LAURIE GOUGH and her son Quinn drive through the patchwork valleys of Québec – with the top down

Discovery - - TWO PEOPLE, FOUR WHEELS - Laurie Gough和兒子Quinn駕駛開篷車,穿越魁北克省縱橫交錯的河谷


We were an hour into our road trip, driving through the lavishly green countryside of western Québec, and the silence in the car was as thick as the post-rain fog coming off the hills. My 14-year-old son Quinn and I were barely talking. My earlier attempts at chatting had been met with teenage shrugs and monosyllables. I wondered what we’d discuss during this weekend journey.

Luckily, we’d rented a cool car: a convertible Ford Mustang. Quinn, being a car geek, was excited about that. When we drove up to the entrance to check into the Fairmont Le Château Montebello –a luxurious 1930s stately resort on the banks of the Ottawa River known as the ‘world’s largest log cabin’ – he suddenly blurted out: ‘Hey, this is the first time we’ve ever come to a place like this not in a 10-year-old car!’

He was right. Cars aren’t that important to me or my husband. But road trips are. On this one, we’d be travelling east from our home in Ottawa, as far as Montréal, with a detour south through patchwork valleys of tiny farming towns.

‘ That fireplace is the size of a castle,’ said Quinn when we walked into Montebello’s lobby. We spent the next two hours roaming the resort’s immaculately landscaped grounds, swimming in the indoor pool with its high-beamed ceilings and racing like 12-year-olds down the maze-like hallways and tunnels. At breakfast the next morning, I sensed Quinn felt he should make conversation, so he said, ‘Let’s have a contest to see who can drink this water the most like they would on Downton Abbey.’ He placed two fingers elegantly beneath the bowl of the wine glass, rose the glass to his lips, and never lost eye contact with me as he drank. ‘I win.’

Instead of taking the faster Highway 50 to Montréal, we followed a meandering slower-paced route along the Ottawa River, stopping in various villages – some French-speaking, some English-speaking. Under the emerald of swaying maples, Quinn seemed bored with my soundtrack of mostly 1970s and early ’80s music, but when Fast Car by Tracy Chapman came on, he turned up the volume. In the town of Grenville, Quinn leapt around parkourstyle beside an old-fashioned lighthouse overlooking the river.

The pace changed once we hit Montréal. We found the city’s hip and colourful Plateau neighbourhood, which is the Greenwich Village of Montréal. At a lunch counter called Hào we ate delicious vegan bao stuffed with tofu, mushrooms and peppers sautéed in hoisin sauce and sesame oil. We’d had the same dish once in Toronto and had been searching for it ever since. Back on the road, Quinn spied a pile of unwanted stuff from a garage sale. He began stuffing the car boot with wall hangings, old photos and someone’s art school portfolio, laughing in a new way I’d never heard before.

Since we’re both chocoholics, our next stop was Juliette et Chocolat, a local Montréal restaurant devoted solely to chocolate. I ordered Mangaro hot chocolate, which the menu says is grown on a former mango plantation and carries ‘a mango aftertaste, along with hints of gingerbread and citrus’. Quinn had the white chocolate raspberry smoothie. We split a caramel fleur de sel brownie. We were chocolated-out.

Next stop was a Montréal Impact game. I’d never been to a Major League Soccer game before and the talent of the athletes – including several European, African and South American stars – gave me an unexpected thrill. The home team beat the New York Red Bulls and the crowd cheered wildly.

The best part was driving back to our downtown hotel. We were stuck in post-game traffic and, in a summer that never seemed to arrive, we were finally experiencing a warm night. I reached for the button that moves the car’s top down. With the open sky, stars and the city suddenly enveloping us, Quinn decided to blare Gregorian chant music from his iPod, followed by Il Mondo, an Italian operatic pop song. Montréalers out for the evening stared as we cruised along and the music climaxed. I couldn’t stop laughing. The music was oddly fitting.

The next morning we walked up Montréal’s famous mountain to Mont Royal Park to watch the Tam-Tams, the onomatopoeic name of the Sunday drum

這趟公路之旅已展開了一小時,我們正駛經魁北克西省 部的青蔥郊野,車廂裡鴉雀無聲,氣氛沉,重猶如從山間席捲而至的雨後濃霧。我和14歲的兒子Quinn幾乎無話可說。不久之前我嘗試跟他閒聊,換來的卻是青少年常見的聳肩,表示不置可否,或是得只 一、兩個字的回應。我疑不禁 惑,這趟周末之旅我有們會 什麼。話題

幸好,我們租了一輛有型有格的福特Mustang開篷車。Quinn是個汽車迷,對此感到無比興我奮。 們朝著將會入住的

Fairmont Le Château Montebello豪華度假村進發,這是一座建於1930年代的豪華度假酒店,就在渥太華河岸邊有, 「全球最大的木屋稱」之 。車當 駛到度假村入口時, Quinn突然衝口而出:「我們第一次有沒乘坐有一輛 十年車齡的舊車來這種地方!」

他說得沒。錯 我和丈夫對汽車都不甚講究,但卻很喜歡公路之旅。這趟旅程我,與Quinn從位於渥太華的家出發,往東駛至蒙特利爾,然後繞道南方,途經多個遍佈務農小鎮的河谷。

我們踏進Montebello豪華度假村的大時堂 , Quinn說:「那座壁爐得大 像個城堡。」接下來的兩個小時,我們在度假村內經過細心修剪的園林中漫步,在天花板以橫樑承托的室內泳池暢泳,更像12歲的小孩一樣,在有迷如 宮一樣的走廊和隧道你追我逐。翌日吃早餐時,感我 到Quinn似覺乎得應該跟我聊聊了,他向我提出:「不如我們來個比賽,看看誰模仿《唐頓莊園》的人飲水的姿態最神似。優」他 雅伸地 出兩隻手指將酒杯托起,再舉至邊唇 ,飲一面 水一面跟我保持眼神接觸,然後宣佈:「我贏了」。

