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29 September 2013

Cross Canada and Back, Part 44


Old Town Montréal

August 16, 2011, day 93


Tuesday morning we drive from our campground to the inner city of Montréal, "Vieux Montréal". It takes us over an hour to drive the about 60 km. On Hwy 20 and 720 we drive right into the city and find a good parking spot for the day on Peel and Saint Antoine Street ( $ 10.00 for the day ). From here it is about a 3 km walk to the Westin Hotel where we will meet up with the kids later.

Ouch, that haircut was just a bit to close
Ouch, that haircut was just a bit to close
First we look for a good place to have coffee and croissants. Happily we settle down and watch the Montréal world go by. The women and men are just more stylishly dressed, are proud of it, and walk with an attitude. We love it!

Anders and I look at each other and decide that we are in dire need to get groomed for civilization. We walk up the the huge Mont Royal Shopping Center. We do some shopping. Then both Anders and I are getting hair cuts.

Anders' cut is very short, ouch. I assume the stylist misunderstood Anders. His french is pretty well limited to "Vin Rouge". Oh well, it grows out again.

Produce at a local market
Produce at a local market

Anders at an outdoor market
We just love these markets.

A great market to visit.
A great market to visit.
My stylist is very proud of the multicultural city he lives in. I agree with him, compared to the rest of the province which is not. Montreal is suppose to be uni-lingual, but it is very multicultural.

After our hair cuts (no smiles from Anders) and shopping we simply walk the town and take in the interesting architecture and people. Around the Court House we detect a sign: " A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the Judge!" That almost beats the New Brunswick sign in a farmers field "Get high on our milk, our cows are on grass".

Downtown Montreal
Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal
Downtown Montreal
In the early evening we meet up with the family for supper at St.Paul and St.Gabriel in Vieux-Montréal . It is so nice to see them all again. Our grand children Sarah and Ryan tell us about their trip to Germany, France, and Switzerland. But they are both happy to be able to eat Canadian food again.

The boys in serious discussion
The boys in serious discussion

Family at an outdoor restaurant
Family time
We enjoy each others company and the old town ambiance where horse-drawn coaches pass by, and a young woman waters the hanging baskets from a water container and hose on a bicycle.

Later we drive back to our campsite. It even takes us longer, the traffic out of town is very slow.

Rain shower again.
Rain shower again.
For more pictures of Montreal, check out our web album.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.

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Cross Canada and Back, Part 43


Montréal, Québec

August 15, 2011, day 92


Monday morning, we break camp in Domaine Lausanne in Ivy-sur-le-Lac, and we are heading north to Hwy 327.This will bring us south toward Arundel toward Lachute, Hawkes bury, Rigaud, and to the KAO West Montreal in Coteau-du-Lac.

A very pretty drive with undulating hills, farmland, rivers, and then toward the Ottawa River the big corn fields and meadows, and some horse farms.

Farm fields close to Montreal
Farm fields close to Montreal

Dairy farm close to Montreal
Dairy farm close to Montreal
Our KOA West Montreal campground is OK, but a good hours drive into Montréal! Again we are beside a busy highway and on the other side a busy train tracks, but the site itself is very nice. All that put aside, we have a good rest - tomorrow we will visit the great city of Montréal, and we will meet up with part of our family, Lisa, Mark, Sarah, and Ryan. They are arriving back from their holidays in Europe.

Met up with some of our family.
Met up with some of our family.
Montréal has special meanings to both Anders and myself.

For me, Liz, Montréal was the city I flew into on May 21st 1967 to immigrate to Canada. I came with $ 50.00 Canadian dollars, and a suitcase full of clothes. I had a job as a photographer/ technician at Marcel Studio in Hull, Quebec.

Dairy farm close to Montreal
Liz enjoying a latte in Montreal
My plan was then to come to Canada to learn English, to see this large beautiful country, and then go back to Switzerland. Well, learning  English takes time, and Canada is a very large country, and in the meantime my plans have changed.

In Montréal I also experienced and enjoyed EXPO 67. This was an amazing exhibit for the whole world to see. Some of the legacy of that event still remains.

