Prince Edward Island, September 2009

Sept 9

A fairly uneventful flight. The only really unusual part was that at Calgary Security I was picked for my body to be physically examined by hand (over my clothes, in case you wondered!). Geez! I'm willing to wager that 61-year-old grandmothers are NOT the type of person to be a danger to fellow passengers on an airplane. What a waste of time - and our tax dollars. I bet they think that they are improving security by doing this.

Sept 10

Today as we attempted to cope with a 3-hour time difference, we roamed the streets of downtown Charlottetown (pop 35,000). As we approaced the waterfront, we noticed that a cruise ship had landed. Coincidentally, there were a lot of tour busses hanging around in anticipation of cruise passengers as customers. It was only $10/person, so Stephen and I hopped onto the bus - a double decker imported from jolly old England - and listened to a 1-hour description of Charlottetown (birthplace of Canadian Confederation) as the tour bus wended its way through some of the older parts of the city. There are lots of vintage buildings here - the province was "discovered" by the Europeans in the 1500's (and, of course, already populated by Micmac Indians long before that!). Many buildings are over 100 years old.

Then we did a long walk along the waterfront. Here is one touristy photo:

As we were wandering around at lunch time, we came across a provincial employees United Way hot dog fund raiser, so we just joined the lineup and bought a couple of hot dogs along with all the employees. And got to hear the premier give a brief (thankfully) word of encouragement to those in attendance.

We also went to the bike shop from where we will be starting our bike ride tomorrow, and got the bikes fitted and whatever.

Then we came back to the hotel and caught up with email on an incredibly slow Internet connection.

Sept 11

Today was the official start of the bicycle tour. The bike guy picked us up at the hotel, showed us where we would be staying tonight, and drove us to the bike shop. We got all rigged up, and pedalled off. The first day was just a tour around Charlottetown - about 30 kms worth. Needless to say, we ignored the suggested route to a certain extent. But we did end up on what is called the "Rail Trail" - a lengthy stretch of old CN track that has been converted to pedestrian and bike path. There are no more trains on the island at all.

Here is our track:

Anyway, some cool photos:

Some birds at low tide: ducks and a heron.

And a couple of shots just to prove that I really was here: the first is me on the Rail Trail (exhibiting helmet-hair), and the second is at the harbour (near where we picked up the requisite souvenir T-Shirts):

Tomorrow, we head off into the countryside - it is 47 kilometers to our next B&B. I hope it is as nice as the one we're staying in tonight - we have really fast Internet connectivity.