It was an easy day's drive from Florenceville to
Charlottetown, PEI. We had a day to walk around the historic area where
political leaders of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia met
in 1864 and signed an agreement to form the new country, Canada. It took
another three years of negotiations to complete the process in 1867 so
preparations are in place to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada
all across the country.
Phone calls between the Burnham siblings
confirmed that everyone was soon to arrive at our B & Bs in Souris. The
reunion had begun. We checked into our rooms and got ready for the big
night ahead. It was a short drive along the coast to the Inn at Bay
Fortune where guests, who like us, had booked months before for the one
sitting per evening meal.
The property, prettily situated above the ocean,
consisted of the original house and two new additions for guests who
chose to stay overnight, or just enjoy the countryside. We had arrived
at 6 PM to take advantage of four different appetizer stations, situated
both on the extensive grounds where herbs and fresh vegetables were
grown for the dinner table and inside the main building. It was a
beautiful, still sunny evening and perfect for strolling the grounds,
drink and appetizer in hand. I must admit, my favourite appetizers were
fresh oysters on the half shell topped with a frozen Bloody Mary sauce.
Ray preferred the smoked salmon, although if any kind of salmon is on
the menu, that will be his choice. The rest of the meal, all five
courses, was served to us at a table seating 20 guests on the screened
in force facing the sea. It was the perfect place to watch the sun go
down. Ray and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
The next day we had time to walk on the beach at
Basin Head Provincial Park and visit a lighthouse before returning to
Souris in time for the ferry to the Magdalenes.
The Magdalene Islands,
the most easterly settlement in the Province of Quebec, are situated NE
of PEI and west of Newfoundland, in the golf of the St Lawrence River.
You can fly to the islands, if the winds are cooperating, which is not
often the case, you can take a cruise ship from Montreal and Quebec
City, with a side trip to the Saguenay River, past the Gaspe peninsula
to the Magdalenes, or you can take the 5 hour ferry crossing from
Souris, PEI. We took the 1:30 PM ferry from Souris. The seas were calm,
the sun shone and we spent a relaxed five hours in comfort before
reaching the Magdalene Islands. A half-hour drive took us to L’╬sle
de Havre Aubert and Auberge Chez Denis et Franšois, where we checked
into our large, comfortable rooms and were just in time for our dinner
in their excellent restaurant. We all proclaimed that Ray had picked a
gem for our visit.
We spent the next three days roaming the five
islands that make up the Magdalenes. Yes, the wind always blows over the
mostly flat islands, connected by sand bars, and our first day was
partially rainy. Despite that, we all were charmed by the wild scenery,
the friendliness of the people and the consistently excellent food in
all the restaurants we sampled. We stopped by the roadside to watch
kite-surfers and wind surfers take advantage of the winds in the bays
and inland lakes. We walked the beaches, explored the many art galleries
and craft shops, visited the excellent museum close to our Auberge, and
hiked to a light house on one of the other islands.
Our return ferry ride to PEI left in the late
morning, allowing us to have an excellent lunch in the ferry dining
room. It made for a very congenial ending to our visit together. The PEI
dinner and visit to the Magdalenes was an excellent choice for our group
and we highly recommend the islands to everyone.
Return to PEI Magdalenes Intro
Return to Travels
Return to Introduction