Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quebec / Caravan Adventures Day 1-3

We just started our first organized caravan. This trip, by Adventure Caravans, will take us into the Canadian Maritime Provences of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. We met up on July 14, 2013 in Hermon, Maine, just outside of Bangor. We spent several hours the first evening in orientation. The are 21 rigs on this trip so we have to know how to communicate and how to travel.

Day 2 was a travel day. We drove about 220 miles from Bangor, Miane to Quebec, Canada. It was a beautiful drive, all on backroads, the main one labelled as an "All American Scenic Byway" The KOA Quebec where we will stay for 3 nights is a 15-20 minute drive to the center of Quebec.

On Day 3 we went on a tour bus to Quebec. Our tour guide, Roger, is French Canadian, who speaks perfect English with just enough accent to be charming. He formed his own tour guiding service 15 years ago and now hires most of the Quebec bus tour guides. He is the boss! And he was so enthusiastic, personable, and knowledgable that it made the tour extremely valuable.

The streets of the old town have almost no motor traffic

In the old city people did not place windows or doors facing north because of the coldness of the winters.
This building has windows and doors, as well as many famous people painted on to its' north face.

Notre Dame in the old town. Just about every other church is "Notre Dame" of something or other.

Our two guides. Dan on the left is our Adventures Caravan guide. Roger is the tour guide for our Quebec visit.

Inside Notre Dame

Carol stands in front of a plaque honoring Jolliet, who also founded a city in Illinois.

Château Frontenac viewed from the lower (older) part of the city

Fountain in front of the Parlement building

Château Frontenac

The promenade in front of Château Frontenac
Looking down on the old town and the St. Lawrence Seaway

One more view of the Château Frontenac

Outdoor eating abounds in Quebec

Waterfall of the Montmorency River, the tallest waterfall in North America. This feeds into the St. Lawrence Seaway

We visited this copper art shop. Alvert Giles the original artist died 20 years ago.
His four daughters maintain the traditional method of embossing copper

One of Alvert's original works.

One of Alvert's daughters is showing us how it is done.

The Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupre is along the St. Lawrence Seaway about 25 miles north of Quebec City.
The original church burned down in the 1880's. The new basilica was started in 1929 and completed in 1946. 

I visited this basilica when I was about 12 years old with my parents and siblings.
I was so impressed by all the canes and crutches of those who were cured of their infirmities at this church.

The first pew has a beaver (symbol of Canada) and, below, an eagle (symbol of the USA)

An exact duplicate of Michelangelo's Pieta.

Thru the haze, this photo demonstrates why Quebec was located where it is. Quebec translates to roughly "the narrows".
The St. lawrence Seaway is 45 miles across as it empties into the Atlantic. At this point it is only 3/4 mile, making enemy navigation difficult and allowing the French living here to defend themselves. Unfortunately, when the British attacked during the American Revolution they had canon balls that could be fired that far and they took the city with little resistance.
So we loved Quebec. If you have always wanted to visit France or Europe in general but didn't have the money, the time, or just the inclination to fly over the Atlantic, Quebec certainly has the flavor of being there. We have been to Montreal before and I'd say that both cities are charming and well worth a visit.

Ciao, Frank

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos, Frank! My sister lives along the St Lawrence river in Rimouski!