What follows is a diary of our trip and a few of the
more than 300 photos we took along the way. All photos are
thumbnails, hold your cursor over the picture for a
photo caption, or double click
for a larger picture.
1: We had booked our trip using air miles
just two weeks before leaving. Unfortunately, one week before we were to
leave, I developed Shingles, a painful rash on my stomach and back. We
decided to go anyway. We flew from Calgary to
Montreal. We rented a car at the airport (in the photo) and
drove for about 3 hours to Quebec City.
It was very strange driving in what seemed like another country. All the
signs were in French only. My limited high school French helped but when
you are in a strange city trying to find out where you are on a map, it is
challenging. We stayed in a motel opposite Laval University in
Ste. Foy, a suburb of Quebec City for two
In the morning we found the local CAA office and got some local tourist
information. Unlike Montreal, not many people in Quebec City speak very
good English, but everyone was friendly and tried to help us. Our first
stop was the Plains of Abraham and the
Citadel, the fortress overlooking the St. Lawrence River. We
then spent the day walking around Old Quebec City.
It consists of two parts, Upper and Lower with hundreds of restaurants and
shops. After we had finished walking around the Lower City, we decided to
walk west along the St. Lawrence River because our map showed a set of stairs
back up to the Plains of Abraham where our car was parked. After a long
walk, we found the steps and climbed 400 (yes 400) steps to the top. Then
it was back to the motel for a late afternoon nap. Later in the evening we
returned to Old Quebec. There was some sort of festival (the province of
Quebec seems to be just one big festival after another) and thousands of people
were out walking the streets. One of the first strange things we saw was a
big concert of performers singing country and western music in English in
Quebec. After another walking tour of the old city, it started to rain
lightly so we stopped at an outdoor patio with umbrellas and enjoyed a wonderful
meal of crepes. As it was crowded, we were joined by a couple of older
ladies who turned out to be sisters.
Although they spoke no English, we were able to
converse with them in our limited French.
At right is a collage of photos from Quebec City.
3: We got off to an early start (which turned out to be a good
thing as you'll see later) and decided to drive along the north shore of the St.
Lawrence instead of taking the freeway on the south side.
had a nice drive through quaint Quebec villages along the river. The photo
of Kathryn is taken above Baie St.Paul.
then had a nice one hour ferry ride from St. Simeon
to Riviere-du-Loup. We spotted several
whales at a distance during the crossing. Another hour's drive through
beautiful countryside and we were in New Brunswick.
We shortly arrived in Campbellton, our
original destination. Because it was early, we decided to keep going.
And going, and going. Next thing we knew it was after 11:00 pm and we were
in Moncton. Driving in the dark, we
took the exit for Dieppe by mistake. After driving around a mall, Kathryn
suggested we take a road called Main Street but Ken the Pathfinder said "No,
that's the Main Street of Dieppe. We need to get back on the freeway."
Back on the freeway and after a 30 minute drive circling Moncton we finally find
a motel on Main Street in Moncton. The next morning while leaving Moncton,
we drove by the same mall, about two blocks from the hotel.
4: Up early and a short drive to
Shediac, NB, the lobster capital of the world.
was a gorgeous day and we spent most of the afternoon on the beach.
of my shingles, I could only put sunscreen on the top half of my tummy. We
both fell asleep in the sun and unfortunately, Kathryn had not yet changed her
watch to Atlantic time, so we got an extra hour of sun.
I had sunburned shingles. Back in the car and another short trip across
the Confederation Bridge into
Prince Edward Island, our third province. An
hour's drive through beautiful green and red (clay) scenery and we were at our
bed and breakfast in Charlottetown for a
two night stay. After unpacking, we went and walked around the waterfront
in Charlottetown. After another great meal at a restaurant on the water,
we were ready for bed.
5: We started with an early breakfast shared with two other
couples staying in the same B&B and then we were off with a full day of touring
headed north and then along the shore to the lighthouse at the eastern tip of
PEI. PEI is a site to behold.
entire island is green, except for the red dirt roads and the colourful lupin flowers
which are everywhere. It is simply breath-taking to drive around the Island.
We came back along the south coast. My shingles were acting up, so I slept
most of the time while Kathryn drove to Summerside.
Although this was a pretty city, we did not stay long because I was not feeling
then headed north to the Cavendish beaches.
there, we had to stop and see Anne of Green Gables'
house. We then drove to an out-of-the-way church in the middle of nowhere
called St. Ann's for their famous Lobster
Dinner. Kathryn's sister had dined there 20 years ago and recommended it.
