We awoke in Gananoque, ON, ready to head for Montreal. Though we didn't have time to visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY, we decided to try the Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Gananoque. FAIL. It apparently had been a large and interesting museum, but they had to move to a different location, and have not yet opened at the final location. What we did find was a) REALLY hard to find and b) a room about 10' x 20' that was part of the yacht club office! Maybe next time!
We hit the road for Montreal to meet up with our Road Scholar travelers. But on the way, we stopped in a small town, determined to eat in a local place (I think there was a Subway in every place we went, and in Canada, also Tim Horton's!). We were in for a culture shock at la Terrasse du Pont, a small cafe in in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, QC. As soon as we entered, we were enveloped in French! I don't know what I expected, but that was actually a surprise to the senses - we had ARRIVED in Quebec Province! The cafe was small, the kind with a serpentine
lunch counter with the locals sitting there on swivel stools. When we walked in, we were very obviously fish outta water - everybody stared, even before we spoke! The waitress was fantastic and kind as we stumbled through trying to order in French, and she helped with pronunciation. The food was excellent and fresh, but I was surprised to hear American rock playing; the only one I remember though was Pink Floyd's The Wall.
After some torturous driving into and through Montreal to the hotel (construction, heavy traffic, 2 dueling GPS, and Pam interpreting all while looking at actual paper maps AND instructions from Road Scholar!), we arrived safely at our hotel, Springhill Suites on rue St. Jean-Baptiste.
We met our group at the hotel for a quick orientation, where we learned we would not go hungry with over 6,000 places to eat in Montreal and Quebec. The Road Scholar guides are Sylvie and Andree, although Sylvie was to be with us more than Andree. Sylvie acted mostly as the Road Scholar contact who corralled us and made connections with the several experts who spoke and guided us around the cities each day. The first photo shows an
example of the narrow streets and, yes, the orange barrels!
Then we headed off to dinner at Les Pyrenees. On the way to dinner, we passed the sculpture below. As it happens, the artist, Rose-Aimee Belanger, was well known in the city and we saw many of her pieces both in Montreal and Quebec City. This one is called The Whisperers; all the sculptures we saw featured these casual poses and the same type of figures.
Dinner at Les Pyrenees was arranged by Road Scholar, so we had a choice among a few starters, entrees, and desserts. I chose a wild mushroom pastry with a small salad, beef stew, mashed potatoes, and vegetable medley, finishing with orange cake. It was all delicious. And due to the not-American sized portions, the dessert was appreciated! In the States, while a dessert might be tempting, the entree is always so out-sized the dessert is out of the question! Oh yes, and wine, too!
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