Mercredi, 3 juin 2015

24 HEURES DANS LES CANTONS-DE-L'EST

Photos: Bernard Gauthier, Château Bromont, Zoo de Granby, Spa Nordic Station

Les Cantons-de-l’Est regorgent d’activités. Et pour une escapade de 24 heures, c’est l’embarras du choix.

 

JOUR 1: ZOO DE GRANBY

Cela faisait 20 ans que je n’avais pas mis les pieds au Zoo de Granby. Je remettais toujours à plus tard ma visite. Ça s’appelle la procrastination. Finalement, j’ai décidé d’y aller. Et quelle fut ma surprise! Un zoo entièrement rajeuni, transformé, qui ne ressemble en rien à mes souvenirs de 1995.

Le concept du parc animalier s’est inspiré de modèles américains : grand centre de restauration situé au milieu des activités, aires de repos et de jeux pour les enfants dans un environnement entouré d’arbres matures et quelques fonds arrière illustrant un safari ou une planche aquatique pour les amateurs de photo laissant croire que la visite se déroule en Afrique ou en Océanie.

Croyez-le ou non, le Zoo de Granby héberge près de 1 000 animaux répartis en 225 espèces, ce qui en fait l’un des plus importants au Canada et du nord-est de l’Amérique du Nord. L’âme actuelle du zoo n’est plus celle d’autrefois. Plutôt que de laisser l’animal seul dans sa cage, sans aménagement, comme s’il était prisonnier sans raison, le nouveau concept a prévu des enclos qui se distinguent les uns des autres selon les besoins de chaque espèce et le continent d'où il provient.

Ainsi, le Zoo de Granby est divisé est divisé en 4 thèmes : l’Afrique, l’Amérique du Sud, l’Asie et l’Océanie. Faut-il mentionner que l’Australie occupe une part importante du territoire avec ses kangourous et son aquarium où jeunes et moins jeunes sont invités à flatter les nombreuses raies qui se la coulent douce dans un bassin. Un parc d’amusement et une piscine aquatique figurent aussi parmi les activités du zoo.

Une activité à ne pas manquer est le cinéma 3D. Deux films de 6 minutes chacun tournent en boucle : l’un sur le Parc Jurassique et le second sur une course automobile. Le premier est davantage orienté vers l’effet surprise. Mais pour quiconque a déjà vu le film plus d’une fois, rien ne le surprendra. Les images sont quelque peu délavées. Le second film mérite réellement le déplacement. Les obstacles surgissent de partout, à une vitesse extrême, et le spectateur, qui agit en pilote passif sur un siège visant à éviter les nombreux pièges est secoué physiquement et émotivement jusqu’à la fin. Un film amusant qui procure des sensations fortes!

Au 31 décembre dernier, le zoo avait accueilli près de 670 000 visiteurs et 25 nouvelles espèces animales dont 1 Tigre de l’Amour, 1 Jaguar, 4 Pythons de Children, 1 Yack domestique, 1 Grue royale d’Afrique de l’Est, 1 Grande pieuvre du Pacifique et 1 Porc-épic du Cap (Afrique du Sud).

CHÂTEAU BROMONT

Vers la fin d’une journée bien remplie, pourquoi pas une nuitée au Château Bromont. Du haut de sa terrasse panoramique, l’établissement offre une vue superbe sur la montagne et les collines de la région dans un environnement verdoyant. Ses bains tourbillon intimes sont un bon prétexte pour passer une belle soirée romantique.

Le Château Bromont a investi plusieurs millions de dollars dans le cadre de son programme de rénovation. Toutes les chambres des deux premiers étages ont été rénovées dans un style moderne. Cet établissement 4 étoiles offre l’accès à une piscine extérieure entourée de jardins magnifiques. La piscine intérieure a aussi son charme. Elle donne une vue sur plusieurs balcons des chambres de l’hôtel.  

CUISINE DU TERROIR

Ce qui fait la réputation de la salle à manger du Château Bromont, le restaurant Quatre Canards, est sans l’ombre d’un doute l’excellence de son chef cuisinier Mirsad Basic. S’inspirant de la cuisine du terroir, Mirsad Basic s’inspire des quatre saisons pour créer sa table d’hôte 4 services : entrée, potage, plat principal et dessert. Le prix est de 49 $ et les clients peuvent choisir parmi les diverses suggestions du menu pour créer leur table d’hôte.

Vous voulez savoir ce que j’ai choisi? Comme entrée, rien de mieux que le Buisson de verdures croquantes de saison, vinaigrette à l’érable. La portion était généreuse et les légumes variés. Comme potage ce jour-là, c’était une crème de céleri et de  brocoli. Difficile d’y résister. Velouté et savoureux, le potage avait un goût unique qu’on ne retrouve nulle part ailleurs. Pour ce qui est du plat principal, la Truite des Bobines, tombée de fenouil et amandes, crème acidulée, ce fut mon choix. Fondant dans la bouche, ce plat est irrésistible. Toutefois, faut-il préciser que le client peut choisir parmi une variété de viandes comme le bœuf, l’agneau, la caille, le canard et les fruits de mer. Quant au dessert, j’ai arrêté mon choix sur le Bromont : succès amandes, chocolat et croquant. Très bon pour le palais, mais très mauvais pour quiconque suit un régime minceur!

SPA NORDIC STATION

Pour avoir visité plusieurs spas au Québec, je dirais que chacun a sa particularité et veut se distinguer de ses concurrents.

Ce qui est également le cas au Spa Nordic Station à Magog. Les installations du spa sont situées en pleine nature, près de la rivière Castle, où les clients peuvent s’y rafraîchir et s’en servir comme bassin d’eau froide. L’environnement comporte beaucoup d’arbres matures, l’aménagement paysager est bien soigné et les installations ont des allures rustiques.

Les lieux sont répartis sur trois niveaux. On y retrouve deux saunas finlandais, un banya russe, une crypte vapeur, deux bains californiens, deux bassins nordiques avec cascade, un accès à la rivière, trois terrasses et trois aires de détente intérieures dont deux avec foyer. Mon coup de cœur : le banya russe. La chaleur y est beaucoup plus intense qu’un sauna finlandais. Avis aux intéressés.

Sur réservation, des massages dans de petits refuges en forêt sont disponibles.

ZOO DE GRANBY

CHÂTEAU BROMONT

SPA NORDIC STATION

TOURISME CANTONS-DE-L'EST

BERNARD GAUTHIER

Cet article est classé sous :Bernard Gauthier Cantons-de-l'Est Bromont Granby Spa
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