I invite you to read the diary of my fourteenth and last trip to the United States and Canada with which the? On the road? Tour ends. started in 2005 with a visit to New York and Washington DC
In recent years, my son Giovanni and I have been able to see and learn about 48 of the 50 states that make up the Union (except Alaska and Hawaii) and the eastern part of Canada (Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswich); we have traveled a total of almost 70.000 km. in 185 days of travel and as many nights in different places and hotels every evening.
We have always preferred the? Do it yourself? sharing the tasks equally: John acted as interpreter, yes? busy with car rental, petrol supplies and bank withdrawals, with the choice of restaurants for dinners, but above all? was an excellent and patient driver even in the most? chaotic.
I organized the trips, after choosing the itineraries with him, booking the flights and hotels via the internet, taking out the insurance policies and working as a? Navigator? during almost all routes.
Thanks for your attention and happy reading.
Sunday 20 - Montreal? Brossard - (km.30)
Direct flight with Air Transat from Venice to Montreal (round trip for two people? 1.132). For unspecified technical issues, boarding and take-off will be delayed two hours, therefore? the arrival in Montreal will take place at 17 pm After a long wait at Avis to collect a comfortable Cadillac XTS AWD with maximum insurance coverage and built-in navigator (? 835) we head towards Brossard about thirty km away where we had booked at the Quality Inn & suites (? 99). Gi? we immediately took advantage of the navigator's indications because, being Montreal all upside down due to numerous road works and detours, it would have been difficult to find the way but, well assisted, we arrived at the hotel at 19,15 pm.
Monday? 21 - Brossard- Ticonderoga - (km.240)
After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast we are ready to begin our yet another journey across the United States; we take the Autoroute 15S and, after 45 minutes, we arrive at the border with the United States; here long lines of cars arranged on five lanes await the customs controls and operations that we manage to complete after an hour with the payment of ($ 12) for entry visas.
We are in Vermont and almost immediately we detour onto US-11 then onto US-2 which, crossing the islands of North Hero, Grand Isle and South Hero on long bridges, takes us directly to the city? of Burlington where we arrive at 14 pm During this journey I was struck by a sign that warned me to be careful for "turtles" crossing the road.
Burlington, located on the shores of Lake Champlain, with 42.400 inhabitants? the city? pi? large of Vermont also due to the presence of the 13.400 students who attend its prestigious university? and are housed in various campuses with well-kept gardens and lawns.
We find a parking lot then we set off on foot for a half hour walk along the shores of the lake from which we have a magnificent view of the beautiful houses that surround the coast; after taking several photos, we resume the journey following first the US-7S, the VT-17W and, when we enter the state of New York, the NY-22S and the NY-9NS to the town of Ticonderoga where we arrive at 16,10, 8 and where a nice room awaits us at the Super63 (? ) an original wooden structure, modern rooms with brightly colored walls and bed covers. Excellent first impression!
Tuesday? 22 - Ticonderoga (NY) -Bennington (VT) - (km.340)
Ticonderoga? a small town of nearly 5.000 inhabitants that boasts a great attraction: its star-shaped fort built in 1755 by the Canadians and the French on the southern shore of Lake Champlain; we had decided to go and see it but, upon reaching the entrance, a kind lady informs us that you have to pay a ticket of $ 24 each and that you must have at least half a day for the visit.
At this point, also taking into account the uncertain weather, we give up and resume the road following the itinerary planned for the day: first the NY-22S up to Withehall then the US-4E, a long panoramic road that reaches the border with New Hampshire. Back in Vermont at Fair Haven, we cross woods (numerous signs indicate to be careful for the presence of moose), we pass the villages of Rutland, Killington (renowned ski area), Bridgewater and arrive at Woodstock where we stop to photograph one of the countless covered bridges that characterize this state. I would like to stop more? long because, I read on the guide, in the surrounding countryside are the residences of the wealthy bankers and oilmen Rockefeller and Rothscild and also the locality? ? The Quechee Gorge? referred to as the? Grand Canyon? of Vermont; for? it rains and it's cold cos? Giovanni prefers to go straight.