When Anders first came to North America in 1974, he came to work on a dairy farm outside Albany, New York. I assume that the night-life down there was a bit limited. I hear stories of Anders and his buddies coming up to the "Old Munich Biergarten" in Montréal to enjoy this city and its night life.

Anders window shopping in Montreal
Anders window shopping in Montreal
Anders also, two years later in 1976, as an immigrant, flew in to what was then called "Dorval Airport", now Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. With $1500.00 in his pocket he was smiling from ear to ear.

So, both Anders and I are really looking forward to revisit one of our favorite cities.

Montréal has a very interesting history. Indigenous people lived here probably already 8000 years ago. It was in 1535 when Jacque Cartier sailed from Europe that this location on the St. Laurence River and the Ottawa River was recognized as a natural transportation center. See more details: http://www.best-of-montreal.com/history/

Liz is enjoying the nice weather in Montreal.

Shopping for some local art.
Shopping for some local art.
In 1609 Samuel de Chamlain established a trading post here. The Iroquois People also know as the Haudenosaunee (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iroquois for more information on the Iroquois People) did not like the newcomers. Montréal or Ville de Sainte Marie as it was called for a while became a place many a people wanted it: the native Iroquois, the French, the Dutch, the English, the Americans....

History repeats itself. Montreal just likes a varied, and controversial political stance even today.

For more pictures from Montreal, have a look at our web album.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.

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Cross Canada and Back, Part 42


Parc National du Mont-Tremblant

August 14th, day 91, Sunday


This Sunday morning we are taking it easy. Breakfast is French bread and good local cheese.

In the afternoon we drive into Parc National du Mont Tremblant. The initial park was created in 1895 as " Parc de la Montagne-Tremblante" or the park of the trembling mountain.

Parc National due Mont Tremblant
Parc National due Mont Tremblant
The mountains here are about a billion years old, eroded and shaped by glaciers, part of the Laurentian Shield.. Most mountains are about 400 to 500 meters and Mount Tremblant is 931meters high, the highest peak in the area.

Beautiful mixed forests are covering the hills: sugar maple, yellow birch, Balsam Fir and White Birch, and in the lower areas one can find Linden, and Silver Maple. With over 400 lakes, extensive wetland and six rivers, this park attracts many outdoors enthusiasts. With these diverse trees, the autumn colours must be stunning.

A beautiful river in the park
A beautiful river in the park

A lake in the park.
Another great little lake.
We stop at the La Diable Information Kiosk, the entrance fee for the park is $ 11.00. We see many people registering for camping throughout the park. We had in mind to rent a kayak on one of the lakes, but heavy clouds are moving in.

We drive to Lac Monroe, and further up the road we stop at "Le Vieux Camp" ( an old campsite) right on the Rivière du Diable. When we reach narrow gravel roads, we turn around.

Rain is coming down on the windshield.
Time to go back to camp.... to wet!
By now the rain started. It starts to pour so hard, we have to stop or drive at 25 km/hr, we simply cannot see where the road is. This downpour lasts about ten minutes, and then a little further along , the roads are dry again.

Tired, but happy we come back to camp and have a nap.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.

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Cross Canada and Back, Part 41


Mont-Tremblant, Québec

August 13th , day 90, Saturday, Full Moon

At 9:30 am we are at the base of the gondola at Mont-Tremblant. We take an all day ticket, and decide to ride up, but to hike down the more difficult path "Le Grand Brulé". The plan is to go back up with the gondola at noon and enjoy lunch on top of the mountain.

Taking the gondola up to the top of Mont Tremblant
Taking the gondola up to the top of Mont Tremblant

hiking directions
Which way do we go?

Mountain views
Wonderful vistas
The Grand Brulé hike is 6.5 km long and very steep. Walking down steep loose rock paths over roots and boulders is strenuous. We are going slow and watch every step avoiding to twist our ankles. Our walking sticks are a great help.

Liz enjoying the vistas
Liz enjoying the vistas

Anders on his way down the mountain.
Anders on his way down the mountain.

The trail is a bit rough in places. This was a good part.
The trail is a bit rough in places. This was a good part.
As we walk along the sun comes out, and it becomes extremely hot. The weather pre-cast is for thunderstorms later on. We enjoy the hike passing through tall vegetation further down, then along a frog pond, and then the nice view points over the valley and the lake.

