It started with a book. And though its pages are now yellowing and spotted with mould, the red cliffs and rolling hills within are as vivid now as they were when I was young.
It was 1987 when, via the pages of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, I first travelled to Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Every year since, I have revisited those pages, walked ‘Lovers’ Lane’, travelled along ‘The White Way of Delight’ and gazed out across ‘The Lake of Shining Waters’.
Then, as an adult who assumed she was far removed from “highfalutin mumbo jumbo” and the romantic fancy of youth, I found myself on the 12.9 kilometre Confederation Bridge driving from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, on the hunt for Anne’s beloved home.
Confederation Bridge is the world’s longest bridge crossing ice-covered waters and as I drove across this famed engineering feat, it seems time was stripped away until I arrived, as Anne did, wide-eyed and (surprisingly) silenced by the beauty of Canada’s smallest province.
Through the windows of my American car, I looked longingly to the bright blue waters of Prince Edward Island as they washed white sandy shores. I picnicked on the freshest of local produce in a field of yellow flowers, and read voraciously (again) the books that brought me here.
I saw what author L. M. Montgomery saw and felt a little of the poetry and hope that she channeled into a character that resonated so strongly with me.
Yes, of course I toured the house that inspired Montgomery’s tale, Green Gables in Cavendish. And yes, I got a thrill. But Prince Edward Island is more than a red-headed imaginative waif, prone to endless daydreaming.
Prince Edward Island is the people, the land, the food, the wine, the history; it is everything fictional, made real by a girl who, chasing the story found reality could trounce imagination.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Gaya Avery