We take the I-91S which we will follow for a hundred kilometers. Before arriving in Brattleboro we stop at a signposted? Panoramic? to look at the expanse of the plain that extends to infinity and we take the opportunity to enter the only building used as a bazaar where it sells a bit? everything: clothes, t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, costume jewelery and locally produced food; we buy chocolate, chips and other products that we will consume along the way.
In West Brattleboro we detour onto VT-9W which takes us directly to Bennington at the Hampton Inn
(? 139); is it 15,20:15 pm and the temperature? of only ?.
Day around Vermont that we crossed first from west to east then from center to south and from east to west. This ? a small state of about 620.000 inhabitants located in New England at the far end northeastern United States, its name? of clear French origin and means? Monte Verde? like the mountain range that crosses it from north to south; its economy? mainly based on agriculture and breeding (the cheeses are renowned, maple syrup reaches 40% of the entire production in the USA, micro breweries of which there are 1 every 28.000 inhabitants and artisanal ice creams). Its surface? 80% represented by woods and forests, the countryside presents an endless succession of soft green expanses occupied by many beautiful farms, dozens of picturesque villages and many covered bridges. A very peaceful, relaxing and interesting journey.
Wednesday? 23 - Bennington (VT) - Apalachin (NY) - (km.330)
The city? of Bennington has 15.800 inhabitants and? the third pi? populous of Vermont; its main attraction consists of a 93 meters high obelisk (the highest structure in the state) erected to commemorate the battle that took place in 1777 between American troops and a coalition of German, Canadian and British troops which ended with the victory of the Americans. We went ten kilometers from the town where the fight really took place (strangely it is in the state of New York) where there are memorial stones and a large relief model that recalls the phases of the fight; before arriving we stopped to photograph the covered bridge? Silk? built in 1840 and 27 meters long.
The weather ? uncertain but then the sun comes out with a temperature of 20? when, at the end of the visit, we continue on NY-67W then on NY-146W, beautiful roads with little traffic that cross woods, pastures with farms up to Schenectady. Here we take the I-88W highway which we drive for 200 km. until you reach Binghamton to then deviate on NY-17W and finally reach Apalachin. Is it 16,30 and the temperature? climb up to 25? when we enter the Comfort Inn (? 85) that we had booked through Booking like all the other hotels of the trip. The managers are Pakistani, the room very comfortable, with attention to detail and very clean.
Transfer day in the middle of nature without particular emotions.
Thursday? 24 - Apalachin (NY) - Danbury (CT) - (km.440)
We leave at 9 with a beautiful sun and a temperature of 20? taking I-81S and after about forty minutes we cross the Pennsylvania border. Let's leave the city aside? of Scranton, we connect with the I-84E motorway and at 13,00 we cross the border with the state of New York marked by the town of Port Jervis after having traveled a total of 220 km. Shortly after we leave the motorway and start following the US-6E which crosses pretty villages (I am struck by the street lamps of the main streets on which the photographs of the soldiers who died in the various wars are exposed in view of the? Memorial day? Which occurs on 28 / 5), extensive plains, forests and lakes. At one point we enter the area of the state park called? Bear Mountain? and we randomly follow the? Seven Lake Drive ?, a beautiful panoramic road that takes us to Lake Tiorati of which we admire the beauty and extent. Then we have to line up at a walking pace for the many traffic lights that precede the passage on a toll bridge that crosses the Hudson River; does it take a while to walk it? patience (I note on the map that a little further north is the prestigious West Point academy where the most famous military commanders of the United States were trained), but in the end the traffic speeds up and we continue following the US- 6E.
At 15 pm the temperature is? stabilized at 30?, at 16 we cross the border with Connecticut and, after about twenty minutes, we arrive at the Super 8 (? 83) in Danbury: a normal unpretentious hotel with large rooms, a bit? dated but complete with the necessary and quiet.
We left at 18,45 pm to go to dinner at O? Briens sports pub: catfish with chips for me, sandwich stuffed with meat and vegetables for Giovanni.
