Jul 23, 2012 - Canada, Nice Folks, Quebec, Social, Travel    2 Comments

A Sunday in the Eastern Townships

Sunday, I’d promised my dad’s brother that I would go visit him at his trailer in East Bolton in the Eastern Townships. I took off around 8:30 and arrived around 9:30.

Uncle K has had a trailer in that campground for about 30 years. Until a few years ago, his trailer was from the ’60s but he has since upgraded to a trailer from the ’70s. The RV spot is large and he planted all the trees on it, so he saw them grow from saplings to the mature, shade-providing, trees they are today.

The campground is on Trousers Lake, so named because the general shape of the lake is a pair of pants. It’s a lake with an inlet and an outlet, so the water is cool, but clean. Motorboats haven’t been allowed in years, so the fishing is very good (bass and pike mostly).

Uncle K took me for a brief walk to see some of the sights and then we were joined by Uncle J (dad’s late sister’s husband) and his grand-daughter (my second cousin).

We piled into Uncle J’s tiny Nissan to go check out the site of the cottage my grand-father started to build in the ’60s and never finished because of his untimely death in an accident caused by a drunk driver.

The cottage was on Lake Gilbert. Today, you could drive to the site, but in the ’60s, you had to park on shore and pack everything over by boat. From shore, it was a 20KM walk round trip to get groceries.

The next stop was the Benedict Abbey (Abbaye Saint-Benoît), known for its beautiful grounds and superb cheeses. Had I not had several hours ahead before access to a fridge, I would have bought some treats at the large monastery store! Uncle J picked up a jar of caramel spread, something that was obviously a treat he gets whenever he’s in the area.

The abbey was founded in 1910

this is the older part of the abbey

the brickwork is gorgeous!

simple stained glass

floor mosaic

the left part of the abbey is ‘new’ from the 1980s

the little chapel

We drove around the countryside a little more after this, looking for, but failing to find, our family cemetery (I should have printed off the directions, but I can always go back later this summer; it’s not far). The Eastern Townships (Cantons de l’est) is one of the most scenic regions in Canada and very popular cottage country. You can run into politicians (eg. former Prime Minister Paul Martin) and movie stars (eg. Donald and Kiefer Sutherland) here.

We grabbed some goodies from a popular bakery for lunch, ate at the campground, and headed back to the Montérégie mid-afternoon. I was glad to have my iPod because I got caught in the expected Sunday afternoon traffic jam on the 10:

It started 3KM from the exit for Chambly and it took me almost a full hour to get home from that point. I could have walked home almost three times as quickly! I just cranked up the Cowboys Fringants and had fun watching the RVers run out of their rigs to use the bathroom and fix snacks!

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  • If you ever go to L’ île d’Orléans check out the nursery http://lesfleursdelile.com
    It’s owned and operated by my nephew-in-law Jean-Marc & his son Dominic

  • Lucie, thanks for the tip! I was supposed to go to L’île d’Orléans the weekend I ended up in Venise-en-Québec, but I may still get there this summer!

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