So, we have finally set off from Novia Scotia after 6 weeks delay. Hanna still has issues but she works well enough if we drive her carefully. We are THRILLED to be on the move! It’s fun and exciting to be seeing new places everyday, and to be really living the travel adventure we dreamed of.
We had our first encounter with snow a few days ago, tho it was too warm to settle. We are keeping a close eye on the weather in the prairies and the Rockies and so far so good. The temperatures are up and the snowfall is low at the moment. Fingers crossed it stays that way for at least another few weeks.
So, this is what we’ve been up to since we left NS a week ago:
We drove from Halifax, NS, to Moncton, New Brunswick (took us about 4 hours). We realised, en route, that we were about to leave the Canadian Atlantic coast without having had their famously good lobster yet (it was on the ‘must do’ list). Cue quick call ahead to The Catch 22 Lobster Bar in Moncton to book a table for supper (more about this strange and curious experience coming up in my post about fishy suppers). Slept overnight in the middle of town in the car park out the back of the lobster bar. Lesson learnt: don’t overnight in a central car park if you want to get any sleep – noisy drunk people and cars driving by 2 feet away from your head will wake you up every 10 minutes.
A long driving day, from Moncton to Lévis, Quebec Province, on the other side of river from Quebec City. It was an 11 hour drive, and this is when I got over excited about seeing snow. Had a peaceful night’s sleep in a Walmart car park (never imagined I would ever be writing that!). Lesson learnt: long distance Hanna driving in two hour shifts is actually good fun 🙂
We dusted off our French and headed for a coffee and croissant breakfast in Old Quebec. The rest of the day was spent wandering the streets of the old town. As we both love France so much it was quite weird to be surrounded by French style architecture that was relatively young – most of the stonework looked too ‘clean’ without hundreds of years of grime on it – it often felt like we were in a ‘France’ theme park, especially as there were swarms of tourists with cameras everywhere. We were a little disappointed as there’s so much hype about Old Quebec being so beautiful. On the plus side, the coffee and croissant were proper french-like, there were beautiful art galleries and the park above the old town was stunning, with all the trees doing their autumn thing. We managed to find a campsite that was still open and met up there with our new friend Jürgen who (with his wife who is soon to join him) is doing almost exactly the trip we’re doing, over 2 years too. We have so many parallels, it’s brilliant 🙂
We decided to search out the ‘real’ Quebec, where all the normal people live and work. We loved it!! It was far more grungy but also hip, full of character, characters and lovely little shops. There are so many book shops, it’s amazing! We caught the bus from the campsite into town and loads of people were actually reading books. Not staring at their phones or listening to them. Actually reading! Real, paper books! Awesome. It reminded me of the good old days. And, of course, we had to find a patisserie for more coffee and croissant 🙂
A leisurely and pretty 4 hour drive from Quebec to Montreal. On our way into the city we hit rush hour and decided to wait it out in a bar in The Village, one of the hip and happening parts of Montreal. After that another Walmart on the edge of the main city awaited us. And Jürgen, who was on the same timescale as us once again, on his last stint in Canada before heading to New York.
We spent the day site seeing and decided we LOVE Montreal! Montreal rocks!! It’s a big city with a European, liberal attitude. It’s got beautiful architecture, great restaurants and bars and I’m sure loads more we didn’t vaguely touch on. One day certainly wasn’t enough, but it hadn’t been in our plan originally and so we had to shoehorn a quick visit in between our delays and the impending snow.
Day 7: That brings us to now, tired but excited after a 9 hour drive from Montreal to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls was on Mark’s list and I hadn’t given it much thought. Today I started reading up on it. And NOW I’m excited! A boat trip, going behind the falls and lots more await us tomorrow 🙂