Gordon: We spent three busy but very enjoyable nights in Montreal with Ruth’s cousin Rod and his wife Elena. They put their time and detailed knowledge of Montreal at our disposal, providing us with an outstanding opportunity to visit and learn about the city. They were also very entertaining.
When it came time to leave Montreal, we had to choose between three Route Verte to get to Quebec City. Two of these are on either bank of the St. Lawrence, and the third, longer route is through the Eastern Townships. Because we will be spending a significant time cycling along the St. Lawrence after Quebec City, and with a nudge from Rod, we decided in favour of the Eastern Townships (La Route Verte 1).
Today we cycled the first leg of this six day journey. Our route went along the Lachine Canal (a beautiful ride through the remnants of the industrial past), through the Expo ’67 site, and then up the Richelieu River valley. Along the way, we visited the fort at Chambly, constructed by the French in 1750. It is a Parks Canada National Historic Site with some very good interpretive displays.
Much of our ride was on the cycle path along the Chambly Canal, which is also administered by Parks Canada and is still used by pleasure boats. If you allowed your eyes to blur a bit, it was quite possible to imagine that we were cycling along a canal in France.
Tonight we are the only guests in an inexpensive B&B in the countryside near Iberville. In Montreal it seemed as though everyone spoke English, but our host at the B&B appears to be a unilingual Francophone. Finally, some vindication for my innumerable hours on Duolingo.