Friday? 25 - Danbury (CT) -New London (CT) - (km.275)
From Danbury, city of nearly 80.000 inhabitants, the enchanting rural Connecticut landscape stretches northward, crisscrossed by the scenic US-7 main thoroughfare of the valley, a hilly area dotted with centuries-old farms, winding streets and cozy country inns.
Ed? precisely in this direction that, after a good breakfast, we move away leaving the intense traffic of the I-84 motorway; we cross rolling hills, beautiful villages with stately homes, several lakes (the largest in the state is Lake Candlewood), forests and state parks full of waterfalls with numerous well-marked hiking trails. We pass the towns of Fort Hill and Kent as we stop in West Cornwall to photograph a beautiful covered bridge; you travel at a speed? of 30/40 km cos? we have the possibility? to taste the beauty of these landscapes (the guide indicates as a curiosity that, in the nearby town of Lakeville, Maryl Streep owns a summer residence).
We arrive after 90 km in Canaan almost on the border with Massachusetts and from here we follow the US-44E; at some point we stop attracted by the? Avon Prime Meats? a large meat shop, fresh produce, local food and takeaway prepared foods: we will have two large sandwiches packed that we will consume more? late in the shade of the trees. We arrive in Hartford (capital of the state with 125.000 inhabitants, famous for its production of colt pistols and the State Capitol of white marble and granite with the dome covered with gold leaves) and we rely on the navigator to cross it without difficulty; I would like to visit it but it is 13,30 pm and the temperature is over 30? advises us to continue also why? traffic yes? very sustained fact.
We take the CT-2E up to Colchester then the CT-11S up to Salem and finally the I-95N to finish today's beautiful trip to New London (c ?? the base of one of the five Military Academies of America) at l? America Best Value Inn (? 89) a simple hotel with a large room and kitchenette. We go out for dinner and head to the Outback Steakhouse restaurant. Giovanni orders twelve prawns with fried potatoes or a bowl of thick soup with potatoes, bacon, chives, cheese and six coconut-breaded prawns with orange sauce: really tasty!
Finally, let's take a tour of the bay and the city? almost deserted.
Saturday 26 - New London (CT) - South Yarmouth (MA) - (km.220)
I had planned for today an itinerary along the coast of Rhode Island but Giovanni reminds me that, in the afternoon at 15 pm, the Champions Cup final will be played between the Liverpool and Real Madrid teams and he would like to see it: all in all I'm curious too. ? I, of beaches and sea will still meet many cos? at 9,30 with a beautiful sun and a temperature of 26 ?, we take the I-95N. Beyond? of a long bridge just in front of New London, is the town of Groton which? the main and largest submarine base, the museum houses the world's first nuclear-powered Nautilus submarine and the first to pass under the North Pole.
At 10 we enter the pi? small of the States (with a smaller area than that of our Val d? Aosta): Rhode Island; we continue to Providence, its capital, which we cross all the way following the directions of the navigator and then find ourselves, almost by chance, in front of the State Capitol and the government offices. How was there already? happened to Denver (Colorado) the parking lots are deserted, there isn't a person around so? we stop to take some pictures. After another long bridge, we take the I-195E and from here the US-136S with the intention of arriving in Newport (a seaside town about forty kilometers away) inhabited by the rich American bourgeoisie who built many beautiful residences and where are you? disputed for years the America? s Cup the pi? world famous sailing boat competition.
Routes for? About 20 km almost in a column, slowed down by numerous traffic lights, calculating the times between the outward and return journey, we decide to give up and retrace our steps.
At 11,05 am we cross the border with Massachusetts (temperature is 30?) At Fall River and follow US-6E which, after passing through the town of New Bradford, enters the Cape Cod Peninsula (looks like a hook or the coiled tail of a scorpion) to South Yarmouth where we booked for two nights at the Cape Shore Inn (? 188). I immediately realize the really unfortunate choice of the motel: squalid and indecent are the best words that come to my mind and are they so? sad that I would start crying; luckily c ?? the football match that starts at 14,45 pm and what will I absorb? our full attention for the next two hours.
