According to the book of Genesis, “Noah” was the name of a man who, among other things, witnessed the enormous power that water could wield.
The word “noah” also means “rest” in the Hebrew language.
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Both concepts work together to create a relaxing experience at Noah Spa (noah-spa.com/noah-spa-de-scott). It’s part of a vacation complex in Scott, Que., about 45 km southeast of Quebec City’s airport.
Noah Spa’s defining feature is a watergenic spa course. According to Cynthia Rene, the spa’s marketing director, the course was inspired by European thermal sources, and is used exclusively in Canada at Noah Spa locations, which also include Thetford Mines, Que., and Venise-en-Quebec, Que., with another set to open in Rimouski, Que. in the autumn.
Inside a warm (29C) pool at the spa in Scott, there are 11 different stations where water jets massage different parts of the body. Visitors are advised to spend about five minutes at each station to get the full effect of the watergenic spa.
The neck is relaxed at the first station, followed by the lumbar region and legs at the second, and so on. At station No. 5, the relaxation bed — using water jets and foam fingers — allows your entire body to escape gravity and float at the top of the water. After what seemed like a very short five minutes, it was quite difficult to move to station No. 6.
The final station is a counter-current walk, designed for a muscle workout and a little bit of cardio activity.
After going through all 11 stations, visitors are encouraged to use the spa’s other hot areas — including a hammam (think Turkish bath) — and cold-water areas.
There is a relaxation zone indoors, while the one outside includes an area where visitors can sit in hammock chairs and catch the scent of wood burning in a fire pit.
The atmosphere is serene. Indoors or out, visitors are requested to stay silent — sometimes a challenge when you want to share your thoughts on the experience. The only disruption to the silence comes from vehicles travelling on a nearby highway, but Rene says an outdoor waterfall is planned to create just enough ambient sound to hide the traffic noise.
Noah Spa also offers traditional spa services, such as massages, beauty care and body treatments.
The Noah Spa in Scott opened in 2011 as part of a complex known as La Cache a Maxime (lacacheamaxime.com/en), which began with the planting of a vineyard in 2001. It now also includes chalets and a 47-suite hotel with two restaurants, a swimming pool, and rooms for business meetings or wedding receptions. The hotel suites are spacious, the restaurant meals are tasty and filling, and the recorded background music in the restaurant features rearranged swing/big band versions of pop standards.
MUSEUMS? SEE ‘EM
In Sainte-Marie, Que., just south of Scott on Autoroute 73, there are two museums which will leave you (figuratively) in the clouds.
The first is Musee de l’aviation (museedelaviation.com), which celebrates civil aviation in the province of Quebec.
From the early days of flight, four Vachon brothers from Sainte-Marie, who became known as “Les Chevaliers de l’Air” (The Air Knights) are among those honoured. Their aviation success included rescue missions and the debut of air mail deliveries to northern communities, which otherwise were shut off in winter months.
Modern-day explorers are also saluted, including astronauts Chris Hadfield and Julie Payette.
Note that the text which accompanies each exhibit is only in French.
The museum will reopen to the general public in June 2022, but does open to groups of 10 or more (reservation required).
Maison J.-A. Vachon (maisonjavachon.com) shares the story of Joseph-Arcade Vachon (not related to “Les Chevaliers de l’Air”) and his wife Rose-Anna Giroux, who began a pastry business in 1923 which became famous across Canada. (And in case you’re wondering, the Vachon website states that the Jos. Louis cake was named after two of the Vachon sons, Joseph and Louis, and not a certain U.S. boxer.)
The museum is set to reopen in summer 2022.
A little farther south on Autoroute 73 in Vallee-Jonction, Que., you can visit Le musee ferroviaire de Beauce (garevalleejonction.ca).
“Ferroviaire” is the French word for “railway.” The museum is inside a building which was constructed in 1917 to serve as the town’s railway station. Thirty years ago, volunteers began the process of registering the building as historic, and turning it into a museum to prevent its destruction.
Dominique Nadeau’s grandfather operated the locomotives which came through the town, and then was one of the original museum volunteers. Now, she is a volunteer at the museum. She mentions how there were separate waiting rooms for ladies and gentlemen — since many of the gentlemen were lumberjacks coming back from the woods, carrying lice in their hair and salty language in their mouths.
The stationmaster’s office has displays of the various means of communication used between trains, stations and offices, including a telegraph machine. As a result, the stationmaster was the town’s unofficial source of news (and gossip) from the outside world.
Other than a special opening on Oct. 2 (which includes a journey into the station’s basement to visit a Cold War-era fallout shelter), the museum will not be open again until summer 2022.
The museum’s permanent exhibit reflects a celebration of the station’s centennial in 2017. Its collection also includes a boxcar and caboose, a steam locomotive, and a tank car. They also have ballast cars, which are placed on a bridge crossing the Chaudiere River to prevent damage to it in the spring when there is a flood.
Yes, a flood. Noah knew about that, too.
The most comfortable way to get to Scott begins with a flight to Quebec City (various airlines). The car rental area is next to the terminal. Driving on Autoroute 73 takes you across the St. Lawrence River to Levis, and then eventually to Scott (Exit 101).