Perhaps you have read all the other five blog posts that talk about my love of reading to travel or traveling to read—basically literary vacations! I have talked about Hannibal, Rome, London, Concord, and Bath & Chawton. Today you get my ultimate vacation spot based on books I have read: Prince Edward Island (yeah, not just one city, the whole Canadian province)!
Prince Edward Island, Canada
So, this is my all-time, most bookish trip that I took. I probably would never have gone to Prince Edward Island if it wasn’t for reading ANNE OF GREEN GABLES as a teenager. True story. However, PEI is not only the location of the beloved Anne books, but also many other L.M. Montgomery novels and short stories (and honestly the location is like a character in the story—you can’t totally understand Anne without understanding the place that she loves and lives in).
EMILY OF NEW MOONEMILY OF NEW MOON writes in PEI, Pat of Silver Bush grows up in PEI, plus so many of the short stories that Maud wrote were based on the island. (The only book that Maud wrote that doesn’t take place in PEI is BLUE CASTLE—though that is a brilliant book as well.) In fact, one tour guide at one of the many places we visited said that out of Montgomery’s 20 books, 19 of them take place in her home province—even though she only lived there until she got married.
On the advice of someone who had been to PEI, when we first went to Cavendish (renamed Avonlea in the books), we went to the Cavendish Homestead and saw the land where L.M. Montgomery lived. Then we took a detour to the Cavendish Post Office; Maud was the assistant postmistress in Cavendish and secretly sent off her books to be published. We walked through the “Haunted Wood” which came out just under Green Gables (Maud’s uncle’s home that Green Gables was based on). That was truly the perfect way to see Green Gables for the first time--especially since the other entrance leads you to the visitor’s gates and barns… Walking through the wood and then suddenly seeing Green Gables on the hill just felt like I was in the books with Anne. There is no other way to describe it! If you want to feel like you are in Montgomery’s work, you must travel to PEI.
Also, there is the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush (which also has the Lake of Shining Waters). This house was the pattern for Pat of Silver Bush and is where Montgomery got married. Plus there are buggy rides that you can take—almost as if you were in the movie and Matthew was taking you out for the afternoon. Really, when Maud wrote her books, PEI was a main character and I couldn’t do justice to these books that I loved without going to the land where they were set. And there you have it. My ultimate top choice for a vacation based on books. Besides the FANTASTIC sea food, pretty much everything that we did on PEI was because of books—so basically it was a sweet vacation. Granted, there are more travel plans ahead and more books with places as characters. So perhaps this list will continue to grow and change with each new passport stamp.
I read to travel, I travel to read. Where would you go based on books? Or what good books have you read because of somewhere that you have traveled?