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Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Prince Edward Island National Park

Victoria Beyer

Eastern Canada Road Trip 2019

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The next stop on our trip was the idyllic Prince Edward Island. We drove the long Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to PEI, and as soon as we had crossed we found a place to buy some lobster for another over-the-fire lobster boil. The landscape is pastoral, with pretty farmland in every direction. We even got a bit turned around as we headed to Prince Edward Island National Park. Once we hit a dirt road we knew our navigation system had failed us. But we figured it out and eventually made it to the campground at Prince Edward Island National Park.

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We walked some very nice gravel paths from our campground to the beach a few miles away, passing through some forest and along uncultivated fields. I had been reading the Anne of Green Gables series, which takes place on PEI, leading up to our trip and it was easy to imagine being a character in the book, enjoying the fresh air while walking between neighboring farms.

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We kept walking until we got the the real-life Lake of the Shining Waters, a setting in the books. There is a boardwalk you can take over the lake, and we kept walking until we made it to the ocean shore, passing dunes and wildflowers, while a raven watched our progress and my daughter tried her best to walk Lyle, our dog.

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We were staying at the Cavendish Campground, which was near the house that was the inspiration for the Anne of Green Gables home, but it was not accessible by trail so we drove there. It was far more bustling that we imagined, with ample parking, and a large new Visitor’s Center. The house is a short walk away, and you can go in and see the rooms decorated like they were described in the book, and you might even spot a little red-haired girl walking the grounds. You can walk the trail that was the inspiration for the ‘Haunted Wood,’ though, it was not so evocative when it crossed a golf course. Still, it was a delightful stop, even if I was the only one in our group to really appreciate it.

The Anne of Green Gables house.

The Anne of Green Gables house.

Kouchibouguac National Park, New Brunswick

Victoria Beyer

Eastern Canada Road Trip 2019

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We left the province of Quebec, with all its fromageries and boulangeries and patisseries (cheese shops, bread shops and bakeries) to enter New Brunswick, where all the signs were again in English and French. While we missed all the food shops, we were glad to not have to guess or translate everything again, though in truth we had rather enjoyed the constant challenge.

We drove through the forest near the coast to arrive at Kouchibouguac National Park on our way to Moncton where we were to drop off my husband’s sister, who had accompanied us since Quebec City. Sadly, we only stayed one night, but we made sure to get a kid’s booklet so my daughter could earn another dogtag (much like badges for kids at the American national parks). We drove around to a few spots within the park so she could do the activities, and you can see her carrying it as she walked along the shoreline looking for wildlife and enjoying the feel of the water after being in the camper all day.

I wish we could have explored this park a little more, but I feel pretty good about finally learning how to say the park’s name after asking the staff at the visitor’s center. (We had been butchering it since we made the reservation months ago). It’s a Mi’gmaq word that means “river of the long tides.” And, in case you want to know, it’s “koochie-boo-guac.” The park is in the Mi’gmaq’s traditional hunting and gathering area, and though the Europeans settled here and brought diseases that descimated their populations, their culture is still strong today and being shared through this park.

Forillon National Park, Quebec

Victoria Beyer

Eastern Canada Road Trip 2019

The lighthouse at Cap-des-Rosiers.

The lighthouse at Cap-des-Rosiers.

Forillon National Park, located on Quebec’s Gaspe Penninsula, had some wonderful scenery and hikes. We did one moderate hike - which felt pretty tough to my 7-year-old, but she did it - from Cap-Bon-Ami to the historic site -of Grand-Grave. You can do this without too much trouble, but we opted to hike up to the Mont-Saint-Alban tower, which gave us an incredible view of the coast.

Notice how the water seems to swirl.

Notice how the water seems to swirl.

You can see the lighthouse at Cap-des-Rosiers from the tower atop Mont Saint Alban.

You can see the lighthouse at Cap-des-Rosiers from the tower atop Mont Saint Alban.

It was a pretty steep hike, but the view was worth it! And the forest was really lovely to walk through.

