Cindy Campbell is a freelance medical editor. She has lived in Toronto her entire life. When she travels, she likes to combine physical activity (cycling or hiking) with gourmet dining. She and her husband often plan their trips around the restaurants they want to try. In 2007, she won the “Travel by Train and Explore Gaspésie National Park” contest organized by
Le Québec maritime and its partners. Here is her story about her trip:
When I entered the “Travel by Train and Explore Gaspésie National Park” contest, I had heard of the Gaspésie region, but my husband and I had never really considered visiting it.
As soon as I found out I had won, I started researching the region. A work colleague, who had loved her trip in Gaspésie, gave me some brochures and recommended a few must-see spots.
My husband and I had already travelled by train with VIA Rail to Ottawa and Montréal, but we had never spent a night on board, which turned out to be a really pleasant experience. We had a cabin for two that was very comfortable. We were able to admire the scenery freely, much more so than in a regular car, and we slept very well. The service was excellent, and the staff was very courteous.
We were also surprised by the quality of the meals; we hadn’t expected to eat so well on a train! The atmosphere in the dining car was relaxed, and it was fun to chat with other passengers from all walks of life: tourists, workers, students, etc.
Our rental car was waiting for us in Carleton. From there, we drove to the park through a nearly untouched forest. The Gîte du Mont-Albert, where we stayed, is a fantastic hotel in a very quiet setting. The rooms are large, and the bar, which is completely glassed in, offers a breathtaking view of the Chic-Choc Mountains. And the food was superb!
We went for several hikes in the mountains. The quality of the silence is incredible, and I had never experienced such fresh air.
Our only regret was that the trip was too short! We have recommended this destination to friends and are planning another trip in the winter.
My husband and I have visited the West Coast, Halifax and Newfoundland, and we’ve found Gaspésie to be one of the most beautiful spots in Canada—a little-known gem.