Blogs from Quebec, Canada, North America


North America » Canada » Quebec » Dolbeau-Mistassini August 14th 2022

(NB: I have no clue where Dolbeau-Mistassini is, but can't seem to manage to delete it.) THE BASICS The second day in Perce, we explored the alternate route to the top of the hill entering Perce from the north: the 17% grade would have put a real strain on the RV! On our third day, we drove an hour north to Gaspe (another two-syllable pronunciation) and east from there to the Forillon National Park. We found a nice spot back in Gaspe for a late lunch. A long day’s drive to The Pirate Motel campground in Cap Chat. I will say a lot about the roads in the next part of this blog. Then another drive, to Rimouski, which we remembered fondly from our last trip here eight years ago. It was John’s birthday, and we ... read more

North America » Canada » Quebec » Percé August 7th 2022

THE BASICS After an overnight at the Walmart in Moncton, we headed to Prince Edward Island for four nights. Two days, John drove and drove around the island, savoring the tidy landscape. On the day between, we strolled around Charlottetown, the capital and largest city. We had a long day of driving along the coast, 270 miles, to reach Campbelltown, at the “top” of New Brunswick. We stayed one night at a provincial park, and then a night right next to the bridge to Quebec. Next stop, Perce, “only” 150 miles on the Gaspe Peninsula. We are here for four nights. THE FLUFF Between the Bay of Fundy and Moncton, we passed through many small villages. We stopped in one, Hillsborough, where the New Brunswick Railway Museum is located. It really interests us to think back ... read more

North America » Canada » Quebec » Levis July 28th 2022

Lévis, 28 juillet Treize-mille bornes depuis un mois, Canada nous voilà! Retour au bercail après cette belle épopée qui nous a littéralement menés d'un océan à l'autre, des rivages du Saint-Laurent aux eaux froides du Pacifique, aller-retour. La route est évidemment longue, mais les surprises sont toujours au rendez-vous et la longitudinalité de ce grand pays amène son lot de moments hors du temps au fil des kilomètres parcourus. Depuis les rivages Ouest de l'île de Vancouver, nous avons donc viré de bord Lof pour Lof pour entreprendre le retour à l'Est. Retrouvailles avec les Rocheuses à Yoho et Banff, avec le lac Moraine en prime (fin de journée, foule moins dense), puis la prairie et les belles collines de la Saskatchewan. Notre soirée (et baignade!) au Lac Pelletier fut un délice... Rendez-vous à Thunder Bay ... read more
Takkakaw Fall, parc national Yoho, BC
Moraine Lake, parc national de Banff, Alb.
Somewhere, Alberta

North America » Canada » Quebec » Percé July 1st 2022

What classic? I'll come back to that... We left the Forillon park, and headed South. At Pointe-St-Pierre, there's a small peninsula that you can stop at. There, a view point allows you to look for sea birds on closed by rocks and whales. Further South-West, reached Belle-Anse. It's located in a bay. Across the bay, about 10km away, you can see the classic from afar.... The Quebec's classic tourist spot is the Rocher Percé, (litt. pierced rock). It's described as a massive siliceous limestone stack formation, with sandstone and siltstone veins, with steep rock faces on all sides. It is 433 metres (1,421 ft) long, 90 metres (300 ft) wide, and 88 metres (289 ft) high at its highest point. It is described as a narrow bluff emerging out of the sea, "resembling a beached supertanker ... read more
covered bridge over Matapedia river
beach close to New Carlisle
Pointe St-Pierre

We continued North-East to reach one of my highlight: Forillon National park. It's a peninsula at the end of the Gaspesian peninsula. A mix of ocean, forest, cold streams and beautiful landscapes. The most beautiful spot in the park is for me, the Bon-Ami Cape. It's dramatic because of its topography and at the same time beautiful for its blue and green ocean waters. The park has a wide range of hiking trails ranging from very easy and interpreted, to the rough and long with only limited shelters. Park have also many beaches whether with sand or pebbles. One sector harbors old historic buildings from 19th century showing small village life of that era. Other sector contains a distinctive taiga section, normally only see far in the North. Roads are well maintained. A good place for ... read more
Cap Bon-Ami
Anse Blanchette old village
Cap Bon-Ami

