Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Quebec, August 9-10 - Tremblant and Montreal

We were sad to leave Quebec City so soon, but today we drove along the St. Lawrence river to Tremblant, a mountain resort town next to a "national" park. (It is a provincial park, but the Quebecois don't refer to it that way.) This drive was more scenic than our venture through the Cantons-de-l'Est, with a lot of quaint small farms on the riverbanks.

The inaccuracy of the Lonely Planet book was a running joke with us. It neglected to mention overcrowding at popular Montreal sights, got hours of operation wrong, loved the park that we considered boring, had some very outdated information, and shortchanged Quebec City relative to Montreal. So we took it with good humor that their "fairy tale village" of Tremblant was in fact an overcommercialized, overpriced time-share tourist trap without even any history or interesting architecture. David checked the bottom of our expensive pizza to see if it bore any straight-off-the-truck Sysco markings. At least our hotel was pleasant, and our room even had a fireplace.

Friday morning we escaped our favorite "fairy tale village," took the gondola to the summit of Mont Tremblant, and hiked back down through lush forests, alpine meadows, and past a pond and beaver dam. The weather cooperated beautifully, and ripe raspberry and blueberry bushes lined the trail in several places. After swimming, we headed back to Montreal for dinner at Malhi Sweets, a completely unobtrusive Indian restaurant with a menu touting the fact that Catherine Deneuve once celebrated her birthday there. The malai kofta and lamb korma were excellent, and dinner for two cost less than some single sandwiches in Tremblant.

Just like that, our trip was basically over. (Little did we know we'd spend 11 hours waiting in airports for cancelled and delayed flights the next day, but we were home again soon enough.)