Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A Day Trip to Almonte

After waking up extra late on a Sunday morning, my family and I found ourselves on a spontaneous road trip to a little town 30 minutes away from Ottawa, which goes by the name of Almonte. I expected that we would arrive at a typical small town with cute buildings, small gardens and wooden porches, but what I wasn't aware of was that we had arrived in a town known for its overwhelming amount of quirky antique stores.

Even with the hours spent browsing through the various antique stores, I wasn't able to visit all the nooks and crannies of the few antique stores I had the chance to visit, let alone every single shop in town. I did, however (and unfortunately), add multiple items to my wishlist... It's not my fault okay? The stores just had shelves and shelves of old glass bottles and jars, vintage toy cars, cute china deer and rotary phones.

When we finally managed to walk away from all the shops, we just happened to arrive at the small concrete dam at the edge of the town center. This lead to a relaxing walk down their iconic Riverwalk, which was mostly made up of a long winding wooden bridge. Along the walk, I couldn't help but be captured by a daunting message sprayed onto the wood railings of a staircase.

"That sense of home you lost when you left last year."

Who is this 'you'? A parent? A child? A boyfriend or a girlfriend? Is this 'you' someone who left the town behind? Or are they dead? I found it so incredible that this one sentence unleashed such a large number of questions in my mind.

So that's my super deep analysis right there, ahaha, let's move on. Following the Riverwalk, we bumped into a sign with an arrow pointing towards the "Almonte Flea Market". By following the arrow, we found ourselves walking along an empty and vast street which could have easily been used for the set of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Though the flea market itself had shut down quite a while ago (it's primarily open in the morning), we managed to find a couple of vendors still open for business. Most outdoor vendors had already packed up and left, leaving a few stands situated in the small barn near the entrance. This is where I found what I saw as the ultimate jackpot. Rows and rows of old vinyls, comics and books jammed tightly into milk crates, cardboard boxes and wood shelves. I'm definitely going back there once I find myself a record player.

The most shocking event of the day must have happened when we were just about to get on the car and leave. My dad had noticed a bronze statue of a man and a basketball in the middle of the sidewalk. That's right. Almonte is the home of James Naismith, THE  inventor of basketball. Up until now, I never knew that basketball had pretty much originated from my backyard!

I find these little spontaneous day trips to be so quirky and interesting. Though we all may know the stories and historical events of cities such as Paris, London and Rome, most of us hardly think of all the stories contained in the small towns around us... perhaps even of the place we live in. Who knows? Maybe you're living in the backyard of where one of the most iconic historical events took place!

Do you have any travel destinations which left a unique impression on you?


Post a Comment