They have been serving lobster dinner for 37 years and there must have been 75
people there that night. We were absolutely stuffed on our short ride
(everything in PEI is a short drive) back to C'town and a much needed sleep.
6: Up early to another great B&B breakfast and then off to the
ferry from Wood Islands, PEI to
Caribou, NS, our last province.
photo is from the ferry just off Wood Island. I was still a little under
the weather so I had to have a nap on the way over. We then stopped in
Antigonish for some lunch. While we
were eating our Subway sandwiches, I said to Kathryn "I know that voice".
could not believe it when it turned out to be someone I had met a few years ago
in the car, we crossed over the causeway into Cape
Breton Island. We then followed the coast from
Port Hastings to
Sydney along the Cabot Trail.
We saw some fabulous scenery along the Trail although we were disappointed with
the east side where the road is mostly inland.
We had originally
to stay in Sydney but decided to keep going to
Louisbourg where we found a good, relatively cheap motel. It
was 8:45 when we went out for dinner and everything closed at 9:00 but one
restaurant said they would stay open for us and we had another excellent meal
(more clam chowder for Ken).
7: We spent the morning and early afternoon touring
Fort Louisbourg. It was very educational and it was neat to see the local
people in period costumes and learning the history of the first French fort in
Canada. Our lunch was served 18th century style.
Here are some photos of the fort.
We left Louisbourg in the afternoon,
travelling down the east side of Bras d'Or Lakes
to Port Hawkesbury, across the causeway and
a nice drive through the northern interior of Nova Scotia to the east coast.
We had no reservation for this night and it was the only time it backfired on
us. I wanted to stay in a motel along the ocean - there's nothing quite
like sitting and listening to the waves lap along the shore. By the time
we made our way to the coast and south along the
Atlantic Ocean, it was starting to get dark. All the motels
along the way were either closed or had no vacancies. We kept on trucking
and the next thing we knew, it was after 11:00 pm and we were in
Dartmouth - across the river from
Halifax. Kathryn found us a cheap motel
in the AMA book and we bunked in for the night. It had been a long day.
8: It was an overcast day as we tried to find a B & B along the
coast near Halifax. We finally settled
on a motel on the Halifax harbour in the suburb of Bedford. We managed to
find a local library where we could access the Internet and send an email to our
grandniece Avery. It rained hard all day so we stayed in the motel.
We later drove into downtown Halifax to meet our friend
Dan Smith from Calgary for dinner. Dan
was in Halifax visiting his parents. By now it was a pretty good storm so
we went back to the motel and I got another rest. I was not feeling well
again. I had been taking drugs and Kathryn was a great nurse, patiently
donning rubber gloves and applying ointment to my rash 4 or 5 times a day.
However, the long days seemed to wear me down.
9: We awoke to a foggy day which gradually cleared as the day
went down to the Halifax waterfront and did a tour of the
Atlantic Maritime Museum. There was all kinds of interesting
stuff on the Halifax Explosion and the Titanic. We then spent some time in
the Halifax Public Gardens. It was
very peaceful walking amongst the many birds and exotic plants and flowers.
A short drive down the coast sent us
to the famous Peggy's Cove. It was
really foggy when we first got there but it cleared up later and stayed sunny
the rest of the day.
Here are some great photos of
this picturesque fishing village. The bottom photo is the
Swiss Air Memorial just outside Peggy's Cove.
We then had another scenic drive
down the southeast coast of Nova Scotia. We had originally planned on
staying another day in Halifax but I was still craving my stay on the ocean, so
we changed our plans. We looked in a Nova Scotia tourist book and saw an
ad for waterfront cabins in a place called Hunt's Point.
are a little nervous because there were no photos of
Captain's Quarters Cabins in the ad and we had seen other
'waterfront' motels which were actually on the other side of the highway.
there was something about the description that caught my fancy, so we booked it
the previous day. We were pleasantly surprised. So much so that we
immediately booked it for a second day.
owner was a Dutch carpenter who had built the cabins himself. The cabins
had a kitchen/sitting room with a separate bedroom. It was our favourite
place to stay on the whole trip - even if we forgot to take a photo of the
inside. We unpacked and took the short walk down to the beach, just as the
evening fog rolled in. We made a short trip back to
Liverpool to pick up a few groceries for our kitchen. It was
a nice change from restaurant food.
10: After a late breakfast, we decided to take a ten
minute drive to Carter's Beach, which had
been recommended to us.
was gorgeous soft sand with crystal clear water. It reminded us of the
Caribbean except that the water was freaking cold.
spent most of the afternoon walking the two-kilometre beach. This was a
good day because it was our first exercise since the infamous stair climb in
it was back to a quiet time on our own secluded beach at Captain's Quarters.
