Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Rounding Out Our Canadian Swing .....with Jim and Carol Thiesing

Monday, August 6, 2012

OLA: Rounding Out Our Canadian Swing .....with Jim and Carol Thiesing

beautiful fields of rape seed and potatoes in Prince Edward Island
We had spent a few nights at the beautiful home of Jim and Carol Thiesing in South Carolina last April as we were winding up along the East Coast. Just as we had come to Nova Scotia together, we also planned on spending a few more days at Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick plus a quick look at the phenomenon at the Bay of Fundy via Amherst, Nova Scotia.

The Beauty of Prince Edward Island

ferry ride to Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island was a short 40-minute ferry ride from Pictou near Antigonish. Actually, the group of Jack and Joy, John and Roxanne, and Gretchen went on the same ferry with us in another car, but their itinerary was a little different from ours. But the ride was fun and quite an experience for me!

birthplace of Canada
Charlottetown is the capital of PEI and the birthplace of the Canadian nation. On July 1, 1864 a meeting of representatives from Nova Scotia, New Foundland, PEI, Quebec, and Ontario was held to discuss the confederation of the provinces into one Canada. It was held at the Assembly Hall in the xxxx, much like Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It should not be confused with the Founders’ Hall, a museum erected on the site of the disembarkation from the ship Queen Vitoria of the first settlers.

at Lobster on the Wharf, Charlottetown, Priince Edward Island
But what we really enjoyed that night was whole steamed lobsters, 1 lb each for the two Carols, and a pound and a half each for the gentlemen, right out on the deck of Lobster on the Wharf. And, actually, before that we meandered around the board walk and were fascinated by the crafts stores and happily surprised by a beautiful wedding at the beautiful  Basilique of St. dunstan between the wharf and the Assembly Hall. Bill even found a “Carol’s House” for the ladies!

the nice wool sweater company Carol found
After a night in Charlottetown, we proceeded the following morning to the town of Cavendish.  In North Rustico, just before reaching our destination, Carol T directed us to a wool shop she had found in an advertisement. There I finally found a pretty woolen hat to replace the alpaca one I bought from the Blue Ridge Parkway store (which accidentally found its way into a washing machine and dryer, shrinking into a baby’s cap!) Thanks a million, Carol!!!

the Green Gables home
great find at the Green Gables Store
Cavendish is the birthplace of L. Montgomery who wrote some 20 novels (Anne of Green Gables is the most well- known)and 500 short stories. The house, where her grandparents lived, is well preserved. The Haunted Trail and the Lovers’ Lane, which she wrote about, are such lovely walking trails. The Museum of Green Gables, on the other hand, is the home of the Campbells, the author’s aunt and uncle, where she spent many nights growing up. The whole area has been named the PEI National Park.
the Anne of Green Gables Museum
red sandy shores of Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a beautiful place. We found rolling acres of beautiful fields of rape seed alternating with flowering potato fields, creating a nice palette of yellow and green and white. Just imagine the pretty picture they made with the river and the quaint homes along it. As if that wasn’t enough, the charm of PEI oozed out even more as we drove to its red sandy shores and the red cliffs that surround her beaches. All four of us agreed that we could have spent more time there.

The Wonder of Nature in Nova Scotia

30 minutes after and almost all the markers are gone
Amherst, Nova Scotia is at the northern tip of the Bay of Fundy. There are many spots where we could witness the world’s highest (up to 50 ft) tidal swings but Jim chose the place because it was also the site of the fossil caves research center. We went at 7:45 PM right at the middle of the coming of the tide. We settled ourselves at a spot and then watched, as our favorite post, stone, or other marker, kept disappearing the hour we were there. We must have seen a total increase of 5 feet! Thanks Jim for this great experience!

McLobsters in the McDonalds of Eastern Canada!
Amherst, Nova Scotia is also the place where the Thiesings brought me to a rather unique place! McDonalds in the northeast serves McLobsters! Even at $9 it was a good deal…restaurants have them for $13-19 each, depending on the sides.  Wish these McDonalds are not that unique! Thanks  to the Thiesings for introducing them to me. We even saw Subway advertising Atlantic lobsters!

even Subway serves lobsters in Prince Edward Island!
The Coastal Towns of New Brunswick

The road down to Bangor, Maine is through New Brunswick which we just whizzed by on the way up. This time around we meandered into a trio of coastal towns, St. Martins, St. John, and St. Andrews.

duo of sea caves at high tide in St. Martins, New Brunswick
St. Martins is the gateway to the Bay of Fundy National Park. Its main attraction is the duo of sea caves which, at low tide, you can walk to! It also has 2 covered bridges which, at a good angle, can be photographed together with the lighthouse.  For a little village it has quite a selection of beautiful homes by the sea that are now mostly for sale. The two craft stores by the little harbor also gave us an intro to collecting rocks, a good thing to do when it is low tide as the water reveals a wealth of them such as multi-colored beach hearts and those with white lines, one of which bring tremendous luck!

Trinity Anglican Church at Trinity Royal, New Brunswick
St. John, the biggest of the three towns, is mostly industrialized. Its board walk is small and filled with restaurants. After lunch at the Peppers Pub, we proceeded to the City Market which is a little version of Granville in Vancouver. Its claim to fame is the design of the ceiling…an upturned ship! The old Trinity Anglican Church at the Trinity Royal, St. John’s 20-block historical heart, was also a sight to behold. It dates back to the 1789. Its bell tower and steeple rise to a majestic 210 feet!. Then Carol T and I had fun with the cartoon characters that sat by a bench in a small park.

romantic bathhouse on Minister's Island
The best kept secret of St. Andrews is fascinating Covenhagen on Minister’s Island, a 690-acre island off St. Andrews, accessible at low tide by a wide gravel bar suitable for vehicular travel. Covenhagen was built in 1891 by van Horne, an American from Illinois who was contracted to oversee the construction of the Trans Canada Railway.  It is a solid mansion with 17 rooms with so many others on the island:  a kerosene engine that pumped the water into the house, a Bath House that leads to the rocky beach out of which a swimming pool was literally carved, and a big barn with a creamery beside it. 
access to Minister's Island almost gone
Also at the town is the only remaining blockhouse, a defense station, at the beach. Though charmingly inviting, our Canadian swing with the Thiesings has come to an end! We were excited to see our new flooring, spend a day on Mount Desert Island before continuing on to complete our Canadian cruise. Quebec and Ontario, here we come (Alberta, BC, and the Yukon were in 2009)!


  1. some really good pictures. Makes me want to go there. the lobster dinner location looks perfect.

    1. thanks...Bill and I were discussing which is more beautiful...eastern of western Canada. One thing we agree on...Canada is a beautiful country!

  2. A work mate linked me to this site. Thank you for the resources.
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    1. Well, thanks to your work mate! Welcome to my blog, the Z generation and the cruising lifestyle!

  3. New Brunswick and PEI are two provinces I havent done in Canada yet (Think i done 6 now so far), but would love to get out over there. I heard the seafood is good but looking at the photos, it looks like it has a good European hertiage as the Church looks very British (or could be French). The beach shores look amazing, but I wonder what the summer weather is like up there if they have many sunny days. However the McLobster or whatever it is McDonalds is trying to sell does not appeal to me. :P


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