When we travel in the RV it’s always a decision in terms of what we stop to see. We will scour the tour books and internet sites to find out what there is to see in an area and go from there. Tourism websites always offer lots of ideas, but we have found their descriptions are frequently more spectacular than the actual attraction. They are all about marketing themselves after all.
Take our visits to the waterfall, Chute-Montmorency, and Ile d’orleans, an island in the St. Lawrence. We were in the middle of touring Quebec. Our stay in Quebec City was everything we expected, and we spent a lot of time there. Looking in the neighboring area we found Chute-Montmorency, billed as being “bigger than Niagara Falls,” just north of Quebec City. Also right there was Ile d’orleans, also known as the “Garden of Quebec,” offering lots of fresh produce and fruit, as well as insight into the roots of Quebec’s French culture. Having loved our visit to the real Niagara Falls, it sounded like a great day trip to us.
Chute-Montmorency forms where the Montmorency River falls over a cliff into the St. Lawrence River. It was quite spectacular. We climbed a long set of stairs to the top and enjoyed the view down as we stood on the suspension bridge that spans the gorge, as well as the views back to Quebec City. It is 98 feet higher than Niagara Falls, but looking at the photos of both, I don’t really think they can be compared. As I said, tourism bureau hype needs to be factored in when choosing places to see. In this case we were glad we made the drive.
Right across the way form the falls, in the middle of the St Lawrence River, was Ile d’orleans. This small island (21 miles long, five miles wide) was the first part of Quebec to be colonized by the French and I gather many Quebecers can trace their roots back to these first settlers. It was pretty, pastoral and relaxing and we spent a few hours circling the island and enjoying it sights. While we didn’t learn much about the french culture we did discover its cidreries. Apple orchards offering all things apple: ice ciders, syrups, jellies, mustard and butters. We sampled it all and made our contribution to the local economy.
On our way home, approaching the bridge back to the mainland, we saw a sight of joy. Our favorite discovery in Quebec, a french fry stand. We could not leave the Province and head back to the States with out one more helping of this local delicacy. Fresh cut, hot and salty, our stay in Quebec was complete.