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We walked down to Grand-Grave, a historic fishing village that was purchased when the area became a park. Much of the story told there, in the buildings and by reenactors, is of the former residents, who were basically forced off their land. It made me sad to think how they were treated, when they could have been left to reside within the park.

Some buildings from the historic village of Grand-Grave.

Some buildings from the historic village of Grand-Grave.

We hiked back, and over the course of our few days here, enjoyed a lobster feast, cooked over our own fire by my husband. This was quite a treat for us, and we did it a few more times during our trip, since lobster was $10.00 a pound, Canadian ($7.50 American). Barely more than ground beef, if you can believe it.

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Jardins de Metis

Victoria Beyer

Eastern Canada Road Trip 2019

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The Jardins de Metis was one of our favorite stops on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. These lovely botanical gardens were a great place to stretch our legs and revel in huge lupine as far as the eye could see. For this alone, you should visit. But what really made it a must-see stop was The International Garden Festival, comprised of more than two dozen magical, interactive works of art that connect the viewer to nature in creative ways.

La ligne de 100 ans, hatem+d

La ligne de 100 ans, hatem+d

This was my daughter’s favorite. You could actually paddle around this man-made flooded landscape.

Forêt, Ronan Virondaud, Mathilde Leveau

Forêt, Ronan Virondaud, Mathilde Leveau

Ici et ailleurs, José Luis Torres

Ici et ailleurs, José Luis Torres

Le caveau, Christian Poules

Le caveau, Christian Poules

Réflexions colorées, Hal Ingberg

Réflexions colorées, Hal Ingberg

This last one was my favorite, a large equilateral triangle made of a reflective green glass. I was fascinated by what was reflected back to me - a sort of hyper-real, over-saturated forest where I found myself looking back. I enjoyed walking around the exterior and then also standing inside. Every little movement resulted in a different view, with things like the aspen trunks or the foliage taking prominence and then disappearing.

We spent hours here, and I could have spent hours more. There are so many more art pieces that we very much enjoyed - it was like a playground that both children and adults found equally fascinating.

Parc du Bic, Quebec

Victoria Beyer

Eastern Canada Road Trip 2019

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After leaving Quebec City, we headed northeast, around the Gaspe Peninsula. This beautiful route took us along the St. Lawrence River, and around to where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. It was incredible, with small towns over each rise, and a view of the water for nearly the entire drive. Our first stop was Parc du Bic, one of the Quebec National Parks (not to be confused with Parks Canada). It was foggy as we parked the RV, but it burned off before I could go shoot. We were watching a movie after dinner and I kept peeking outside to see if the fog would return, and sure enough it did. I called the family out to see it, because it was so very pretty. It was worth it to me, but my poor child had her first run in with the famous Canadian bugs! Her neck was bloody afterwards with bug bites that took weeks to heal.

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Despite that, she was a champ the next morning when I asked her to walk down to the shore with me. She is never one to pass up playing on a beach! We doused ourselves with bug spray and were on our way. I pride myself on noticing the little details in nature, but she pointed out to me that we were walking over many, many snails on the path. I was proud she noticed! We stopped to help a few to the side of the path.

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It was my first time seeing the flowers above. Aren’t they fantastically weird and beautiful? It’s Silene vulgaris, or Bladder Campion. And after a rain, the lovely daisy below was looking a bit smudged, but there is something about imperfection that is so wonderful, isn’t there?

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Quebec

Victoria Beyer

Eastern Canada Road Trip 2019

Strolling down one of Quebec’s lovely streets.

Strolling down one of Quebec’s lovely streets.

Last year we toured around the United States in our RV for the summer, and we decided we should do the same this year, but in eastern Canada. Neither my husband nor I had ever been, and we were excited to fill in that big blank spot on the map with images we had seen with our own eyes.

Our first big stop was the city of Quebec. What a beautiful place! It reminded me of downtown Charleston (near where I am from) with the old buildings and welcome of tourists. We stayed in a campground at the southern edge of town, and took a cab in every day to see the sights. We spent a lot of time just walking around, soaking it all in.

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One thing I really liked about the city was the juxtaposition of the new with the old. Modern art was around every corner, it seemed, and we thought it was really beautiful.

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik