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Magdalen Islands / Îles de la Madeleine
This summer we spent a week on the beautiful Magdalen Islands.
The easiest way to go there is to take the ferry from Prince Edwards Island. It takes 5 long hours to get there but everybody is in a good mood full of excitement...
Entry Island in sight!
The Magdalen Islands consist of several small islands and most of them are connected through dams, bridges etc.
Finally it was time to go back to the car and soon we were on the island. Quickly we went to the supermarket which was crowded with other people from the ferry, before going to our cottage. What a nice and cozy place! And not far from a beach. Thanks a lot, Nicole Hardy, for renting it to us!
Our first day was a relaxing day that we spent mostly at "our" beach (Dune du Bassin beach):
But we also went on the highest spot of the islands on Cap aux Meules (close to the ferry terminal) for a nice view:
The next day we first went to the Havre Aubert habour ...
before going to the Baie de Plaisance (Plage de La Martinique) to collect shells.
After walking a bit at our beach we went on a new discovery tour and discovered a lighthouse. The lighthouse is interesting in 2 ways. First we learnt that lighthouses were installed rather late on the Îles de la Madeleine, only after lots of ships had stranded. (The wood of the ships was welcome for building houses as the island doesn't have much forest. Actually the Havre Aubert island has the most forest that there is on the island.) And second we were first introduced to the problem of erosion on the islands as the lighthouse itself had originally been much closer to the rocks but was set further back to avoid it from falling down.
We continued to the Plage de l'Ouest where we stayed until the sun had set.
Finally it was time to drive home.
On Tuesday we decided to go up north. First stop was somewhere at the Plage de la Dune du Sud.
Then we spent some time at the Plage de la Dune du Nord beach:
We came across a mining museum where we could learn about salt in general, learnt that the Îles de la Madeleine are made from salt and that the salt mined there is used in the province of Quebec during the winter.
After that we finally reached the harbour on the Île de la Grande-Entrée.
A short look at the beach in Old Harry
and then we went to the big long Plage de la Grande Échouerie. This is the only beach where you either need to pay for parking or park a bit away and walk some distance to the beach. If you prefer the second option like we did make sure that you can walk a bit through water as part of the path was flooded when we were there.
Our visit was cut a bit short by dark clouds and rain. But all the other days we were really lucky with the weather and even that time the rain didn't last long.
The Îles de la Madeleine also have many very beautiful inland lakes.
The next morning we let our kite fly at our beach and then went to the Baie de Plaisance again to look for more shells and sand dollars.
After we had heard about sand dollars we started specifically looking for them. They are a kind of sea urchin and the skeletons of them that you can find on the beach are rather beautiful and really look like a dollar made out of sand. Unfortunately they are rather fragile so that most of them that lie around at the beach are broken.
Again we first spent some time at our beach and then we went to Dune de l'Ouest Beach which is also known as Corfu Beach because the shipwreck of the Corfu Island ship that sank in 1963 can be found there.
Afterwards we explored Fatima a bit
and then went to the Plage de l'Hôpital (which is part of the Dune du Nord beach).
Now was already our last day on the island. We spent it mostly on our beach walking, relaxing and building sand castles.
It wasn't easy for me to say good bye. The islands are very charming indeed! :) Îles de la Madeleine, I love you!
We'll definitively be back!
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