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City June 29th 2022

This morning we’ve arranged to do a tour of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. We meet our guide, Thomas, who tells us that he’s a French travelling salesman, and that he’s 112 years old. We’re perhaps struggling a bit with that last bit, but at least he’s dressed the part. We’re told that the Chateau is named after Louis de Buade de Frontenac who was a much loved Governor General of New France in the late seventeenth century. It was originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railways as part of the company’s grand railways hotel program which includes such other icons as the Banff Springs Hotel, Chateau Lake Louise and the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park. The logic was that if they built a railway, the passengers were more likely to travel ... read more
Joan of Arc Garden
Quebec Parliament building
Quebec Parliament building

North America » Canada » Quebec June 28th 2022

We are now in upper Gaspesie region. There are cliffs, deep valleys, secluded bays, villages, fishing boats and the ever deep blue sea. It's a very scenic road. I might have stopped a dozen of times that day to admire the landscapes! Region has a couple of very beautiful light houses, especially the all red at La Martre! In Mont St-Pierre, mountains seem to drop directly into the sea. It's a place renowned for paragliding and for good reasons! No cities there but only small villages. It can be seen by the abundance of the fauna. In the last decade, I noticed a big decline in insect population where I live, (a far away suburb of a big city), especially large butterflies. But I see large butterflies everywhere here. Same thing for some birds like the ... read more
Mont St-Pierre

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City June 28th 2022

This morning’s itinerary is a bus trip out to Montmorency Falls which we read tumble into the St Lawrence River about 10 kms downstream of Quebec City. The bus stops right outside the door of our hotel, but that’s about where the convenience ends. The driver doesn’t accept credit cards or give change, which seems to us like a great way of extracting large quantities of cash from unsuspecting tourists. The seats aren’t padded, and if there are any shock absorbers on this vehicle they passed their use by date several decades ago. Issy had one of her shakes for breakfast - a powder that she spent a long time mixing with water. She could have saved herself a lot of effort is she’d just eaten the powder and let the bus do the rest of ... read more
Staircase up the side of Montmorency Falls
Montmorency Falls
Suspension Bridge, Montmorency Falls

North America » Canada » Quebec » Saint Anne des Monts June 27th 2022

Trip continues. We stopped at Grand Metis to visit the Redford Gardens, (Jardins de Metis). This used to be the summer home of a very rich English family. It's now a botanical garden. What's remarkable about this place is that the gardens are integrated into the surrounding nature, (forest, stream, plains), instead of supplanting it like some other European French gardens for instance. This is a very beautiful place, and you can easily spend a day there. My favorite gardens there were the entrance garden, the stream garden and the alley of peonies. Considering the cool climate, it's remarkable to see the variety of plants. We then continue on the road, North-East direction to follow the sea road. The estuary widens more and more and at Ste-Anne des Monts, it's about 70km wide, making it really ... read more
Cool sculpture
Typical village
Rock art at Redford gardens

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City June 27th 2022

I’m up early to head to the Citadelle to watch the changing of the guard. Well at least that was the plan until I looked out the window at rain and grey skies, so instead we spend the morning doing very little. The sun eventually appears, but Issy’s decided on a rest day so I head off to the Citadelle alone. There seem to be a lot of soldiers around; I’m stopped at the gate and told that it’s still an active militany base. It seems therefore that if I want to see it I need to take a tour. I’m told that if I try to wander around by myself they’ll think I’m a spy, and that mightn’t end well. We’re told that there‘d been some sort of fortification on this site since the early ... read more
Place Royal, Lower Quebec
Guarding the Citadelle
Chateau Frontenac from the Citadelle

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