That night we went for an expensive but very good meal at a restaurant that
overlooked the water.
11: A two hour drive down the coast to
Yarmouth and we were ready to catch the
"Cat" ferry over to Bar Harbor, Maine.
Cat travelled at about 50 mph and left an incredible wake. This was not
your average ferry. They had two different cafeterias, two huge screen
TV's - one for adults and one for kids. There was even a casino and duty
free shop on board.
It made the crossing in
just under 3 hours. We cleared American customs easily and set foot in the
USA. We found ourselves a relatively -
for Bar Harbor -inexpensive motel. I was not feeling very well, so I
stayed in the room for a power nap while Kathryn went shopping.
Bah Hahbah (in Maine speak) is an American
tourist town near the Mount Desert National Park
and has hundreds of shops. It reminds me of downtown Banff. Kathryn
came back to get me 3 hours later and we went downtown for another great lobster
dinner. After dinner, I went back to the motel to lay down and Kathryn
went back shopping.
I woke up about 9:30 and she wasn't
back yet. I was very nervous, so I pulled myself out of bed and walked
about 10 blocks along the main street and back - twice. Finally she showed
up totally flabbergasted that I was concerned; after all she was shopping.
What was I thinking?
At left are some photos of Bar
Harbor. I didn't put any captions on these pictures.
12: Another great breakfast in Bar Harbor - notice the
recurring food theme here - and we were on our way across
Maine, our first US state.
our trip we joked about seeing several signs for places around the world, like
New Zealand (PEI), and
Lebanon (New Hampshire). We actually drove
through Mexico (Maine). It was neat to
drive across Maine and see the old colonial mansions.
would come to small towns and nearly every house in town would be huge. We
also noticed something else.
of these large houses had attached barns. There would be a two story house
with a small runway building leading to a barn and they were all connected.
We saw them everywhere. After about 4 hours we were across Maine and
entered New Hampshire, our second state.
Because we were so far north, it was only a half hours drive before we were in
state number three, Vermont. These
northeastern states were gorgeous; the drive was full of forests, streams and
would be great to see them in the fall when the leaves change colours. We
finally stopped in a little place called Joe's Pond.
The rustic cabins were right on the water and you could rent a variety of
watercraft from canoes, to motorboats to houseboats. I thought this was my
dream spot - we were going to spend a couple of days here. Unfortunately
the 'rustic' cabins proved to be too rustic. Although the location was
fantastic, the mattress was way too soft, the room was full of spiders and the
restaurant was closed. We decided that we probably could afford better
digs so we moved on.
13: We were on our way early in the morning.
in the state capital of Montpelier for
breakfast and got a parking ticket because we forgot to put money in the meter. On
the way to Burlington, we found some covered bridges that Kathryn just had to
photograph (that's me in the car again in the photo at left). We bypassed
Burlington and continued north.
is on Lake Champlain, which is a very large
lake - it was actually considered one of the Great Lakes for a time. North
of Burlington is a series of interconnected islands.
had been advised to take the highway through the Lake
Champlain Islands rather than the freeway back to Canada. We
found another fantastic place to stay, the Shore Acres
Motel on Grand Isle. It was right on the lake, had a great lawn
leading to the water. The motel had a first class restaurant - many people
came by boat for dinner and had a resident chocolate lab named
would stay here two days. After unpacking we drove the thirty minutes back
to Burlington. Kathryn dropped me off for a brewery tour at the
Magic Hat Brewery while she went shopping again
- everybody's got to do what they do best. On the way home we stopped at
great pizza place on the island. We ordered a large which turned out to be
the size of the table. We took a large doggie bag home and had cold pizza
for lunch the next day.
14: We spent most of the day sitting on beach chairs by the
water, reading and enjoying the sun.
shingles felt so much better that I even went for a swim. The water was
much warmer than the Atlantic Ocean. Kathryn decided that there was
definitely more shopping to be done so she drove back to Burlington while I
napped and read some more. We went out for a pasta dinner and went to bed
15: We were going to spend more time by the water but it got
too hot so we decided to head out. We continued north on a delightful
drive through the Lake Champlain Islands.
the north end we had to head west and crossed over into
New York, our fourth state. We were only in New York for
about 15 minutes before being whisked through Customs and back in
Canada. A 90 minute drive and we were
in Montreal, a huge city with lots of
freeways and all the street signs in French. Also people double park all
over the place and change lanes without signaling.
