Silver Bush, Anne's "Lake of Shining Waters" in the distance.

The parlor at Silver Bush

A bedroom at Silver Bush

Could this be Anne's Matthew Cuthbert?
No, just one of the guides, waiting to take us on a horse and buggy ride.

Molly the horse took us past the Lake of Shining Waters on our ride around the farm.

After a lovely boxed lunch on the front porch (including glasses of "awfully nice raspberry cordial") we left Silver Bush to travel the short distance to Cavendish and Green Gables – another spot much loved by author L. M. Montgomery whose cousins, the MacNeill family, were the original owners of the farm. Green Gables is now a National Historic Site and part of Prince Edward Island National Park. Kate and I spent a memorable few hours soaking up the Anne atmosphere while exploring the house and grounds (and the gift shop, of course). I brought home a copy of Anne, la maison aux pignons verts (Anne of Green Gables) which I hope to re-read and enjoy while at the same time improving my French. Time will tell.

The green gables that gave the farm its name.

Green shutters and flowering vines.

Green Gables

Windblown peonies in the Green Gables garden.

The gardens at Green Gables.

Dining room at Green Gables. The house is authentically Victorian throughout.

A little bedroom at Green Gables.

Matthew Cuthbert's hat and cane?

Best summer job ever! Interpretive staff playing Anne and her "kindred spirit" Diana.

Alas, we couldn't stay. But if I close my eyes, I'm back on Anne's island... red sand, salty breezes, and favourite stories of my childhood brought to life. Hope you enjoyed sharing the visit! Next up... lobster fishing in Shediac Bay.

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At 11:39 am, Blogger Ruth Daly said...

Lovely! I went there a couple of years ago - PEI is somewhere I'd always wanted to go, so it was very special.

At 2:09 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

Oh my goodness. What a wonderful journey you have taken us on. I felt as though I was there with you (and wish I had been!) and your photos really captured it all so well.

At 5:05 pm, Anonymous Joanne Guidoccio said...

I love visiting the Maritime Provinces...PEI is my favorite. Your lovely pictures brought back many fond memories. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl :)

At 10:20 pm, Blogger Doreen Pendgracs said...

Lovely post, Cheryl. I, too, love the East Coast. Was in Shediac in May, so I will really be looking forward to your next post.

At 3:50 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Ruth, Susan, Joanne, and Doreen - thanks so much for reading. I'm glad you could relive the experience with me. Plotting ways to go back! ;-)


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