Friday, September 28, 2018

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

The Chief and I took two days to drive up here.  Ten hours on the road the first day, driving in rain pretty much the whole way.  We pushed all the way to Albany before stopping for lunch, by which time we were SO ready to get outta the car!  That was the worst of it, though; we got into Bennington, VT, around 4 for an overnight stop.  The Autumn Inn is an older, mom-and-pop motel.  Not very fancy, but clean and convenient, and they were very anxious to be sure they complied with our "no down bedding request."

Wednesday we left before breakfast at the motel, but we had some pretzel rolls to eat in the car.  We took our time, stopping briefly in Wilmington, VT (very pretty little town) to get some Dunkin coffee for the Chief and to stop into Our Lady of Fatima church because the architecture caught my eye.

More importantly, we stopped at King Arthur Flour in Norwich!  We got a nosh in the cafe, then went into the store.  The Chief opted for a mini-scone pan and scone mix, while I got a few ingredients and a flour-sack dishtowel.  We went into Norwich proper to top up the gas tank and drop a clothing return at the post office.  What a postcard-perfect little town - very New England.

Crossing the border into Canada was almost a non-event.  We gave the guard our passports & second ID, he asked us where we were going and how long we expected to be in Canada, asked if we had any weapons, and that was it. 

We stopped in Sherbrooke looking for the tourist info office.  It was further into town than we could have wished, and there seemed to be roadwork every other block, but we made it.  It's a tiny little building on the Magog River - lovely view.  We picked up a few brochures, then headed on to Trois-Rivieres.  Waze wasn't working - we learned the next day our phones didn't have connectivity in Canada. (My phone now does.) but Gladys got us to our hotel.

L'Auberge Familiale La Veranda is another older place, not a chain, but the woman who checked us in was very nice, gave us a bigger room than we'd booked, at the same price.  The sprinklers are apparently a retrofit - they only run around the perimeter of the room, so there's one in the shower and one above the upper kitchen cabinet in the kitchenette.  The room is a bit on the warm side, so we've been using the ceiling fans to make it more comfortable.  However, the mattress is nice and firm, and we have not just one, but two small fridges and ample storage.

Yesterday we ventured into downtown Trois-Rivieres.  We started at the tourist info office, got a nice lunch, then went to the Archives, the reason we added Trois-Rivieres to our itinerary.  Archivist Eric Lamothe-Cyrenne was very helpful - showed us how to use their database, got us guest accounts for it that are good until we leave Quebec, pulled out some old maps for us to examine, even helped me with a few French terms.  We finished up around 4, then walked around downtown for an hour or so.

We started at the quay, walking along the water and the waterfront park, then venturing into the neighborhoods, admiring the range of architecture and plantings.  Had the prettiest little orange-and-white cat come up to us while we were exploring the Anglican cemetery. For some reason, he decided *I* needed to give him scritches, not the Chief, the one who's not allergic to cats. I gave in - first time in ages I've dared to pet a cat. (Thanks to liberal application of hand sanitizer, I didn't have a reaction.)  Dinner at Moose Grill & Pub, then back to our hotel for the night.  (Where the Chief binge-watched news about the Kavanaugh hearing and I tried to ignore it.)

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