Day 4 - Jeffersonville to Montreal

Trip Start Sep 27, 2008
Trip End Oct 05, 2008

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My suitcase has one fundamental problem, it won't stay shut. It clicks close and lulls you into a false sense of security by pretending it has let you lock it, but soon after you stand it up it springs open and spills clothes over the hotel room, the corridor, the stairs or if it is in a really awkward mood, the car park!! I'm not actually sure if the kicking it then receives helps it lock the next time, but it certainly makes me feel better for a moment. Bear with me and the relevance of this revelation will become apparent.

Well this morning I woke up much later (about 6am) and had a walk round this cute US village of Veffersonville. 3 big Churches, loads of yellow school buses (they really get up early to go to school here) and no fences, they just have lots of space between their houses. Then back to the parked car to have another go at figuring out how the cruise control worked (Mrs M seems to understand it, but I refuse to let her know I don't).

Turned the ignition on, then in a scene reminiscent of RoboCop the car told me it had a problem with low pressure in one tire (that's tyre to you Brits). I assumed Americans would have a proper spare, but no; something that would not look out of place on a child's tricycle stared back at me from the trunk (boot). So a phone call to the hirers and they asked where I was (Jeffersonville), what state (Vermont), was that near Burlington (about a hour back down the road), was I near any other towns (East Fletcher, Bakersville), no good anywhere else (Bordoville, Enosburg), no; in fact they don't have anywhere else in Vermont (ok so Burlington then), they would call ahead and when you get there you can pick up a new car (excellent we will be there in a couple of hours).

A lovely breakfast in the bakery attached to the inn, which actually had wireless internet access. I wasn't in a happy mood as I expected the detour to get the tyre fixed would take at least 3 hours and it made going to the north east of the state a problem. The case appeared to lock, we went towards the parked car, it stayed locked. I tried the bl****y sat nav, it worked within a few seconds. Uncannily both the case and the sat nav seemed to actually realise that had they played up today they would have been thrown down a mountain.

Back to Burlington, no call from the hire company so no car, but they knew a tyre depot where it could be checked. Nice receptionist who was surprised to hear that we really liked the area, nice fitter who said there was nothing wrong with the tyre, but they had tightened the valve.

Three hours after we left the hotel we passed it again on our way north towards Jay Pass, near the Canadian border. The trees are beautiful, scarlets, etc and we thought it could not get better. Then we drive up route 109 to Belvidere, route 118 to East Berkshire and finally route 105 almost to the Canadian border. It was incredibly beautiful, as though the mountains were on fire and as far as the eye could see, which must have been at least 50 miles in some places.

Decided to miss the north east, so a customs post on a lonely road, a Canadian immigration official who seemed really pleased to see someone and a drive across much flatter terrain, with much more green, but still bursts of colour to Montreal.

Found the apartment, which was spacious and excellent, parked and set off on a 3 hour walk thro' the old town to the harbour. A fabulous combination of old + new architecture, French + American, unforgettable.

We finished with delicious meal (with a delightful section of beers) in the very room where Dickens wrote the draft of "A Tale of Two Cities", then back via the magnificent Town Hall and so to bed.
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