After a comedy of errors - with Ken
driving and Kathryn navigating - driving on one way streets, no left turns, and
dead end streets we finally found our B&B on Square St.
Louis, a small park surrounded on three sides by three story
Victorian style apartments. As you will see this turned out to be a great
location because we could walk to almost everywhere. Our hosts weren't
home so we went for lunch. We returned and unpacked. Kathryn was in
her glory as our hosts had three and half cats - 3 of their own and a third
(Blanche) who dropped in and wouldn't leave. At left is a photo montage of
Square St. Laurent B & B, hold your pointer over a photo for a description and
double click for a larger view.
then went to fill up our gas tank and continued on to the
Olympic Stadium. Next was comedy of
errors part two - trying to return our rented car to downtown Montreal on a
Friday afternoon as they are starting to block off streets for a festival.
We had picked up our car at the airport but we were renting it by the week and
we had used it exactly two weeks and didn't need it anymore. We found out
that we could return it downtown for only a $7 fee and not have to pay the cab
fare back form the airport. The Budget map showed the car return on the
south side of a block long shopping complex. After a right turn and still
no Budget, I let Kathryn out on the west side to find it while I parked in a no
stopping zone. One minute later, a bylaw cop came and shoed me away.
After several one way streets going the wrong way and breaking a few traffic
laws, I found my way to the east side of the complex and, voila, there was
Budget. Now I had to drive back to find Kathryn. After another trip
around, we finally dropped the car off and walked about 15 blocks back to our B
& B for a much needed nap. We then headed back to downtown.
were only a block from the Latin Quarter,
and about 10 blocks on Rue St. Denis was
closed off for the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival.
There were thousands of people on the street watching the various buskers,
sitting in sidewalk cafes and taking in the various displays. One block
over was a huge park that was also having a two day African music festival.
I was not feeling too well so after walking around for two or three hours, we
ended up skipping dinner and walked back home.
16: Kathryn got up early and went exploring.
the western edge of Square St. Louis, she found Rue
Prince Arthur, a five or 6 block pedestrian-only street containing
about 20 different restaurants. There was just about every kind of ethnic
food available, all with outdoor patios. The western edge of Rue Prince
Arthur runs into the well-known Boulevard St. Laurent,
another long street full of restaurants and shops.
came back and got me and we went to the famous
Schwartz's Deli for a huge Montreal smoked meat sandwich and the
biggest pickle I've ever ate. Schwartz's is a little hole-in-the-wall
place on St. Laurent but people were lined up to get in for lunch.
then decided to go back to Rue St. Denis in the afternoon for the Comedy
Festival. There weren't quite as many people as last night. Along
the street they had several special cars - one was covered in plaid as was its
driver; another was covered in grass and one guy had converted a three
wheeled motorcycle into a giant red ladies high heeled shoe. The only one
that was still there today was a van completely coved in cameras of every size
of them were real working cameras and the guy who owned the van was going around
the country taking pictures of people who didn't know their picture was being
taken. There were also 4 working video screens along the side.
We continued down Rue St. Denis down
to Old Montreal and the waterfront.
We spent a few hours looking around
and then walked back to our B & B. Here are a few photos of
We decided to go to the football
game. The Stampeders were in town to
play the Alouettes at Molson Stadium at
McGill University which was only about 10 or 12
were no tickets available but we tried our luck and bought a couple of tickets
from a scalper for $30 each. Even though Calgary lost the game, it was
interesting to watch the game in Molson Stadium which is much smaller and more
intimate than other CFL stadiums. On our way home we stopped along Rue
Prince Arthur for dinner. Even though it was almost 11:00 pm, there were
hundreds of people dining at the outdoor cafes and hundreds more strolling up
and down the street.
17: Our plane didn't leave until 7:00 pm, so we decided to go
down to Old Montreal again. We then jumped on the Metro (what a great way
to get around a large city) and went to the Montreal
which is next to the Olympic Stadium.
The Biodome is basically an indoor zoo and aquarium that shows plants and
animals in their natural environment.
We spent two or three hours here.
These are some of the things we saw. The sturgeon was about five feet
We got off the Metro downtown and
walked up Blvd St. Laurent one last time.
had just enough time for a quick ice cream in a cafe on Rue Prince Arthur and
then it was time to catch a cab to the airport. Dorval Airport seems like
miles from downtown Montreal but the taxi fare was only $28, compared to the $35
cab fare from the Calgary airport home. By the time we unpacked, it was
nearly 1:00 am ( 3:00 am Montreal time).
It was a great holiday but there is
nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed.
What a Country!
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