When we decided to take our honeymoon in the very northern-most parts of Vermont, we kind of knew we’d have to take a day trip to Canada. International travel like that is just too exciting to pass up! The people that we were staying with in Vermont live about 6 miles south of the border, and recommended that we visit the town of North Hatley in Canada. If you would like to drive from Newport, Vermont to North Hatley, Canada I cannot be of much help on driving directions. Good thing for maps and GPS and such. We still don’t really know where we were when we left Vermont and entered Canada; it was a pretty otherworldly experience.
Just kidding. It wasn’t. On our journey north we just got a little bit lost (happily lost, of course) and suddenly came upon the border crossing. We didn’t really know if it was the border crossing because it looked very boring and it seemed that there was one route that passed through the border checkpoint and one route that just went right past it. So we pulled into the gas station across the street from this thing that we thought was the border crossing and we sat there, staring at the checkpoint. That’s not suspicious at all…
Deciding finally that it was, indeed, the entrance to Canada we went on to the checkpoint and answered all the questions about what we were planning to do in Canada (drive around and eat food), why we came from Massachusetts just for a day in Canada (our rental car had Massachusetts plates…confusing), and what we did for work (professional maple syrup smugglers and hockey saboteurs eh?….). Onward!
On our drive to North Hatley, there were quite a few wonderful things: all of the road signs were in French, we got to feel like we were driving really fast because the speed limits were in kilometers, there were signs directing us to covered bridges, and also to hockey facilities…obviously. After a little bit of construction-zone driving and navigational errors on my part, we arrived in North Hatley an hour and a half after leaving Newport.
North Hatley is a very picturesque town right on the shore of Lake Massawippi. There is a kind of canal from the lake that runs right through town and opens into the wider mouth of the lake. There are a few small restaurants right on the water’s edge, as well as the town park. The park is where we sat to enjoy our picnic lunch and far-reaching views of lake and the orange hillsides that surround it.
“Bonjour. Bon appetite,” a passerby said to us at the park.
Tee hee hee hee. “Someone spoke French to us,” we giggled while we ate.
From the park, visitors can enjoy a walk out on a short boardwalk over the water that leads to a gazebo where they can sit and relax and take in the views.
After lunch we strolled around town, which was pretty quiet on this weekday. We tried to go to the chocolatier but they were closed ( 😦 )so we went to a little café for coffee and pastries, where we paid with American dollars and received Canadian change (woo hoo!!). Next, we decided to drive around the North Hatley neighborhoods a bit; the houses right in town were beautiful, old and uniquely ornate in a way that Colorado houses just are not.
After some cruising around, we headed south and entered America at a different border crossing that, once again, I can’t really specify. All in all, a successful day international voyage.