In the meantime, I also thought a bit? and decided, in agreement with Giovanni, to find another accommodation for the second night: consulting booking.com I found an offer with a 40% discount at a Resort three kilometers away and that seems wonderful to me. Having said that we proceed with the booking and I am really happy with the solution even if we pay 100? not budgeted in the expenses.
At 18 pm we go out on foot to go to the? Lobster Boat? characteristic place 600 meters away where we console ourselves with a rich menu: for Giovanni a lobster roll with fried potatoes, cabbage, hot sandwich and salted butter; for me thick soup with pieces of lobster, two large breaded and fried crab meatballs.
The walk back to the motel allowed us to relax and get ready for sleep.
Sunday 27 - Cape Cod (South Yarmouth-Chatham-North Truro-Provincetown) - (km.170)
Today we have two alternatives: drive to Falmouth about fifty kilometers away, park, take a means of transport to Woods Hole, board the ferry that in fifty minutes docks at the island of Martha? S Vineyard (a renowned summer resort, frequented by celebrities of politics and in whose cemetery the comedian John Belushi is buried), or dedicate ourselves to the complete tour of Cape Cod.
We consider that time? uncertain, the temperature of only 14 ?, the holiday that certainly attracts many more? tourists (extended to tomorrow with the memorial day) so we decide to proceed with the tour to the north to discover the peninsula.
We prepare the suitcases, without much explanation we settle the bill of the motel (Giovanni has entrusted to booking the negative comments relating to our stay at this structure!) And we leave at 9,30 taking the Ma-28E after making a short stop at catholic church of San Giuseppe.
Yesterday we saw that along the road, on the trunks of the trees, on the lampposts and on the hedges they were knotted
black and blue ribbons whose meaning intrigued us; Giovanni asked for explanations this morning and? Was it said that, some time before, a policeman had been killed in that area? they paid him homage in that singular way.
Today, the day of the memory of all the male and female soldiers who died for their homeland, we have the opportunity to attend several gatherings of veterans and family members who remember them; flags with stars and stripes wave more? numerous than usual, especially in small countries where patriotism is palpable. Sense of nation that we Italians have unfortunately lost!
We are looking for a place where we can have breakfast but, in the first one we turn to, they tell us that we have to wait half an hour and we see that in the others there are long lines of cars and we assume that it is so full. everywhere.
Along the road ? a whole alternation of motels, resorts, elegant hotels (almost all display the words? no vacancy?) and classy shops; we arrive like this? up to Chatham, beautiful place? bathing area with a coastline on the ocean for a total of 97 km including the countless inlets and coves. We stop and get off on a small beach where Giovanni takes a picture of me as if I were at the north pole due to a cold and icy wind that makes us get back in the car early; then we head towards the nearby lighthouse of 1878 whose beam of light? visible at sea from a distance of 25 km. I stop after a short walk that allows me to photograph it but, again because of the cold and icy wind, I prefer to wait in the car; Giovanni, on the other hand, reaches the top where a walkway and a lookout allow a wonderful view of the ocean.
I was very impressed by a group of Japanese tourists, in particular two girls, probably staying in a nearby hotel, who went up to the lighthouse wrapped in light dressing gowns and with feathered slippers on their feet! The world ? nice why? ? varied and I always live curious experiences.
Shortly before the town of Orleans we join the US-6E, the only two-lane road that reaches the far north; before North Truro we turn right and follow the signs to go and see the? Highland Light? built in 1797 and which has the most light beam? brilliant all over New England.
We stopped for almost forty minutes to admire the cliffs, the ocean views, the luxurious hotels in the distance, to take pictures and enjoy the silence and tranquility. broken only by the screech of seagulls. We continue and, before arriving in Provincetown, the extreme tip of the peninsula, we skirt a long expanse of dunes formed by white sand and we notice various indications for paths reserved for bikes: I read in the guide that the? Cape Cod Rail Trail? ? the mother of all cycling trails; it stretches for 35 km in a stretch of forest and crosses swamps where there are cranberries and sandy pools of water.
