Friday, September 12, 2014

L'ile D'Orleans

L''ile d'Orleans!

This island, cradled in the middle of the mighty St. Lawrence River, is designated as a historical district.  In fact, one of the reasons that I wanted to go was to find out which specific property that my ancestors (the Lachances) had originally settled on in  "New France" in the 1600's.  We camped on one of the two campgrounds on the island (make sure to go to the "right" one unless you want to see the "wild" side of the island!).  We brought our bikes with us and cycled from one town to another, stopping at the various agricultural sites and sampling the wares and farm-fresh products along our way!   It became clearly evident as to why the island is also known as the "Garden of Quebec. During the course of the week, we sampled and purchased several fine wines, cheeses, meats and bakery products, oh, ice cream & chocolate as well! 

From our campsite on the Island, we were able to see large cargo ships on the Saint Lawrence; we also lucked out as it was a full moon during our stay..

The campground is located in St. Famille, one of six towns on the island, and it just happened to be the orignal site where my ancestors had land (Pepin Lachance family).  I was able to walk a quarter of a mile or less from the campground into town each morning (this is it!)

The church above was adjacent to this Chocolate shop?  how perfect is this?!

and it's about a mile or so from this observation tower which was pretty cool.  After walking up 80 or so steps, you were treated to an awesome view of the surrounding fields, the river and the towns across the river; oh, and also, views of a ski resort (St. Anne?) and Saint Anne de Beaupre cathedral.

90% of the island is agricultural

The island has many vineyards, we went to several tastings.

This is Lucy at the little bike rental place on the island.  We had to go there twice during our short stay; my husband discovered that his bike had two broken spokes and the chain on my bike snapped one morning!

While we were waiting for our bikes to be repaired we went to the local beer pub and had some tasters as well as onion rings.

The pub was next door to this church ( think  this is in St. Francis) which is also next to a Registry where you can find out which families were the original settlers of the island; I was able to confirm that my mother's father's family had originally settled there.  Next time I will see if the Veilleuxs on my dad's side did.

If the land is unsuitable for crop farming, it is put to other uses....such as vineyards!

there were several places that offered fresh cooked corn

A lavendar garden, we'll have to visit that next time!

The bakeries were the best esp. this one in St. Jean...

Typical houses on the island:

typical houses on the island

This was our campsite....

Love these cypress? trees....

There were also lots of these small churches that individuals had built on their properties.  I'm not sure if they actually worshipped in them!

love these trees

this is that most excellent bakery in St. bike chain had snapped and Mike had to go and retrieve the car....I waited at the bakery!

love these street lamps...

we had sangria at this vineyard where they produced wines and liquers with black yummy!

and this special cheese which you roast in a pan on the stove..

I bought a bottle of the wine and the liquor to make the sangria, I can't wait!

riding across the island was a pretty and far fewer cars than on the perimeter of the island

amazing moon followed by brilliant sunrise the following morning

A view of St. Anne de Beaupre across the river....

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit to the island...we hope to return some day!