The Enchanting Houses of Îles de la Madeleine
I often stare at houses the way most people stare at waterfalls. Their shape and colour and details and overall character captivate me in ways that are hard to explain. I often drive by enchanting houses and pull over to admire them, taking a few minutes to dream before moving on. The same cannot be said for the enchanting houses of Îles de la Madeleine – where I spent way too much time staring at (and photographing) houses.
A part of the province of Québec, Îles de la Madeleine is an archipelago of seven islands (six of which are connected by sand dunes and a road) that have captured my heart and refuse to let go. I love the way the islands feel as though you are visiting a dear friend, and how everything seems to have a story. Secluded from the chaos of life on the mainland, the archipelago is calming with its open yards (not a fence in sight!) and wood slat homes (some in bright colours, others in all white and many made from shipwrecks). A place where the local culture is centred on family and friends and food and music.
When I close my eyes I can see the curves and crevices of the Magdalen Islands. The grey cliffs, rolling green hills and colourful houses of Havre-aux-Maisons. The stretch of sandy beaches along Grosse-Île. The red cliffs, caves and inlets of Grande-Entrée. The buzz of people and the vibrations of nightlife on Cap-aux-Meules. The gourmet food and craft beer on l’Étang-du-Nord. The artisans, producers and cliffs of Bassin. The artistic communities and flat beaches of Havre-Aubert. The calm and lagoons of Fatima. The seclusion and birds of Île d’Entrée.
I could write a book on the magic of the archipelago (actually, I am, a guidebook similar to the one I wrote on Québec City).
I am getting carried away – as is often the case when I think of Îles de la Madeleine. Let’s dial this puppy back a bit…
Whenever I look at photos of the enchanting homes of Îles de la Madeleine I feel as though I am being transported back and soon my hair will be windswept and my skin will smell of salt and the sea –and possibly lobster and butter too.
And now you can too –unless you have never visited the islands, in that case, you’ll need to use your imagination and trust me!