We reach the town of Provincetown (3.000 inhabitants but a summer population of 60.000 and a holiday destination for the gay-lesbian community) where we connect with the US-6W and, shortly after, we decide to stop for lunch (we had breakfast there. skipped) at the first club that attracts us: the choice falls on the? Moby Dick? s? in the locality? Wellfleet where we stay from 13,35 to 14,20 enjoying a delicious lunch based on hamburger with meat and bacon for Giovanni and for me with crabmeat.
When we go out is it raining so? we proceed quickly towards South Yarmouth and the All Season? s Resort (? 85) where we arrive at 15,45: we have to wait about ten minutes before we have the room but, in the meantime, I can look around and have the confirmation of the excellent choice made the previous evening.
Are the employees at the reception in uniform, the hall? cozy and well furnished with a small supermarket attached, from the windows I see a large indoor swimming pool with comfortable loungers and armchairs, a sauna, a fitness center, a solarium; outside another large swimming pool and a gazebo.
The room ? vast and welcoming as it is, since it continues to rain outside and the temperature? of only 11? Giovanni decides to go and get the pizza which, for the first time during our fourteen trips, we consume in the room: very tasty!
We are very satisfied with this day and for what? that we have seen.
Monday? 28 - South Yarmouth- Boston-Hampton (NH) -York (ME) - (km.280)
We take it easy and leave at 10,40 with a cloudy sky and a temperature of almost 14 ?. We enter the MA-6AW which runs along the coast, we pass the towns of Sandwich and Sagamore then we enter the MA-3N which offers wonderful views over Cape Cod Bay; we arrive at White Horse beach and try to reach the beach for a stop (along the road there are numerous signs with? no parking?) but the entrances are all private, reserved for residents and tourists who stay at the numerous elegant hotels, so? we are content to watch from the car.
After about ten kilometers we arrive in Plymouth:? considered the city? native of the United States why? here, in the winter of 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers landed from England where they were persecuted for their religious beliefs; boasts the community? European pi? ancient New England. In a kind of mausoleum? preserved a small piece (broken and reassembled) of the granite boulder on which, it is said, the Mayflower (after 66 days of navigation) landed the small ship that with 102 people on board in addition to personal effects, tools, food supplies , animals and seeds, had faced the ocean. If you can? admire and visit an exact copy anchored in the harbor, then we took a walk along the main street where there are still some beautiful historic houses and took some photographs.
We resume our journey by entering the I-93N motorway which we follow up to Boston (already visited on a previous trip) remaining outside looking at the high skyscrapers that characterize it and finding ourselves in the midst of very heavy traffic with Giovanni attentive to numerous junctions (? really very good at getting by). We continue on US-1N which then becomes I-95N and we allow ourselves a stop at a reserved area where, sitting at a table under the shade of the trees, we refresh ourselves with the pizza left over last night and snacks purchased previously.
Our ride on this 4 + 4 lane highway is proceeding fairly quickly while, in the other direction of travel towards Boston, there are columns of almost stationary cars that I have estimated to reach twenty kilometers; at 15,45 pm we cross the border with the state of New Hampshire. We pass Hampton, Portsmouth and shortly after we enter Maine; at 16,40 pm we are in York at the Best Western (? 181) where we will stay for two nights.
We take possession of our room, excellent from all points of view, where we rest until 18,30 pm when we go out to have dinner at Robert? S Maine Grill: an excellent plate of fried calamari for me and a mixed fry dish with chips for Giovanni.
Speaking with the lady at the reception we learn that in recent days the hotel did not have a room available, which today there is? a little? calm but is waiting for the month of June to start again with the beach tourism.
Tuesday? 29 - York Beach-Wells-Old Orchard Beach-Gorham-York - (km.200)
After a tasty breakfast, at 10,10 am with a beautiful sun and a temperature of 20? we are ready to leave to discover the south coast of Maine (the eastern and central part almost as far as Portland we had already seen during our trip to Canada in 2013); first stop the beach of York where we stop for about forty minutes for a short walk on the sand and to take some photos of the coast and the beautiful houses that are along the road where we parked. We continue towards the lighthouse? Nubble? entered service in 1879, still functional, located on a rocky and steep island inaccessible to the general public; here too large cliffs and breathtaking views of the ocean and buildings on the opposite banks that we stop to photograph.
