Thursday, July 23, 2009
Lile d'Orleans Island-July23
This island is on the other side of Quebec city from where we are here at the campground. It can be reached either by a bridge(which was built in 1935)or by ferry. There are about 6 villages on this island with three of them having populations a little over 1,000. One main road runs right through the island so it was easy to go into all the villages with no turns to be made. Our plan was to make it a short day with the goal of just getting some fresh produce. We saw many strawberry fields. It seemed to be the peak of the season as there were many produce stands where we could purchase the fruit. Other local produce we found was lettuce,and red raspberries. Outside the village of Sainte Famille we saw many vineyards,apple and pear tree orchards stretching from the road down to the St.Lawrence river. We did stop at one winery and purchased some wine after sampling several. One unusual liquor we liked was made with a combination of black-currant and maple hard cider. Quite delicious! Many navigators and ship pilots live on the island,so I did want to post here a harbor scene. Off from the parking lot of Saint Laurent church we found a wharf that had an unusual sea wall of stones which protected the boats tied up there. We toured that church and found that it had a double balcony,and also a tree branch in the front with baby booties hanging from it. Those booties symbolized the babies baptized in 2009. I have a picture of that here. Also in the town of St.Laurent we found a handcrafts shop and art gallery. This is something else which the island is noted for. In this particular shop fifty-six local artists sell their wares. Here we viewed paintings in many different mediums,also pottery,tapestry,ceramics,ect. It was very tempting to buy something but our life style now demands that we live simply. I want to mention one other village where it was necessary for us to get out and walk around. The Village of Sainte Famille (I did mention this town earlier)has a Parc Ancetres where a memorial to the founding families can be found. It is the oldest parish on the island,founded in 1661. It also has the most concentration of stone dwellings to be found,dating back to the French Regime. Near the memorial park is located one of the first homes built in this area,dating from the 18th century. I took a picture of the side of this building so you can get see the original stone wall. One other thing I would like to add is that I am constantly amazed by the beautiful houses,not only on this island but in Quebec itself. Each one is so different from its neighbors with such unique features as turrets,balconies and green houses. Some are of wood,others of stone or brick. Many are brightly colored or just the roof may have a bright color as red. The mansard roof is popular and on many of the homes. And every home is dressed up with either hanging flower baskets or flower gardens resplendent with the blooms of summer. Well,you may say that this did not seem to be a short brief trip and you would be correct in thinking that! We got back to the campground much later than planned.