Ceildhs---Foot Stomping Fun

College of Piping
August 15, 2010   Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) is the traditional Gaelic social gathering with song and dance.  The majority of the 141,000 people living on PEI hail from Scottish or Irish backgrounds, so ceilidhs are easily found.  The College of Piping, located in Summerside near our campsite, has 400 students.  We saw the students perform twice, in shows which included bagpipes, drums, highland dancers and step dancers accompanied by multi-award winning fiddler, Ray Johnstone.  The high-spirited music has you stamping your feet and clapping your hands.  We've seen three different ceildhs and I'm sure we'll be seeing more.

Moved to Cavendish on the northern side of the island to a far less impressive campsite but it did offer electric, water and such, which is nice to have every few days.  We found the primary attraction of this part of the island is Anne of Green Gables and her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery.  There are several attractions devoted to either the character or the author, not our cup of tea, but popular with the many families visiting the area.  Walking along the boardwalk in a nearby town, we found a 3 hour fishing charter on My Two Girls.  A picture perfect day with calm seas and blue sky,  it turned out to be a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.  Between the two of us, we caught 15 mackeral and 2 cod plus the big one that got away as I was pulling it into the boat, plenty to share with the less fortunate fishermen on the boat.

Exploring the following day, we had a fabulous drive though idyllic storybook like settings, gorgeous overviews in the hilly areas with a diversity of crops.  Agriculture is one of the largest parts of the economy in PEI, farms are located throughout the island.  Many offer fresh picked organic vegetables, homemade jams and sauces, which you can purchase on an honor system  The foods are displayed with prices and a box is next to the products so you can deposit what you owe.  PEI potatoes are outstanding, a unique flavor and a fluffy texture, they almost win out over the shellfish.  We took advantage of aquaculture or coop buying for shellfish whenever possible, prices were cheap and the quality was superb.  Had not realized that all PEI oysters and mussels, shipped around the world, are cultivated.  We are moving to the southeastern coast and will be heading into Nova Scotia soon.

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