Page 3 of VW Vagabonds Travel Blog Posts

North America » Canada September 16th 2012

Katherine (yes, that's me, talking about myself in the third person) needed to spend about five hours today working, and meanwhile Roberta did the laundry and picked up a few groceries (thanks, Roberta!). We then met Roberta's old friend Carla for an afternoon and evening of walking around the city, catching up on news, and eating wonderful food from Carla's kitchen. Carla lives in Outremont, a part of Montreal I've (yes, I know, voice shift. BAD writer!) never visited before. It was fascinating walking along the residential streets, full of three-unit three-story apartment buildings. Lots of ethnic diversity makes this a really interesting neighborhood. Carla lives on the second floor of one of these apartments, and her place was just beautiful, honey-colored hardwood floors, lots of big windows, warm and spacious rooms. This part of the ... read more
Outremont street
Outremont apartments
Outremont park

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal September 14th 2012

After sleeping in until nearly 9 am, we had a quick breakfast in the hostel, then headed for the métro, where we bought a three-day pass. Our first trip was to Place des Armes, the closest stop to Old Montreal. On our way into this area, we came across a very interesting small museum, the Musée du Chateau Ramesay, that gave a timeline of the city starting when it was called Hochelaga by the local natives, through Ville Marie under the French, then Montreal under the English (there were even brief American occupiers) before becoming the modern Montréal. With a firm grasp on the history, we wandered throughout Old Montreal, imagining what it might have been like to have lived here two or three hundred years ago. Down at the Vieux Port, we lucked into a ... read more
Old Montreal
Tall ship
Gossiping with the girls

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal September 14th 2012

After four days on the train, we were glad to arrive in Montreal around 5 pm today. We checked into the hostel, reorganized our bags for a few days of settled living, showered, and too tired to go out, we ate supper at the hostel. The food was pretty good, living up to our belief that there is no such thing as a bad meal in Montreal. We are pretty tired, and we find ourselves occasionally lurching to the rhythm of the train even though we are no longer on it! We'll probably go to bed earlier than Malcolm tonight! Tomorrow morning there will be time enough for exploration. Our room is in the sous-sol of this hostel, but we have a full window looking out on the back yard, so it's not as subterranean as ... read more
Hostel bar
Roberta digging in
Quesadilla without cheese

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto September 13th 2012

After a little bit of Internet connectivity while parked in Winnipeg late Tuesday night, we moved into the hinterland. No sign of cell service (and hence Internet) until late this morning, when we began to pull into the greater Toronto area. We switched trains in Toronto this morning, heading for Montreal. The contrast between what we've been seeing outside our window for the past two days and what we are seeing today couldn't be more enormous. Essentially, we've been going through wilderness for two days, and suddenly we are into fully inhabited countriside. Yes, we moved through farmland in eastern Alberta, Saskachewan, and part of western Manitoba, but we rarely saw a farmhouse. If civilization were to disappear suddenly, and you were stranded on the track anywhere along that route, you'd be at the mercy of ... read more
In the bush
Half our train
Passing Train 1

North America » Canada » Saskatchewan September 11th 2012

We woke up this morning to a beautiful prairie sunrise! Yes, it was a bit of an early awakening for two girls who didn't get to bed until after 2 am, but it was too exciting to miss it. Due to being off schedule, they served brunch instead of breakfast and lunch this morning. We shared a delicious omelet and crab eggs benedict around 10:30. Then we went back to bed and slept for another three hours! Feeling almost normal at this point. We are stopped at the moment in a small town, Melville, SK. We're supposed to be in Winnipeg around 9 pm tonight. Yes, I am writing this from the train! We’ve had a cell signal pretty consistently every time we’ve checked since leaving last night, but this is the first time I’ve tried ... read more
Morning view

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton September 10th 2012

We whiled away the day at the West Edmonton Mall. Well, half of it, anyway. We took advantage of free late check out (noon) and stayed in the hotel as long as we could. Then we saw a movie (Hope Springs, which we both enjoyed), wandered about, had dinner at Earl's, and finally came to rest at an Internet café. At about 9 pm, we were both bored enough to figure it couldn't be worse at the train station, so we took a cab there. The station in Edmonton is so small that I had to ask to be sure there was indeed a train coming through here en route to Montreal (there was). Unfortunately, the train left Jasper two hours late, so won't even be here until 1 am (we were scheduled to depart aet ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta September 10th 2012

Well, we're finally off! After an anxious two days of packing, cleaning house, clearing out our vegetable plots and storing the produce, and blocking four mohair scarves Katherine knit for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers sale (which will take place while we are away), we got away on the Red Arrow at 12:30 pm. We decided, since we plan to move back to BC in May, that we needed to see the West Edmonton Mall before we leave Alberta, so we booked a room in the hotel in the mall. Nice hotel room, and the mall is certainly . . . some kind of cultural phenomenon (ahem). After settling into our room, we walked most of this monument to consumerism. There are some interesting artifacts here, including a replica of Columbus's Santa Maria, which you can tour ... read more
At the bus station
On the bus
Katherine still knitting

North America » Canada » Quebec September 6th 2012

In just three days we leave on our odyssey! Six weeks on the road, primarily by rail and bus, staying in hostels or with family and friends, to Edmonton, Montreal, Halifax, Cape Breton, Clair NB, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Toronto, before returning home. I haven't been away from my home base for such an extended period since I went to Spain the late 60s! Of course, in those days such an extended trip involved communicating by air mail only on special lightweight paper bought for the purpose; and long distance phone was so expensive it was reserved only for emergencies. Nowadays it's possible go on a long trip and still stay well connected by cell phone and Internet. At least when we are in places that havecell service and Internet! Between now and then, there is ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver July 26th 2005

We left Osoyoos at 5:45 am, stopped for breakfast in Hedley. Katherine drove until Manning Park, then we switched drivers and Kath tried to catch a few winks while Roberta completed the perilous Hope-Princeton highway. She awoke in Chilliwak, when Roberta left the highway and got on a bumpy side road to get some gas. The bumpy road got incorporated into her dream somehow, in which Roberta had just driven over a cliff, and they were headed for an impact in the trees below. Nice dream to wake up from. We stopped in Abbottsford to pick up some corn for dinner, and were home before 1 pm. Vanita made the final climb up Mountain Highway to home, where Jellicoe was waiting for us in the carport, ready for some spoiling to make up for being left ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Osoyoos July 25th 2005

Osoyoos, July 25, 2005 We got up early Monday morning and set out for Osoyoos after a quick breakfast of raisin bran. Roberta drove most of the way to Osoyoos, while Katherine knitted. We have been to Osoyoos many times, but always in September or October, and it is one of our favorite places to camp. We always go to the Inkameep campground, which is right on the lake, and we had made a reservation there for this one night. We always had an intuition that Osoyoos would be a zoo during the summer months, and we sure found out what a zoo it is today. There must be nearly 1000 people stuffed like sardines into the 200 or so sites here. Most people are camping in RVs, and it’s condo camping. Add to this a ... read more
Condo camping

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