We had to be sure to be at the North Sydney ferry on time (9:00 pm) but wanted to drive across Confederation Bridge so we left Charlottetown and PEI before lunch. Good-bye, gentle place! The bridge is a feat on engineering and plays tricks on the eyes. With the water and clouds constantly moving the bridge seems unnatural, unreal. It doesn’t really belong there. In an age of CG movies, the bridge looks contrived and animated on the real and visceral sea. It’s the longest bridge over water that freezes and is 8 miles/13 km. The drive was pretty neat – the girls marvelled at the ocean being all around us. On the New Brunswick side of the bridge is a little information and interpretive centre at Cape Jouriman.
We almost turned away for the $2 parking fee (we can be cheap like that) but it looked interesting so we went in. And we’re glad we did! A neat little centre with an exhibit about local birds and the erosion of the land by the sea. There was a gift shop, some nature trails, a bridge observation tower, and a restaurant. The lady cooking in the restaurant was almost done for the day but had a few things left. So we picked out our lasagna, quiche, salad, and seafood chowder (pretty much all you can eat for $10 each but the kids were free) and had our fill. And it was delicious! The best chowder we’d had so far and excellent homemade lasagna and quiche. Dessert was waffles with homemade rhubarb or blueberry compote. Yummy!
Then we drove to the ferry. It was another one of these long driving days. We had to skip going to church in Charlottetown in order to make it to the terminal, but we had downloaded a sermon by Rev. Wieske and one by Rev. DeJonge. After listening to the sermon by Rev. Wieske on judgement and hell and evangelism, Daddy asked E if she had any questions. She wanted a bit more explanation of God’s judgement so J explained about how hell is where God is not and so people who don’t repent and believe in Jesus get exactly what they want, an eternity without God in hell. Then he explained how it is still our job to tell people about it since we know about God and Jesus and heaven and hell. And she said:
So then we can ask them if they want to go to hell or not. Or if they want to go to heaven or not.
Child-like faith. So pure.
We stopped for dinner at a farmer’s market which had groceries, local produce, potatoes, seeds, ice cream and gelato, and homemade fudge. More yum! Then we booked it to the terminal. We parked behind some rigs and made our way onto the ferry.
Now we weren’t expecting much, having never been on an overnight ferry before, perhaps something like a BC ferry with some sleeping berths. Not so! The ferry boasts a huge lounge called Colours, aptly named for the brightly coloured upholstery on the seat. This is no ferry lounge, it is more like a bar or restaurant lounge, and huge. We could pick out the repeat ferry-goes, for they had their blankets and pillows with them in the lounge, staked out on the comfiest benches and quietest corners. Understandable since the sleeping cabins cost a pretty penny! We knew that we couldn’t have coped with the girls out in the open though. The lounge has a bar and it was a party-like atmosphere with happy people swilling drinks and chatting away. The ferry also has a huge restaurant which offers buffet meals depending on sailing time – we would be having breakfast in the morning. There was also a small children’s play room with a TV – heaven for the girls of course!
The sleeping cabins are as good as any hotel room except more compact. We had four single bunks and they even brought a crib for little C. A private head, two cupboards and a desk completed our little room. We put the girls in jammies and headed out to explore the ship, even a quick walk on the windy deck. Then it was off to the bunks for books and snuggles before settling down for the night. The gentle rocking will either get us all to sleep or cause seasickness… we’ll see. We’ve been blessed with no car sickness the whole trip, though J is prone to seasickness. We’ll wake up on The Rock!
- Melodies: Narnia: Prince Caspian and The Silver Chair, Storynory’s Noah and Samson, sermons from Rev. Wieske & Rev. DeJonge
- Miles: 340 (550 km) plus 845 (525 km) on the ferry
- Meals: hotel continental, homemade fare at Cape Jouriman, fried chicken & leftover snacks at the farmer market
- Meltdowns: not too many, plenty of sleep in the car