This week WordPress has “Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow”. They suggest a storm or a flower budding out. I chose some photos from our trip into the Laurentian Mountains in the Canadian province of Quebec. We planned the trip for mid-October when the fall colours would be approaching their height, landing in Ottawa and renting a car for a cruise into Quebec City. Our route would take us into Mt. Tremblant, then on to Montreal, Quebec City and back to Ottawa. A spectacular trip it was.
In a week or two, the brilliant foliage will have fallen and then the area awaits the snow and the arrival of the many skiers.
Good Morning world, it is time to get up. There is food to eat, beer to drink, wine to savour, shops to shop and, yes, a mountain to be on top of. Not a regular Alberta type of mountain, but a mountain indeed. The whole premise of our trip was to see fall foliage and spend some relaxing time off from a hectic summer. Mont-Tremblant fits the bill. A very laid back place at this time of year. No skiing yet, summer over, a very casual crowd. And we did find our fall foliage.
The colours are stunning. Back home in Calgary, we don’t get the red hues, making it even more impressive. I’m sure the pictures above and below do not do justice to the real thing.
Having spent some time in town shopping and eating, it was time to take the gondola to the top of the hill. The mountain itself is 2871 feet in elevation, not to big by Alberta or British Columbia standards, but tall enough for some pretty good skiing, at least from what I see of the runs in summer. Lots of steep sections and runs on both sides of the mountain. In the summer, the views are perfect.
Kind of a misty day, but one can get the idea. Lori particularly loved what she had found in the shops way down there and decided to keep it close by for an emergency look from time to time.
The Laurentians are a very old range of mountains. What we see here today is what the Rockies will look like in a few million years. The rolling hills, well forested, go on forever. A beautiful place to spend some time exploring. Also at the top, we found this spot on the back side of the mountain, what one can only call a Corona moment in the making. We sat here for a while taking in the view, also hoping not to roll off down the hill as the seating seemed a bit precarious.
Having spent some quality time on the hill, it was time to head back down for, guess, some liquid refreshments. The video is a poorly done film of our descent in the gondola. New camera, poor execution, but, hey, it’s my blog right?
It was a gorgeous day, so we headed for an outdoor deck where had some appetizers and a drink or 2. I had a Belle Guele Rousse, another good brew. There is no link for the “Les Brasseurs RJ” web page (the brewery), or should I say there is one but it doesn’t work very well (or at all) and is in French only. The picture is a bit dark, but I was lost in the day and it was quickly becoming night.
To finish our day, we decided to catch the gondola to the casino. It is free and apparently one can catch a beautiful view of the sunset from it. It did mean going around in circles and spooking the the staff as you don’t get off the gondola, but hey, getting the shot makes it worthwhile. It is all about the timing after all, so circles it had to be. It ended up being worth it. I leave you with some shots of the sunset as taken from our perch high above the forest. Beautiful.
Today, we discovered the value of Hotwire.com. We spent the previous arranging a rental car for the next phase of our journey. The best we could come up with was about 575 bucks for 9 days. My brother, Gord, had told us about Hotwire, so we tried it. What a bonus, not only did we arrange a rental car for $260 , we booked 4 star accommodations at a Marriott Hotel in Mont Tremblant for $139 a night. SCORE!!! So we were armed with a vehicle and a place to stay, it was now time to leave Ottawa behind and head into the glorious fall foliage to, first, Gatineau Park, north of Ottawa, then to Mont Tremblant in Quebec. We were looking forward to this drive as it was the most perfect time of year, with the leaves changing colour and amazing terrain in the Laurentian Mountains.
First stop, Gatineau Park, the park with Meech Lake, which is famous to Canadians as the infamous Meech Lake Accords were drawn up here. I won’t bore people with this story, as, quite frankly, it is a boring political tale that only Canadians could appreciate, for about 5 seconds. The park is minutes from downtown Ottawa, in Quebec and is massive As a note, it is the only federal park not covered by Canada’s National Parks Act. It covers 360 sq. km and contains many lakes. We were in a bit of a hurry so we did not explore as much as we would have liked. We made a stop at an interesting lake, Pink Lake. Apparently, it is a meromictic lake. This means the lake has layers of water that do not intermix. For all intents, nothing can live in the lake. Fascinating.
From here it was time to make our way to Mont Tremblant. A ski resort in winter and an all season resort, Mont Tremblant is a go to place for people in the area. Basically a couple of hours east of Ottawa and a couple of hours north of Montreal, the place is always packed with tourists. The drive itself was amazing. We had nothing to look at but beautiful vista after beautiful vista for the entire drive. Amazing country.
Upon our arrival, we checked in and parked the car, not to be seen again for 2 days. The first impression, nothing like it in the Rockies of Alberta. The townsite was wonderful. Shops, restaurants and the view. Very nice place.
After a quick tour around the town, we did as we normally do, check out where the shops are, then go for a beer. We found a handy spot, just outside our hotel called Microbrasserie La Diable. They brew their own beer on site, and it was a good one. I tried the blonde, and it was excellent.
Now, with our thirst sated and our bellies full of tacos, we headed off to finish our exploring. We found some more nooks and crannies and decided that this was one heck of a place.
Having arrived late in the afternoon, we started looking for a place to eat and settled on a pizza restaurant, the Pizzaterria. As usual, we had an excellent meal, washed down with just a smidge of wine. We then headed back to our hotel, Residence Inn (Marriott), where we turned in for the night. Big day tomorrow as we had some mountains to conquer.
Just a quick note. We have spent a few days in Winnipeg, then Ottawa and Mont-Tremblant. We are currently in Montreal for a few days then off to Quebec City. So far, the trip has been spectacular. We are so happy to have made he decision to head for Mont-Tremblant prior to Montreal. The Laurentians are beautiful at this time of year. I have uploaded a couple of pictures and will do some full posts over the next few days (I hope).
We took a boat tour along the Ottawa River, very pretty, although the foliage has not quite changed yet in this part of the river. The Parliamentary Library is a beautiful bit of architecture.
We took the ski lift to the top of Mont-Tremblant. As you can see, Lori found a shop up there.