Great day from many different aspects. We started out by heading into the centre of Charlottetown to go to Province House which is holy ground for Canadians as this was where they had the initial discussions to confederate British Colonies within North America to form the new nation of Canada.
Province House unfortunately was not open as there is major structural work they are having to do on the building – in fact, the foundations are collapsing. They moved the exhibition into the Arts Centre next door which caused it to lose the ambience which we would have got in the original building but it is just the luck of the draw. We met a very knowledgeable guide who spoke to us one on one for over half an hour and it was interesting to compare how Australia and Canada are similar in their political system but also very different.
We could only get a photo of the mock up of Province House and it is not to scale if you have a look at the dude on the right!
We were a bit peeved to get back to the car to find a parking ticket on the windscreen. We discovered that Di was having a seniors moment and had put the money into the wrong parking meter – yeap, they still have parking meters here. The good news is that it only cost $10.00
We then went over to the PEI Lieutenant Governor Residence where a very historic photo was taken of the 23 Founding Fathers who were involved in the Confederation Agreement. The photo is taken on the front steps of the residence in 1864.
The same spot today and nothing much has changed. You are able to wander around the lovely grounds but the house is closed to the public at present.
It was then time to leave PEI which we have enjoyed very much. It is a truly beautiful island and the people are friendly and laid back. Charlottetown has a population of 70,000 which makes up half the total population of the island yet it is a province in its own right. Not too sure how sustainable this is going to be in the long run.
We drove along the southern shore towards the Confederation Bridge. When we crossed this three days ago it was shrouded in rain and mist but today we got a decent photo of it. A few stats for you on the bridge. It was opened in 1997 after four years of construction which cost $1.3billion. It is 12.9k’s long. The people of PEI did not want to be connected to the mainland and preferred to be connected only by the ferry service – where have we heard this before. Now here is a little kicker -you have to pay to leave the island!!! It is free to come to PEI but you get hit $47 to leave. It is even more if you use the ferry to get back to the mainland. Think about it though – remember when we all use to pay a departure tax to leave NZ and Oz – well this is no different, only today they build the departure tax in your flight cost.
It was then a drive through three provinces – Prince Edwards Island, New Brunswick and then back into Nova Scotia. We had a rendezvous with a unique form of accomodation tonight and wanted to get there in plenty of time.
We are at a picturesque town called Tatamagouche along the north western coast of Nova Scotia where we will be sleeping in a caboose tonight.
We are in the orange wooden caboose which sleeps four people – double bed and bunks. A chap bought the railway station at the age of 18 and turned it into accomodation and a restaurant. From there it has grown and now he has about six cabooses; two box cars; dining carriage and a parlour car.
We have our own ensuite and it is heated and very private.
This is the dining car where a very comprehensive menu is offered. It is only open Wednesday to Saturday nights so we dipped out on this experience.
The inside of the parlour car where you can partake in a pre dinner cognac but tonight we were a little tired for this.
Our entrance to our accommodation for the night.