Thursday, July 19, 2012

Auberge des Cevennes: A refuge from a summer storm

Our first night of a 5 day trip in the Saguenay and Quebec City region was spent in L'Anse Saint-Jean on the Saguenay Fjord. It was a well located first stop on our circle tour of the Saugenay Fjord. The town, is in fact, the only small town that is located directly ON the fjord at water level.  So it gives you a view of the magnificent Saguenay that is difficult to get elsewhere.

We spent only one night at Auberge des Cevennes in L'Anse Saint-Jean but we wish we could have spent another. We arrived at the end of a long days drive from Montreal.  Lugging our luggage up two sets of stairs to our 3rd floor room seemed a bit daunting at first.  But the room opened onto a shaded shared veranda with comfortable chairs and tables. The view to the St Jean River and out to the mountains that cradle the fjord was rejuvenating.

We quickly dumped the luggage and went out for a walk down to the town's old Covered Bridge (which once graced the back of the Canadian $1000 bill). The bridge is well maintained, in active use, and is decorated on the interior with a set of paintings by a number of local artists depicting the town and it's inhabitants at various times of the year.

We had hoped to walk to the small harbor but we were chased inside by the sounds of thunder. The view from our veranda of the approaching storm rolling off the hills across the Saguenay Fjord was spectacular.

We took a short nap on a very comfortable bed and awoke hungry. Fortunately we had decided ahead of time to have dinner at the Auberge. So glad we did. The food was excellent, freshly prepared with many local ingredients. We had a seat beside a window with more views of the storm and the beauty of the surrounding region.   Our server's  English wasn't much better than my French but we communicated nonetheless with much pleasantness.

Breakfast the following morning was not elaborate but it was very good. we had eggs fixed how we wanted them, fruit, pastries (cereals were also available). Jerry had ham with his eggs and I had a crepe. Very good coffee and that view again. (oh...and a yummilicious blueberry/raspberry muffin to start off the meal....I know, I know...some would stop there...but that wouldn't be me would it?)

If you are not familiar with staying in nearly century year old auberges, please be forewarned...the stairs are narrow and a bit steep, floors tend to slant every which way, and there was no a/c, but there was a ceiling fan, pedestal stand, and screens on the window.  However, I have to say that it was a bit warm and stuffy for us at nap time. But in all fairness the region was also having unusually warm temperatures.   The bathroom (which was en suite) was, of course, added after the fact and is small and basic.  The water pressure wasn't the best.  But all in all, everything worked and it was adequate.  There was a small coffee maker which was greatly appreciated since we need a jolt to get us moving in the morning. And had it been winter (and yes this auberge is open all year) there was a fireplace near the door to the veranda.

The auberge has a small garden with chairs , a glider swing and bird feeders. Like virtually all Quebec homes in the summer, there was a riot of color in the garden from day lilies, hostas, petunias, and hydrangeas. There is ample off street parking convenient for getting your luggage into the Auberge.

The website doesn't have an English version but I just used Google Translate and that worked fine.  Email correspondence with the owners, Enid and Mario was quite adequate in English. Their website is:

1 comment:

Weekend Cowgirl said...

The house is fabulous!!!