20 Jul

Kingston, ON, Canada, 18-20th July

We left Montréal and after a slow cruise to the top of Mont Royal to take in the full breadth of the city, we crawled through the area of McGill University and then out on the QC20 towards Ontario and the town of Kingston, nestling at the end of the Thousand Islands stretch of the St. Lawrence and overlooking Lake Ontario. We were staying at a B&B called Green Woods Inn, which was an old house built in a sturdy and wood panelled style, and just above the Canadian Forces Base and separated from Kingston proper by a stretch of water. It's run with loving care by Tessa and Nigel, and is decorated in a lighter version of mid 20th century lace and frills, slightly retro and yet fresh and light and scrupulously clean and maintained. Nigel and Tessa provided us with 2 very well thought out and executed breakfasts, high on taste, quality and fruit, low on starch. Their approach is friendly, informative and welcoming. The B&B is well placed to stay over after driving along the Highway 401 (which is what the QC20 becomes over the provincial border). Many people stay for a night and drive off again, I am delighted to say that we stayed and explored the area with the help of our hosts.
The first thing we did, and we have been very lucky so far on this trip with serendipitous activities, was visit the Fort Henry Sunset Ceremony. This is an "historic interpretation" of drill, music and battle as a mid 19th century British soldier at the garrison at Fort Henry.

Fort Henry GuardFort Henry Guard

Fort Henry GuardGreenWoods Inn Kingston

"Crimson-draped Guard… called to order by the bugle, fife, and drum… the Thin Red Line. As solid as the limestone fortress that surrounds their unique performance stage. Eyes and bayonets fixed… the enemy dead ahead. Enfields afire and cannons ablaze! Smoking guns consume the parade square… the year is 1867. Fort Henry heats up Wednesday and Saturday evenings in July and August with the critically-acclaimed World Heritage Sunset Ceremonies! The Fort Henry Guard Drums, Drill Squad and Artillery Detachment will take you back in time with 1860’s military music, drill and artillery maneuvers. Performed entirely by college and university students, this performance invokes patriotism and pride and they demonstrate their passion and dedication for the craft."  Source: parks.on.ca

Ending with a fireworks display this brought a patriotic tear to my eye, which is odd given that I am a died in the wool Republican and I'd probably have sided with the US Revolutionaries..

The next day we drove to Rockport, and took the boat trip and stop over at Boldt Castle which is on the US side of the border, so we all flashed our passports. On the way we viewed the whole area from the Sky Deck on Hill Island, which was well worth the detour and the 10 dollars each.

Thousand Islands, ON, CA - 166Thousand Islands, ON, CA - 167

Boldt Castle is either a testament to a man's love for a woman, or to a man's appalling decadence and waste. Take your pick, but it does look quite spectacularly romantic, and is more than worth a visit.

If you haven’t seen Boldt Castle lately, you haven’t seen Boldt Castle.
Visit Heart Island, imagine the magnificence that might have been. Wander through Boldt Castle and let your thoughts take you into another world. This romantic Island provides the setting for the saddest love story ever told. Source http://www.boldtcastle.com/

We had a nice dinner at the Ivy Lea Club and then we were ready for the long drive to Niagara Falls!