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Canadian Tyre at last

Wallace, Canada

Last few hours on PEI. Specifically Charlottetown with a compact, historic centre that has been largely well cared for and unspoiled with modern shopping centres in the suburbs. Strangely, there appeared to be no conflict unlike Summerside. A small city currently of about 60,000 – similar to Shrewsbury. I have no idea what the population was in 1864 but my favourite story about the Charlottetown Conference is that the circus was in town that week and as the Canadian delegates had invited themselves, there was insufficient lodging in town because the Maritime delegates and the circus had already booked it all so they had to stay each night on the ship that brought them. It seems that play was just as important as work because after each days hot air, there was a banquet & dancing to the small hours! Politicians seem to have changed little.

One of the major concerns I had for the wellbeing of the Maritimes community was the absence of a Canadian Tyre – how can any society flourish without one in reasonable proximity? I had not seen one on arrival in Halifax or since. I am delighted to report that there is one in Charlottetown, at least.

We paid a visit to the Lieutenant Governor's residence, a pleasant house in a nice spot overlooking the bay. It is still lived in but free guided tours were available by waiting outside for the next tour on the hour and half hour and the young lass who showed us around spent rather more than the allocated 30 minutes so had a large group waiting after us. Apparently Prince William & Catherine stayed there last year; a slight difference to our B&B and I expect a slightly different price. Speaking of which, we met our fellow guests for breakfast, a girl from Quebec Province who had cycled from there and was planning to cross on the ferry from Wood Island before cycling round the Cabot trail in Nova Scotia. I asked what colour her helmet was so we could look out for it (it's white & purple); we'll hoot as we pass her. There was a lovely family from Toronto with a 14 year old son with his arm in plaster following a soccer accident – it is a vicious game. Apparently they love the BBC output and are particularly fond of Top Gear.

With Charlottetown having about half the island's population, it is perhaps not surprising that the main attractions of PEI can be summed up as Historic Charlottetown, fictional Anne of Green Gables, wonderful scenery and spectacular and apparently very warm beaches. If you are not into beach holidays and there is probably a limit to how much lovely scenery you may want to take in; it is not an island in which to spend a lot of time. Although outdoorsy types looking for a new place to play will undoubtedly enjoy spending time here.

Before leaving the island we went into Victoria and had lunch at the Landmark Café; apparently it is famous according to our guidebook and difficult to get in. This is understandable, an unassuming place serving wonderful food; we had a most excellent tuna salad washed down with pink lemonade. And it was not too pricey!

Back to the Confederation Bridge and the rather hefty $44.25 toll, albeit for both trips; I suppose an 8 mile bridge costs a lot to build & maintain.

And so to our overnight stay in Wallace at the Jubilee Inn. A large house overlooking Wallace Bay conveniently close to Jost vineyard that we hope to visit tomorrow. Our room is quite a pleasant one with an en-suite, rather quirkily having a spa bath in the bedroom itself. Let's just say that the décor suggests that there have been no recent trips to Canadian Tyre!

permalink written by  rickandsuejohnson on August 10, 2012 from Wallace, Canada
from the travel blog: Go West then go East
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