We love to travel in Quebec. Most years we spend a week in August at our time share condo in a village on the Saguenay Fjord called L’Anse-Saint-Jean.
The 105 km long fjord is magnificent.
And the tiny village of L’Anse-Saint-Jean…well, it’s really the perfect place for us.
It’s quiet, historic, beautiful, with a great cycling trail, a couple of good restaurants, one perfect little boutique (pour moi.) Oh…and it’s French. So we can practice speaking French while we’re here, albeit with an execrable accent.
Most days we cycle.
Sometimes we pedal up streets of tidy wooden houses…
with well cared for gardens.
Sometimes we pedal on the dirt roads that run past farm fields…
Sometimes on the cycling trail…
that follows the river…
and then crosses the river through the old covered bridge.
L’Anse-Saint-Jean was settled in the 1830’s and many of the buildings are very old. Each historic home has a little green plaque telling the story of the house.
And the village has the best barns.
I’m fond of barns. And sheds. And this one is my favourite.
Many of the homes in L’Anse-Saint-Jean still have a traditional Quebec bread oven in their back yard. I’d love to taste the bread that was baked in these.
One day each trip we set off on our bikes for Restaurant La Fringale for casse-croute. Every now and again I must feed my hot dog obsession. And these are the best hot dogs in the world. Grilled, on a toasted bun with fried onions, cabbage slaw, mayonnaise, and ketchup…and a side of some pretty terrific patate frites.
Oh my…. so tasty. We’re spoiled, now, so we only eat hot dogs when we’re in L’Anse-Saint-Jean.
Some days we hike. Or we might take a drive up the road to Chicoutimi or La Baie. They have good cycling trails there as well.
This year we stopped in Rivière-Éternité, also called the Village de Crèches. In a wooded Parc Municipal right on the highway is a stunning display of Quebec (and international) craftsmanship. Under wooden roofs to keep out much of the weather, are numerous carved nativity scenes, most made from pine or bois de pin, some from other materials, all… well… surprising, to say the least. Not what one expects when one speeds round the turn in the highway and descends the big hill into the village.
This one was my favourite.
I love the gentle expressions on the faces of Mary and Joseph. The way you can see the grain of the wood. And the hands. The hands are amazing.
Most of our week is pretty quiet. We barbeque something for supper. Maybe eat dinner out once, at the most. Sip a glass of wine on the deck of our condo. Read a good book… or three. Speak bad French to each other and laugh that we’re probably making up our own dialect.
And just enjoy the view.
Our sojourn here is just enough wilderness for me at the moment.
Besides after I finish my glass of wine I may take a stroll down to the bottom of the hill. Where there IS that one perfect boutique that I mentioned earlier. They carry a line of lovely, funky jewellery crafted in Quebec. Hmmmmm. A new bracelet might be in order.
What adventures have you been having this summer? Wilderness or otherwise.