We continue on the US-1N up to Wells where we arrive at 12,15 with the temperature that you? a little? raised up to 24? and we walk along the entire seafront with a short stop to immortalize some beautiful houses.
From here we take road 9E to get to the pretty town of Old Orchard Beach: we park then, on foot, we reach the beach (it's already very hot with 30?) Where I enjoy walking and photographing the sand and the waves; we also take a tour of the small town crowded with tourists and, at 14,35 pm we leave the coast and head towards the central part of Maine starting on the ME-114N.
We arrive up to Gorham with the intention of returning to York along internal roads but we realize that they are very busy and slowed down by several traffic lights in small towns. we choose the toll highway I-95S, much more? fast: we arrive at the hotel at 16,30.
After a couple of hours of rest and having chosen the place for dinner, we head towards the Fisherman? S Dock
about three kilometers away: Giovanni chooses a plate of grated pasta with cheese and large pieces of lobster meat, I enjoy a generous portion of prawns and fries.
We spoke to the ladies who run the restaurant and learned that their grandparents were from Tuscany.
Excellent conclusion to a beautiful day spent in contact with the ocean: we explored the whole coast, observed luxurious private homes, resorts, motels, hotels and residences with gardeners working to fix flowers and plants and maintenance workers who are completing the preparations for the summer season which begins in June. Nice, tidy, clean area that suggests there is also a relative one
Wednesday? 30 - York (ME) -Concord (NH) - Woodstock -North Conway (NH) - (km.320)
Pi? later, leafing through the precious New England guide, I realized that near here to the north at a distance of seven kilometers is the locality? Ogunquit with a beach of fine white sand that stretches for 5 km; I ask Giovanni if we can go there? for a last goodbye to the ocean and he pleases me.
We leave at 9,40 with a little sky? hazy, a temperature of 21? and after twenty minutes we arrived on the spot; parked the car, we went down to the beach that stretches endlessly in every direction; I take a twenty minute walk equipped with my comfortable sneakers and I feel very happy!
Take some photos, we resume following the US-1S, the I-95S and at 11,00 we cross the border with New Hampshire; we leave the motorway and take the NH-101W, we pass Exeter and, before Manchester which we leave on the left, we enter the I-93N whose route passes through the woods until reaching the city? by Concord. IS? the state capital with 42.400 inhabitants, clean and tidy with a wide Main Street dominated by the imposing State House, a nineteenth-century granite building topped by a golden dome (like almost all similar buildings in the USA). The favorite stone in the? Granite state? is extracted from the quarries still in activity? just north of the city.
We stop for half an hour for a short visit, to photograph the most important places. characteristic and then resume the journey north to Lincoln (about 100 km) always following the I-93N motorway where the speed? maximum allowed? 70 / km.
From here starts the Kangamagus Hwy (NH 112), a winding and panoramic road of sixty kilometers very magnificent, which crosses the White Mountain National Forest and passes the Kangamagus Pass (874 m); hiking trails of varying difficulty branch off along its route? and campsites. There are no countries, there are? trace of commercial structures, there are no service stations (travelers warned at the beginning of the route).
Did we make a quick stop halfway through? road near a rushing stream that I photographed; with Giovanni, in the end, we commented that the path? interesting but we have seen better ones on our previous trips.
After passing the town of Conway we take the NH-16N and, after about ten kilometers, we arrive in North Conway at the Green Granite Inn (? 77) a characteristic structure with a large scenic hall (fireplace, armchairs, sofas and a real car. ? era), beautiful large rooms (ours with patio) with exit to a well-kept lawn shaded by trees. There are two swimming pools, one indoor with whirlpool and one outdoor, a park and a games room, a souvenir shop, a gym.
For dinner we chose Jonathon? S Seafood: Giovanni orders a? Lobster roll? (big lobster meat sandwich) while I ask for a? crab cake? (round bun with a crabmeat burger) with a side of fried onion rings; to conclude with a flourish, Giovanni tastes a blueberry dessert.
A very rewarding day in all respects.
