|Our days in La Malbaie slipped by very quickly – one rainy, one cloudy and one sunny.
We spent one day in La Malbaie itself – visited the quite interesting local museum which had a great exhibit about the writer Gabrielle Roy and her many artistic friends who lived in the immediate area. On the recommendation of a restaurant waiter we visited a local gallery which had an absolutely amazing collect of artists – including one from Vernon. They said that 52% of their sales are on line. We rounded out the day with a visit to a mushroom farm – they produce Oyster Mushrooms. It`s a small operation with a total of 5 employees – almost no mechanization but they produce an amazing range of products which we then noticed in many of the shops in the area. We bought a mushroom pesto which we have really enjoyed and at our night out at a very nice restaurant our meal included a sauce made from their mushrooms.
La Malbaie has long been a mecca for tourists and one afternoon we had tea at the historic Richelieu Hotel – now a Fairmont but in the tradition of the grand CPR Hotels.
One day we went south – to Baie St Paul – a lovely artsy-fartsy boutique town which claims to have about 33 art galleries plus many little boutiques, etc. This was our gray day so a good day to just wander from shop to shop looking, tasting, enjoying the variety of high quality things on display. We also visited a farm that produces award winning cheese from sheep milk. I have never seen a sheep milked, but we were about an hour early for the milking so didn`t see the milkers in actin but it was interesting to get a view of the milking parlor.
On the nice day we went north – across the Saguenay River on a ferry and then to Tadoussac . There is lots of whale watching in that area - we saw no whales but had a lovely walk around the point which is part of the very picturesque town. Enroute we stopped at Port au Persil which is described as one of the most picturesque little villages in the area – and it was!!
In some areas in the charlevoix area there were a lot more evergreen trees and a lot less impressive autumn colors, but in other areas the colors were fabulous and seemed to brighten every day. It really has been a treat.
Then time to head to Quebec City. On our way we stopped at a winery that produces tomato wine - the brand is Omerto if you want to google it. The recipe comes from the owner`s Belgium family. It took them 10 years to convince the government that tomatoes were fruit not vegetables thus eligible for their product to be considered a wine. we also stopped at the Cap Tourmente national Wildlife area which is on the migration route for snow geese. The day we were there, there were also 48,000 snow geese.
So now we have safely turned in our rental car and are in Quebec City. Another lovely sunny day today – cool and windy but sunny – to explore Quebec City. Ann and Shirley took the ferry across to the south bank of the St Lawrence (the river is much, much narrower here than it is further north) while June and I visited the lower part of the old city and then the fortifications of the Citadelle, the Plains of Abraham and the interpretive centre for the Plains of Abraham. The history of this area really is interesting, and the most surprising thing I learned today – the plains of Abraham were not named after some famous general or explorer but for the farmer Abraham Martin who originally farmed the area!!.
We`ve got a few more days here before we head home. Though the weather forecast is not great there is lots to see and lots of great little places to hunker down with a coffee and a croissant – or maybe even a piece of sugar pie. I`m sure we will manage just fine.
Here in Quebec, we are staying in a basement apartment – 4 bedrooms and quite spacious in a very nice area of 1950`s homes. But the wiring in this place is unbelievable – a mass of extension cords which seem to run from the upstairs to various parts of the downstairs. And there was only one mirror in the whole place aside from the bathroom mirror. So this morning I mentioned to the owners that 2 mirrors were simply not enough for 4 women – especially when neither mirror was near a plug-in. Tonight 3 of the bedrooms have full length mirrors and the other has a quite nice mirror that stands on the desk in the bedroom. If only all of life`s problems were solved so easily!