Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Magdalen Islands), Quebec
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 02 Sep 2022

Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Magdalen Islands), Quebec, 9/2/2022, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Canada

Rainbows lead to treasures, often defined as a pot of gold. Today the colourful spectrum rested upon an amber amulet isolated in the sapphire waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine are like beads on a necklace united by a white sandy chain. Île d’Entree (Entry Island) was the clasp of gold bathed by the rising sun.

There are many ways to explore a new land. Each place is a blend of the terrain and the people who call it home. Divided yet united, we set out to explore in methods of our own choosing. Some touched upon the highlights of the islands. Some learned of ways of living while others strolled along the edges. No matter the method, all were awed by the wave-carved, red sandstone cliffs. We wondered how many millennia they would survive. Away from the edges, colourful abodes dotted the hills and valleys. Were these hues to guide the fisherman home from the sea or simply to add joy when the winter season changed the greens to grey? We marvelled at the community spirit of the residents. No fences separate properties, and common sense, kindness, and caring remove the necessity of overpowering laws. Listening to the lilting language reminded us that this was and still is an Acadian settlement. If a visual reminder were needed, the tricolour French flag adorned with the star of Acadie flew everywhere, occasionally accompanied by the fleur-de-lis of Quebec. Dramatic clouds punctuated the brilliant blue skies, and we bathed in the warmth of the sunshine and of the welcome extended to us here.

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