In April 2023, I was blessed to take a deep dive into the history, geography, geology and culture of the far northeast corner of America, the Canadian Maritimes and the St. Lawrence River and Seaway. Con su permisio, as they say in Spanish, I would like to share with you some of what I learned in these blog posts over the next couple of months. Hope you benefit and enjoy!
The Confederation Bridge was and is a very big deal for the Canadian Maritimes. Under the terms of Prince Edward Island’s entry into the Confederation in 1873, the Government of Canada was obligated to provide “continuous” and “efficient” year-round transportation for people, goods and services between P.E.I. and the mainland. Before the bridge, ferries were the only transportation to the island.
Completed in 1977, the 12.9 km (just over 8 miles) bridge was built by 2500 men and women, most having no experience to work on a project of this size in such often often harsh, frigid weather.
It took our bus about ten minutes to cross the curved 8-mile bridge; curved “to ensure that drivers remain attentive and reduce the potential for accidents that experts believed happen more often on straight bridges.”
The red (iron-rich) soil of Prince Edward Island (named for the son of King George III) is known world-wide for potatoes. Over 80 different potato varieties of spuds are grown on over 800 acres. The residents of P.E.I. are nicknamed “Spudheads” for good reason.
F.Y.I. Spokane County is 1781 square miles; P.E.I. is 2185 square miles. “Our island has 200 churches, many big stone churches built in the 18th century. We either are very good or very bad,” quipped the tour guide.
YES, Anne of Green Gables is a premier tourist attraction on P.E.I. but I opted for the bridge.