我們並沒有使用較快捷的50號公路方往特蒙 利爾,反沿而 著渥太華河畔蜿蜒曲折的小路慢慢方進,往多個小村莊稍作逗留。村這些 莊有些是說法的語 ,有些是說英。語的 在楓樹翠綠的濃蔭下,我播放的音樂大多來自1970和80年代, Quinn似乎絲毫感不 興但趣; 當播出Tracy Chapman的《Fas t Car》時,他將量高音 調 了。在

Grenville鎮裡某座俯瞰河流老燈的 式 塔旁邊, Quinn更圍著燈塔攀爬跑跳,就像在玩極限運動parkour一般。

甫抵達蒙特利爾,一切的節奏和步伐都改變了。我發們 現這裡的Plateau區既時髦而且色彩繽紛可, 說是蒙特利爾的格林威治村。我們在一家名為Hào的小店內吃到美味可口的素子,塞裡面 滿拌了海鮮醬和麻油的豆、腐 蘑菇和青椒做餡的 料。我們曾在多倫多吃過這種子一次,回味日窮,後來一直到處尋找,希望再嚐這種滋味。我們再次駕車,出發 途中Quinn看到有家人出售日用的舊物,他把那堆掛飾、相舊 片和某人的藝術習作買下來,然後開始把它們一一塞車進尾箱,大笑起來,那種笑聲是我從未聽。過的

我們兩人都可說是朱古力狂,迷此因下一站自是然 這


circle that attracts a vivacious crowd of drummers, dancers and picnickers. Lunch was at Salon de thé Cardinal, a tearoom in another funky neighbourhood called Mile End. It was filled with eclectic antiques, but our favourite feature was the piano man playing old-timey music as we ate cucumber and dill sandwiches and drank earl grey tea. There was more than a little Downton Abbey to this trip.

The next day I wanted to drive through the Châteauguay Valley to Ormstown, where my great-great-great grandmother, born in Scotland in 1785, was supposedly buried. Ormstown is a village of redbrick farmhouses, back lanes, paint-chipped barns and brooks running through the centre of town.

Almost the first thing we saw when we reached the tiny farming village was a cemetery beside a church. We parked across the street. It was raining. Quinn said, ‘Let’s have a race to be the first one to find her gravestone.’ I looked at the rainwater pummelling the windshield. I looked at my son. I grinned. ‘Sure, let’s do it.’

Janet Selkirk Cross spawned a lot of unconventional Scottish offspring. And in this cemetery in tiny Ormstown, two of them were laughing in the rain. 是蒙特利爾一家專門提供朱古力美食的餐我廳。 點了一杯Mangaro熱朱古力,根據餐牌的介紹,用來調製這杯飲品的可可豆生長的地方以, 前是一個芒果園,因此帶有「芒果的餘韻,伴隨淡淡的薑和餅 柑橘味道」。Quinn點了白朱古力紅桑子沙冰我, 們還分享了一件焦糖海鹽朱古力蛋糕,簡直完全被朱古力淹沒。了

下一站是觀賞蒙特利爾衝擊隊作賽。我從未在現場欣賞美國職業足球聯盟的比賽,而一眾球員,包括來自歐洲、非洲和南美洲的球員均天才橫溢,球賽緊張剌激,出乎我意料之外。主隊紐擊敗 約紅牛,贏得觀眾熱烈喝采。

我們下榻的酒店位於市區,在駕車返回酒店的途上,我們碰上球賽後必定出現的交通擠塞。今年的夏季雖然姍姍來遲,但這一晚我們終於嘗到夏夜的溫暖。我按下開啟車頂敞篷的按鈕,兩人瞬間遼被 闊的夜空、繁和市星 城 建築包圍住。Quinn啟動iPod大播額我略聖歌,緊接意大利歌劇式的流行曲《Il Mondo》。車逐輛在 漸高吭的音樂伴隨下駛過街道,行人道上的蒙特利爾人都對我們報以注目禮。我笑個不停,這些音樂與當時的環境真是出奇地配合。

翌日早我上, 們徒步走上蒙特利爾著名的皇家山,前往皇家山公園欣賞TamTams表演,擬這個 聲名字源自每逢周日舉行的鼓樂活動,吸引眾多活力充沛的鼓手、舞者和前來野餐的人之。 後我們在Salon de thé Cardinal吃餐午 ,這家茶室 位於Mile End,是一個趣味十足的社區,裡面有各式各樣的老古董。不過最令我們感到意愜 的,還一是 邊吃青瓜蒔蘿三文治和飲伯爵紅,茶邊一聆聽鋼琴師彈奏懷舊音樂特。蒙 利爾的風情,與《唐莊頓 園相,》 比有過之而無不及。

翌日,我取道Châteauguay Valley山谷前往Ormstown村,據說該處是我的高曾祖母入土之地她, 於1785年在蘇格出蘭生。Ormstown村是一小落條 村,紅有磚農舍、小巷和油漆斑剝的穀倉,還有多條小溪流經村莊的中心地帶。

我們抵日這條小農村,時 首先見到的,教就是 堂旁邊的墓地。我們車泊將 停在對面時街 ,正在下雨。Quinn說:「我們比賽看看誰先找到她的墓碑。望」我 著不斷敲打擋風璃玻 的雨水,看然後 著兒子,笑道:「好啊,。來吧 」

Janet Selkirk Cross擁有很多不喜歡墨守成規的蘇格蘭後裔,其中兩個就來到了小小的Ormstown村的這塊,墓地 在雨中大開懷 笑。


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