After almost a month on the road, we arrived back home today. We covered five provinces and about 7500 km (4660 miles) in 26 days, over dirt, mud, gravel, rock, treacherous potholes and occasionally paved roads, up steep mountains and into deep valleys, around tight turns and across flat plateaus. Our trusty Mini handled it all (and so did my fearless driver!)
This morning dawned cold but sunny and as we left L’Orignal, we decided to check out the Gingerbread Capital of Ontario. Vankleek Hill has over 250 homes with Victorian era decorative gingerbread woodwork on porches, gables, windows and rooflines (and you thought I meant the edible kind of gingerbread, didn’t you?)
The town also has a series of murals including this one depicting real residents and the history of the community.
Further down the road, south of Alexandria, we stopped to visit the St. Raphael ruins.
It was one of the earliest Roman Catholic churches in Upper Canada. Built in 1821, it was gutted by fire in 1970.
Walking through the ruins, I felt like I was in Scotland or Ireland, exploring the ruins of an ancient church or castle. The remains have been stabilized and it is now a National Historic site, yet the stonework is just as stunning as when it was first built.
It comes as no surprise that the church was built as the centre of a community of settlers from the Scottish Highlands. Many of them and their descendents now lie in the old cemetery beside the ruins.
And now we’re home, laundry done, feet up, enjoying a cosy fire in the woodstove, dreaming about the next adventure…😊