Passing the frog pond.
Passing the frog pond.

A small frog shows up
A small frog shows up
After about three hours we arrive safely down in the village. With our gondola ticket a free lunch is included on top of the mountain. So up we ride. The lunch is a sandwich, salad and a drink. It is very good.

Liz looking down at Mon Tremblant Village
The end in site. Mont Tremblant Village below
We must have been hungry, we did not realize that during our lunch the weather changed drastically. By the time we come outside, they closed down the gondola, a severe thunder and lightening storm is raging all around us.

sitting by the river
Time for a break
It takes about an hour and a half until they dare to let us ride down, 8 people to a gondola between another storm front. Some hikers got caught midway on the paths up or down without proper clothing. We meet some very pale and shaky looking people.

Re-enforces that we should always be prepared when hiking. In the mountains weather can change in minutes, amazing really.

A restaurant with outdoor seating.
Time for a latte

The village of Mont Tremblant
The village of Mont Tremblant

Lac Tremblant
Lac Tremblant

Moon is coming up on the way back to camp.
Moon is coming up on the way back to camp.
In the evening we just return to the village and relax with cookies and good Lattes and enjoy the full moon. We do not dare to go up the mountain again for the shooting star night, because of the dramatic weather.

For more pictures from this part of the trip, have a look at our web album.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.

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Cross Canada and Back, Part 40


On Our Way To Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

August 12th 2012, Day 89, Friday

The last couple of days we were camped at Camping Marina St-Roch de Mekinac. That was not a good place, right on the road, and not well run. We were happy to leave this morning.

Fram Fields
Farm Fields

On our way to Mont Tremblant, Quebec

We are taking Hwys. 155 and 55 to Trois Rivière and then Hwys. 40, 640,and 15 to Ivy-sur-Lac just before Mont-Tremblant in the Laurentians. The drive from Trois-Rivière to close to Montreal is beautiful. This is one of the breadbasket of Québec: lush fields, dairy farms, corn, potatoes, healthy looking homes and farms are a pleasure to see.

A Lake along the way
As we drive west toward Montreal, we feel like re-entering civilization. The quiet, cosy feeling from the Lac Saint Jean area, the Saguenay, the Charlevoix Coast, and the Gaspé Peninsula are gone. People are driving faster, everybody is rushing some place.

We booked 3 nights at Camping du Domaine Lausanne in Ivy-sur-Lac. This is a beautiful campsite on a pretty lake, clean and very well run. Families and retirees are milling around, swimming, walking and enjoying themselves.

sign of Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Lac Tremblant
Lac Tremblant

Mont Tremblant in sight.
Mont Tremblant in sight.
After a little nap, we decide to drive up to Mont-Tremblant, and the all season resort  in the early evening. Wow, this is a beautiful setting on the lake among the hills and mountains. It is much like Whistler, but with a history and an attitude. Just a couple of hours away from Montreal or Québec City, the crème-de-la-crème is here to see and to be seen. In the city plaza a good band is rocking along entertaining us all.

Taking the gondola up the mountain. Mont Tremblant village below.
Taking the gondola up the mountain. Mont Tremblant village below.

Taking the gondola up the mountain. Lac Tremblant below.
Taking the gondola up the mountain. Lac Tremblant below.

Liz is ready to see the sights.
Liz is ready to see the sights.
We were not prepared, but tonight is the "Tremblant Sous les Etoiles" on top of the mountain. It is shooting star night, Everybody is taking the gondola up to the top, with blankets and backpacks stuffed with food and drinks. We cannot resist and take the ride up ( even-though we do not even have a sweater with us, thoooo ).

Liz on top of the Rock
Liz on top of the Rock

Anders on top of Mont Tremblant
Anders on top of Mont Tremblant
TV crew and reporters are up there, so are serious sky watchers with their immense telescopes, people under blankets, and ill prepared tourists just like us. We decide to enjoy the sunset and then go back down. But naturally, tomorrow we will be back.

For more pictures from Mount Tremblant, check out our web album.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

 1,    2,    3,     4,    5,    6,    7,    8,    9,   10

11,   12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19,  20

21,   22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27,  28,  29,  29b

30,   31,  32,  33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,

40,   41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48,  49,

50,   51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,

60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.

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