To my delightful surprise, a weekend getaway to Quebec’s Eastern Townships was filled with beautiful scenery, lush greenery and wonderful smells. On a whim, Mark decided to compete in a half Iron distance race in Magog, Quebec. Neither of us had been to the area before and we had friends more than willing to host us. So we said “why not?”
The Eastern Townships are located about an hour southeast of Montreal near the borders of Vermont and New Hampshire. As such, the region is fairly mountainous. This gave way to some stunning views of Lake Memphremagog and countless fields.
Our first stop was the famous lavender fields of Bleu Lavande in Fitch Bay. I’ve always dreamed of visiting the lavender fields in France but these fields will do just fine until that day. The smell of lavender filled the air every time the wind blew. It was calm and peaceful, and everyone seemed to simply enjoy walking through the rows of lavender in admiration.
At lunch, we enjoyed a lavender infused beer. That was one of the many lavender infused products sold in the boutique. I could have easily spent a small fortune on lavender products. Bleu Lavande also offers daily tours. These tours comprise of the history of Bleu Lavande as well as an explanation of the lavender extraction process. Also, if I had more time, I would have loved to indulge in the spa services. Alas we had to continue our tour of the region.
Our next stop was the abbey of St-Benoit-du-Lac – famous cheese and cider producers.
I was surprised to see the gift shop full of people buying cheese, chocolates, cider, and other local and monastic goodies. One friendly monk worked the sample sample table who very graciously accepted to have his photo taken.
The grounds of the monastery were beautifully kept with wild flowers, shade provided by large trees and picnic tables.
On our way into North Hatley, we happened up Les Savons du Canton – a handmade soap store. The interior of the store smelled amazing! All the smells were natural and subtle but strong enough to enjoy the cleanliness of it all. The store was located inside an old barn that has been spruced up and embellished with beautiful window flower boxes.
As we drove through the region we stopped in many beautiful places to walk around and take photos. There were so many vibrant colours everywhere from lush flowers and trees!
Where have you gone that took you by surprise? Were you pleased or disappointed?