Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I realise now that it was probably Bob Newhart's sitcom series (where he ran an Inn) that planted the seed inside me to visit Vermont. For years, I have been meeting Vermonters at the Holiday Fair in Dublin each January, and saying: "One day!"

Last month I made it. I got a bus from Boston to Burlington, then a taxi to the airport, where I picked up a rental car (they gave me a Toyota Corolla). This was the first time I had ever driven on "the wrong side of the road". It took me about twenty minutes to get used to it; I was slightly more distracted by trying to navigate my way out of Burlington, as there were plenty of road works.

Frankly, I still have reason to go there, because I didn't go to Stowe and the mountains region. I drove that day just to get the ferry across Lake Champlain to Essex. And on that road to the ferry, I drove over a hump in the road, and saw a view of the Adirondacks which reminded me of what Hilaire Belloc wrote in The Path To Rome when he described seeing the Alps. Here is a photo, actually taken when I travelled in the opposite direction.

On another day, I drove north and crossed the bridge near Rouses Point into Vermont, intending to visit St Anne's Shrine. I discovered when I got there that it was closed. Tough luck. But that area is very nice, and reminded me of Ireland, with the green fields and farms.

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