Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Just like last night, we watched the sail away from the Ocean Bar listening to Cat play the piano.

It was soon time for our dinner in the Canaletto. I had the eggplant and mozzarella appetizer and the grilled branzino. Chuck had the veal and sage meatballs for an appetizer and the beef short ribs in the red wine sauce. We shared the gelato for dessert.

We played slots until the first set of the Ocean Bar band. The first set was 80’s music. The dance floor was packed. Their next set was 90’s music. Not as many on the dance floor during this set.

We docked at 7:30. We had a light breakfast in the Lido because we wanted our stomachs to be ready for our tour.

We were taking a HAL tour today: A Taste of Charlottetown: Culinary Walk.

The tour description: If you love sampling local foods in faraway places, you’ll love this culinary walking tour of downtown Charlottetown.

Led by a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide, this three-hour walk-and-taste tour provides samples of some of the Island’s favorite foods and beverages and a bit of the city’s history as well. You will stop at various restaurants and a brew pub to taste fresh oysters, steamed mussels, craft beer, lobster rolls and more.

Charlottetown’s history will come alive through engaging stories about some of the city’s most fascinating people, buildings and events. Known as the Birthplace of Confederation, Charlottetown hosted the 1864 Conference that began the process of establishing Canada as an independent nation. Banquets and private lunches played a huge role in the success of the discussions, so food is something the Islanders take great pride in.

By the end of the tour, you will have a great sense of some of the Island’s most impressive, and memorable tastes.

Notes: There’s no time to shop while on the tour. Tour includes tastings of seafood and other items that might trigger allergies; participants with food allergies should inquire about ingredients while on the tour and use their own discretion. Some locations require climbing 10-20 stairs. Tour requires about two miles of walking; however, the most walking done at any given stretch is 10 minutes. Many of the tasting venues have seating available. Non-alcoholic beverages are available for guests under 19 years. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair.

Our tour was at 11:00, so we went a little early to the meeting place to look around at the craft shops in the tourist center. They had a number of exhibits and a lot of maple syrup products for sale.

We met our guide. She was a native and had a lot of information about the town, its history, and how it is rebuilding since the 2022 Hurricane Fiona.

PEI used to have a fox breeding industry
St. Dunstan’s Basilica
Former warehouse for bootleg rum

I enjoyed listening to her. However, I was really looking forward to the tastings and I wasn’t disappointed.

Our first stop was The Gallery coffee house that featured local art work for sale. We had coffee and a dessert that she called a dolly square but I know them as magic squares – chocolate chips, coconut, and graham crackers.

Our second stop was the Old Dublin Pub. I had a light beer and Chuck had a dark beer. The food was local steamed mussels. Chuck didn’t want his mussels, so I got two servings. So good.

Our next stop was to sample some Prince Edward Island potatoes. A couple on our tour was from Idaho so there was some lively discussion on which potato was the best. I was just happy that the potatoes were in french fry form. We were served by the owner/operator of The Chip Shack. She wouldn’t tell us her secret recipe.

The last stop was the highlight – oysters and lobster. The waitstaff of the Lobster on the Wharf was excited, not only because the first cruise ship of the season had arrived, but it was also the first day of lobster season. We had a session on how to trap a lobster and then were treated to a mini lobster roll and raw oysters with wasabi sauce. Chuck didn’t want his oyster, so I got his. How lucky was I?

Our tour was finished at this point. Since it was only 2:00 pm and just a short walk back to the ship, some people stayed to order off the menu. We decided to go back to the ship. It was a good tour. We were never very far from the ship and the tour basically covered a few square blocks. Nice introduction to Charlottetown.

When we got back to the room, we found that we had received two gifts. One, the Casino had sent chocolate-covered strawberries. The other gift was a card that said our clocks would be moving backwards tonight. I couldn’t decide which one I liked best.

We relaxed on the balcony until it was time to get ready for the evening.

Travel Trivia

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada (because I forgot to include it yesterday)

Sydney was founded in 1785 by the British, was incorporated as a city in 1904, and dissolved on 1 August 1995, when it was amalgamated into the regional municipality.

Sydney served as the Cape Breton Island’s colonial capital, until 1820, when the colony merged with Nova Scotia and the capital moved to Halifax.

Sydney Harbour played an important role during World War II as a Royal Canadian Navy base.

Sitting in front of the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion on the Sydney waterfront is the largest fiddle in the world! The fiddle stands tall at approximately 60 ft high.

The annual Celtic Colours International Festival is held throughout Cape Breton Island in October, with some of the concerts taking place in Sydney.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Charlottetown was originally a French settlement called Port la Joie. It was renamed in honor of Queen Charlotte, wife of George, after the island passed to Britain in 1763.

Charlottetown is also known as the “Birthplace of Confederation” a name acquired in 1864, after the Charlottetown Conference which resulted in confederation and creation of Canada.

The Confederation Bridge that joins the two provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, is the longest bridge in the world over ice covered waters.

Charlottetown includes The Queens County Court House which was built in 1838 and is the oldest courthouse in Canada still standing.

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