Monday, January 23, 2012
Saturday, we visited my stepdaughter in Belleville where she lives while attending Loyalist College.
We have been to Belleville several times in the almost two years she has called that city home, but have never strayed further than the big-box store part of town.
As A. now owns a car, we were able to spend our Saturday checking out the town rather than grocery shopping.
On Friday, I looked up ‘What to do in Belleville’ and came across various trails that could take you along the Bay of Quinte as well as the Moira River in Belleville. Visit http://bayofquinte.com/directory/tag/belleville-trails/ for details.
I opted for the trails that lead along the river as I noticed there was a playground.
When we arrived at my stepdaughter’s place, A. suggested we instead visit downtown Belleville as it has old buildings and beautiful stores – my kind of place.
Not knowing how her brother would do shopping all day, and after spending more than two hours in the car, I thought a walk would do us all well.
We parked downtown for free, then headed to the paved trail along the water’s edge. (Note to self, next time have A, who has a sense of direction, look at a map before heading out.)
The Moira River was moving fast and furious. And close.
I not sure how the City of Belleville can get away with the design of the barrier along the water’s edge.
I appreciate my child is my responsibility, however, the walk along the river was a stressful experience. Our guy kept getting close to the barrier – if you could call it that – that literally sat on top of the river and offered zero protection from falling into the cold and fast-moving water below.
The space between each post of the barrier would fit an adult in some parts, more like four shoulder to shoulder near downtown. As such, I kept our guy between the concrete barrier protecting us from the road and myself.
We checked out an old mill and then walked downtown where we had an enjoyable afternoon checking out the shops in downtown Belleville.
My favourite places were Greenley's Bookstore, which had two levels of books, including a bargain shop at the bottom; Scalliway Toys (what a great name), which had a fantastic selection of unique and brand name toys at reasonable prices; and Stephen Licence Ltd. Bicycles & Hobbies, which had a great selection of trains, bikes, unique games and an owner who has seen it all when it comes to toys.
We stopped by a local coffee shop for a hot chocolate but I was disappointed. Why is a good cup of hot chocolate so hard to find? I am sure it was made with water. My guy liked it for the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle ton top.
We passed by L'auberge de France - Authentic French Bistro, which claimed to offer baked goods.
A said it was a sit-down restaurant so we didn’t go in. A mistake because I read they offer straight-from-the-oven chocolate croissants Saturdays. I bet they would have had a great cup of hot chocolate.
So if you are ever passing by Belleville, a trip to their downtown is a worthwhile experience.
And if you have children and you feel the need for a daredevil trip along the water’s edge, you will find a playground, which apparently is in the shape of a pirate ship.