Thursday? 31 - North Conway-Lancaster-Montpelier (VT) -Burlington-St. Albans (VT) - (km. 305)
We leave at 10,10 with a beautiful sun, a temperature of 25? and curiosity? to see another portion of this state and Vermont.
We follow the NH-16N which winds its way along a tortuous path, letting us see in the distance the still snow-covered Mount Washington which, with its only 1917 m,? however, the pi? high of all of New Hampshire; ? famous and popular is the small steam train built in 1869 which, with its almost six km of rails and facing a maximum gradient of 37%, takes you to the top of the mountain from which you can enjoy 240 miles of breathtaking views over the entire region. Too bad we don't have time to stop.
Numerous? Trails? Depart from the road we are following. that go into the woods: they are well signposted and equipped for camping; at the beginning of the paths there are boxes in which the tourist who enters places an envelope with his personal data and possibly the license plate of the car that has parked like this, in case of need? easily traceable.
Several signs invite you to stay alert for the presence of moose but we have not seen even one.
Paths cos? 85 km in the middle of the woods, we arrive in Gorham and here we follow the US-2W, we stop in the small town of Jefferson (I photograph a church and a B&B) then we continue to Lancaster which also marks the border with Vermont (it is hours 11,50 and the temperature exceeds 27?).
The road we are on? rolling, quiet with little traffic and offering pleasant views over pastures and small farms; we pass the villages of St. Johnsbury, Danville and Marshfield but, near Montpelier, the asphalt becomes irregular with several holes that make us jump and that require the utmost attention and prudence from Giovanni.
Do we arrive in the city center? (it has only 7.860 inhabitants and it is the smallest state capital in the United States and, another curiosity, it is the only one without a McDonald? s), we park the car and set out on foot to see the Capitol (built with the granite quarried in nearby Barre and the usual golden dome) and take a walk on the main street. It is very hot, we notice many beggars (never seen before in the whole trip), the dirty and badly maintained streets not worthy of a capital; we stop at an ice cream shop (the manager informs us that the machines are bought in Bologna) and we refresh ourselves with a good ice cream.
Spends cos? an hour but, at 14,40 pm a strong wind rises which foretells a storm and we are quick to leave again, not without having taken several photos.
We take the I-89N motorway and, after leaving the town on the side of Burlington (already seen on the way), we arrive in St. Albans after having traveled another 100 km. It is 16,10 pm when we enter the La Quinta Inn & Suites (? 115), a very good hotel
Friday? 01/06 - St. Albans (VT) -Newport (VT) -Drummondville (CAN) - (km.250)
Let's pack our bags for our last day on US territory (and with a little regret because I think it will really be my last time!). The sky ? cloudy and the temperature of 25? when, at 10,15 we enter the VT-105E and finally we cross cultivated plains with farms and undulating pastures with cows and horses; we stop in Enosburg to get gasoline and take the opportunity to buy some food that we will consume more? later (I notice that in this restaurant you can choose between thirteen different types of coffee with the strangest aromas that I have never seen anywhere else).
The rain also comes and the temperature drops to 20? when we deviate on the VT-100E covering a few kilometers to return to the VT-105E and then connect with the I-91N motorway after crossing the city? of Newport and the long bridge that crosses the waters of a large lake that extends to the north.
At 12,45 after traveling 115 km, we are at the border with Canada where we enter without problems (at the moment we are the only ones) showing the passport and providing the contact details of the hotel booked for the night. We continue on the Autoroute 55N, here too numerous signs invite caution (minimum and maximum speed 60/100 km) due to the presence of deer and moose (we see two dead on the side of the road) and I observe that most of the localities? that we cross bear the names of Saints.
Fortunately it doesn't rain anymore, the traffic? almost zero and the temperature is? raised up to 26 ?, we leave aside the big center of Sherbrooke, the towns of Windsor, Richmond and arrive in Drummondville (city of almost 80.000 inhabitants in the Quebec region) at the Hotel Quality Suites (? 100) an unusual? elegant construction reminiscent of a castle.
