Je me souviens...

Towards the center of the land currently known as the province of Québec, there is a huge lake, circular. Its waters are calm, it is surrounded mostly by beaches and small patches of forests on a flat landscape, and quite a few quaint little villages. The biggest town of the area is Alma, where people are mostly simple folks who smile a lot. It hardly has more than one central street, stretching for some distance towards the surrounding farmlands, little houses scattered about, often painted in pure white.

Lac St-Jean is visited by many Québécois and tourists during the summer, as it's a great place for outdoor activities such as boating and fishing. On the day of 'la fête nationale' (the Québec national holiday), fireworks light the sky. But one could say that there's very little cultural life, as well as a lack of modern infrastructure and urban conveniences, like shopping malls. The best-known event to see is the traversée du Lac St-Jean, as swimmers race across the lake in an arduous challenge which can take several hours.

Lac St-Jean spills out into the Saguenay River, leading south towards the bigger regional city of Saguenay, formely known as Chicoutimi, an amerindian word meaning 'where the water becomes shallow' - larger boats cannot go further north from there.

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