Monday, August 24, 2009

no Grosse Isle, Quebec

Friday, July 31, 2009

Moving day. As much as we enjoyed our stay, there's only so much time, so we shoved off in the direction of Nova Scotia. One problem trying to stick to a traveling schedule is the unexpected and interesting places to be discovered. Not wanting to miss anything, we seem to stop at every historical marker or point of interest which, of course, takes more time, and so it goes.
Today I learned that there had been an immigration stop near here, similar to Ellis Island, called Grosse Isle. Unfortunately, it ended up being the graveyard for some seven or eight thousand Irish immigrants in the 19th century, as they were not allowed entry into Quebec. There is a memorial on the island, so I figured we'd take a look-see. The ferry terminal was in a protected cove on the St. Lawrence River. The returning ferry had just arrived so we hurried to the booth to buy our tickets. Everything looked good, an overcast sky, sailboats streaming by, soon a trip on the water... until the lady behind the glass saw Nicky and said, “No dogs allowed, monsieur”. Disappointed, we headed to the restaurant to have a warm meal and watch the river traffic from our seats on the terrace. It turned out to be a pretty good meal. Afterwards we strolled the beach and found some interesting geological evidence of glaciation, and humongous cockeyed uplifts of the underlying strata. Interesting. There is a lot of red rock in these parts.

After lunch we continued east toward the Gaspe peninsula and listened to more of the ongoing adventures of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court”. Both Carol and I are great fans of the Arthurian legends and have read extensively on the subject, so Mark Twain's interpretation and humor take a bit of getting used to. But I still enjoy it and marvel at the word play he was able to get out of the characters. Carol enjoys the subtle, intelligent sarcasm throughout. This reader is excellent. Anyway, by the time we reached Rimouski it was late so we started thinking about where to put up for the night. Along the harbor I spotted an information booth and pulled the Casita in. One of the good things about Canada is their attention to the needs of tourists. Everywhere we have gone we've been able to get good maps and reliable information from very friendly and courteous folks. Rimouski was no exception. The woman at the desk checked campgrounds and called to make reservations for us at a delightful place some 20K further up the coast. That's how we found Luciloe, where we would spend three unexpected days.
Once the Casita was level and the van detached, we walked down the hill to the waterfront to promenade with dozens of other couples along the strand. The night sky and the water lapping the shore made it a perfect setting for just holding hands. And we did.

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