At 15 pm do we take possession of our suite located at 4? floor consisting of two separate rooms each with its desk, a kitchenette equipped for making coffee? with porcelain cups and glasses, steel cutlery, a landline and a cordless phone, numerous electrical sockets and designer bathroom accessories; we seem to dream cos? do we each withdraw into their own space to dedicate ourselves to our activities? (for me reading, crossword puzzles, diary writing, rest).
Giovanni takes charge, as usual, of finding a place for dinner and tonight the choice falls on Restaurant Mikes which offers a men? varied and appetizing: for Giovanni a medium pizza with spicy salami, for me breaded cod fillets with mixed salad and, to finish, dessert with cheese and ice cream; excellent as a last night in Canada!
Saturday 02 - Drummondville? Montrea - (km.150)
Today we have a long day ahead (our flight leaves at 20,30) so? we take it easy to prepare our luggage (we had asked to stay until 13,00 and we were allowed) but Giovanni, worried about arriving in good time, prefers to anticipate and we leave the hotel at 11 am with a beautiful sun but a temperature of 18 ?.
We therefore decide to continue immediately to Montreal which we decided to visit being particularly interested in the old part of the port that we were unable to reach during our trip to Canada in 2013.
It is 12,00 when we take the Autoroute 20Ovest, a beautiful highway that passes through large expanses of cultivated fields, farms, huge silos and livestock farms; we leave several towns on the sides (I still note that they all bear the name of saints or saints), we make a short stop at a petrol station to get gas and buy sandwiches. After other kilometers we stop in an equipped area to eat what we have bought, then we go straight to the outskirts of Montreal; we set the navigator to get to the? city? old? but, little by little, queues form on all lanes and, near the exit we have to follow, the cars are almost stationary and advance very slowly. We remain so? for about twenty minutes when we decide to try alternative roads since in the other carriageways we run freely: after other laps, having crossed the city, we finally arrive at our destination and are able to park. It is 14,50:1878 pm and, with a scorching sun, we begin our tour on foot: we go up a long staircase that takes us to the? Gardens of March ?, we see the town hall (in whose area the sets, lights and speakers are being set up for an evening concert), we cross the colorful Jacques-Cartier square, crowded with tourists who stop at the numerous stalls and above all, dominates the statue dedicated to the famous admiral Horace Nelson. From here you go downhill until you reach the area of the old port: immediately it hits a huge Ferris wheel, we see several kiosks each with their own men? details, a playground, a lane reserved for bikes and a pedestrian with many people coming and going. We cover a good stretch of it admiring and photographing the anchored yachts (Giovanni has captured the image of one with the flag of Hugo Boss) then we go up and walk along the main street. Old Montreal (Saint-Paul) where there are several art galleries, boutiques, restaurants and cafes. all enlivened by vases with beautifully colored flowers. At the end of the street rises the silver dome of a massive building that I thought was a government building: it is the? March? Bonsecours? which since functions as a market where souvenirs and local handicraft products are sold.
After taking several photos of the most? interesting, tired and hot, at 16,00 we get back in the car to reach the airport which, according to the navigator's indication, should be about twenty kilometers away. But here begins a long odyssey: how did I already? said at the beginning of the diary, Montreal? a city? completely upset by the road works so? deviations, interruptions, traffic blocks and traffic lights complicate the transit (the navigator does what he can? but sometimes, following him, we end up in closed streets). We also ask for directions to an agent who can not tell us anything specific, we find ourselves walking more? times the same streets (we arrive inside the private area of the casino?), we start to worry and Giovanni get nervous but we just have to line up with hundreds of other cars that are facing the same difficulties as us.
Finally, having passed the most important junctions? clogged, we have a clear road to the airport which we reach at 17,40 pm (it took us an hour and forty minutes to travel twenty kilometers!); Once the car is handed over to Avis, we enter the check-in area where we proceed with the authentication of passports, request and printing of flight tickets and luggage tags that we deposit shortly after.
Once these procedures have been completed, we approach customs controls (always following an obligatory path in a long, ordered line); when I pass by the metal detector, the beep sounds cos? an official passes me a detector on my hands looking for drugs! I almost laugh but everything is fine and I can go on without further problems.
An intense, adventurous, tiring day not without unexpected events at the end of an interesting and unique journey like all the previous ones.
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