Discover the tranquil beauty of Prince Edward Island, a place where time seems to stand still. This travelogue takes you through Charlottetown's historic streets, the unique red soil beaches, and the local stalls peddling homemade soaps and jams. Experience the serene atmosphere and the stunning landscapes that make PEI a charming island province.

Prince Edward Island: A Day in Canada's Smallest Province

Today, my journey brings me to the northernmost point of my route, nestled within the smallest Canadian province known as Prince Edward Island, or PEI for short.
The capital city, Charlottetown, serves as the heartbeat of the province. Its port, like many in this part of the world, is a bit chaotic yet brimming with an understated charm that is far from ordinary. I chose not to stick to a predetermined route this time, opting instead to meander and take in the sights at my own pace.
PEI is best known for its distinctive red soil, a unique geological feature that gives its many beaches a charming, rose-tinted hue. In the heart of Charlottetown, you'll find an impressive sandcastle replica made of this very soil. Standing tall among quaint local souvenir stalls, this model encapsulates the essence of PEI's main attraction—its red sand beaches.
Its rich red soil is due to a high iron-oxide (rust) content, lending the Island's sand its unique colour.
The city's wooden, historic buildings didn't particularly pique my interest. Still, they offer a slice of the past and lend a sense of authenticity to the cityscape. Scattered throughout the port, you'll find local stalls peddling homemade soaps and jams, a delightful treat for anyone interested in PEI's homegrown produce
As I ventured further into the city, leaving the port behind, I found myself immersed in the calm serenity of this provincial town. Despite its peaceful ambience, Charlottetown is dotted with cosy cafes and restaurants serving up the day's catch in a variety of delectable seafood dishes.
One unexpected encounter was with two gentlemen statues, clad in frock coats and top hats, frozen in the middle of an intense conversation. These bronze figures, lost in time, add a quirky, artistic flair to Charlottetown's streets.
They stand against the backdrop of the local cathedral, an architectural marvel that defies the small-scale norm of this quaint town, green and red trees encircle the structure. They're just beginning to unfurl their leaves at the end of May, their red foliage offering a vibrant contrast against the cathedral's grey walls. The building itself has a reddish tint to its blocks and bricks—perhaps they're composed of the local soil, another nod to the province's characteristic red landscape.

Stepping into the cathedral, I find myself in a spacious, comforting, and beautifully adorned space. It might not hold centuries of history like some European counterparts, but it emanates a sense of respect for its relatively younger past. The quality craftsmanship is evident, with elaborate patterns adorning the ceiling and light filtering through colourful stained-glass windows depicting fitting scenes for such a place of worship.
At this moment, the cathedral is virtually empty—perhaps it's not a gathering time or day—which provides a peaceful opportunity to explore its interior, gaze at the stained-glass windows, and admire the grand organ housed on the second floor.
Walking a bit further, I arrive at what seems to be the town's main street, more bustling than the rest but still maintaining its quiet charm. This area, lined with shops, cafes, and local ice cream parlours, offers a leisurely promenade. It's clear that this town, despite its small scale, has everything one might need.
Venturing further, I come across another church, smaller and a bit less inviting, I refrain from entering. I capture a few exterior shots and continue exploring the town's streets, where wooden homes mingle with four- or five-story stone buildings.
Gradually, I return to the port, taking in the well-kept green lawns adorned with dandelions and tulips, and the subtly stirring sea. We've nestled in a bay away from the Atlantic's harsh waves, lending a serene atmosphere to the waterfront. After a stroll along the promenade, I return to the ship, my half-day stopover in this town coming to an end.
Tomorrow, I'll spend the day at sea—or more accurately, in the bay—as we navigate south towards the Saint Lawrence River, heading deeper into the province of Quebec.

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