, pub-1183232341631896, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 We Discover Canada And Beyond: July 2012
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20 July 2012

Cross Canada and Back, Part 36

St. Lawrence River North to La Malbaie to Parc du National des Grands-Jardins

Days 81 and 82 of our Cross Canada Trip, August 4th and 5th, 2011

Today we will travel on the north side along the St Lawrence River from close to Québec City to Rivière Malbaie, close to La Malbaie in the Charlevoix Region, all in the wonderful province of Québec

The weather is overcast, a good traveling day. 

View St. Lawrence River North to La Malbaie to Parc du National des Grands-Jardins in a larger map

We stop at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré to look at the Basilica. Already in 1650, some shipwrecked sailors built a chapel here in honour of their patron, Sainte-Anne. By now the 5th church is standing at this spot. Stained glass windows and a richly decorated statue of Sainte-Anne on the inside, and a beautiful facade on the outside welcome over a million visitors a year. 

Sainte-Anne was proclaimed the Patron Saint of Québec in 1876, and an annual pilgrimage on Sainte-Anne's Feastday on July 26th celebrates this honour.

Liz in front of the Basilica

Wonderful Architecture.
A mass was in progress when we were visiting, so we respected the event and took no photographs on the inside. Anders had to invent some tricky turns with the 5th wheel in the narrow streets around the church, but eventually we were rolling north-east again along the Charlevoix Coast on the St.Lawrence River. This drive is very pretty over rolling hills, and views to the water.

Dairy farms

The drive along St Lawrence River is very scenic.

Rolling Hills

We arrive in Rivière Malbaie
We are camping at Chutes Fraser in Rivière Malbaie. Great place to stay by the river with an impressive waterfall. In the city of La Malbaie we had an oil change done on the truck ( half price than in Victoria).

Rivière Malbaie. The St Lawrence River is tidal.

Rivière Malbaie

Rivière Malbaie

Anders in  Rivière Malbaie
August 5th is our hiking day in Parc des Grands Jardins. This park forms one of the core zones of the Charlevoix World Biosphere Reserve, a status granted in 1989 to the region by UNESCO. 
Parc des Grands Jardins in the distance.

Parc des Grands Jardins in the distance.

Parc des Grands Jardins.
The park is about 310 square km. Here we can see the taiga and the tundra, and black spruce forest with lots of lichen. This arctic vegetation sustains a herd of caribou, we were on the look out for, but did not see. 

Liz checking out the map

Off we go...
Our hiking destination is Mont du Lac des Cygnes. We pay our park entrance fees of $ 11.00 each and start the ascent toward a sheer rock wall. The information said this hike to be 4.5 km long and about 480 meters of height difference. 

Wonderful landscape

The trail is good so far.... soon to change!
Backpacks are full of water, food, bear- and bug spray. The weather is light overcast, perfect for a hike. The trail is nice all the way to Lac George. Further up, for about the last one kilometer the trail is very steep, with some stairs, and river rock trails. 

Looking for the nice view that is promised.

Rough trail at times

It's hot and I need some water, says Liz
Our hearts are working overtime when we reach the top. But what a reward: the 360 degree view is absolutely breathtaking. Rolling hills, lakes, and the expanse of the ancient Charlevoix Crater. We have lunch, and a little rest.

We made it.... Breath taking, in more then one way!

Lunch time....
According to Wikipedia the Charlevoix crater is a large eroded meteorite impact crater in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, Canada. Only part of the crater is exposed at the surface, the rest being covered by the Saint Lawrence River. The original crater is estimated to have been 54 kilometres or 34 miles in diameter and the age is estimated to be 342 million years. 

The projectile was probably a stony asteroid, at least 2 kilometers in diameter, and weighing an estimated 15 billion tonnes. The Mont des Éboulements, situated in the exact centre of the crater, is interpreted as the central uplift, a consequence of elastic rebound. The crater is classified as a multi-ringed basin with a central uplift.

Lac des Cygnes
The impact origin of Charlevoix crater was first realized in 1965 after the discovery of many shatter cones in the area. Other evidence for impact includes planar deformation features in quartz and feldspar grains. More information at the Wikipedia website.


The decent is to be done carfully, not to twist an ankle.

It's rough in places
This hike is unforgettable, if you have time, good hiking boots, and please take lots of drinking water, do not miss it!

On the way back to our campsite we take route # 362 over Les Eboulements from Baie-Saint-Paul to La Malbaie. Beautiful drive along the water and over the fertile hills. Happy, but very tired we arrive back to our camper in Rivière Malbaie at the Chutes Fraser Campground.

Route 362 back to La Malbaie

Route 362 back to La Malbaie along the St Lawrence River
For more pictures from this part of our trip click on the image below or go directly to the slideshow here.

Saint Anne de Beaupré, Grands-Jardins Park,route 362 back to Malbaie


Anders and Liz

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

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60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.


11 July 2012

Cross Canada and Back, Part 35

Québec City

August 3rd 2011, with the help of Olga ( our GPS ) , we arrived in the old town of Québec City in the province of Québec

On our way into Québec City

Wonderful Day

Québec City

We parked at St. Paul and Abraham and walked by our hotel we stayed in two years ago in winter, and climbed up to the Chateau Frontenac.

View Québec City, Québec, Canada in a larger map

Québec City is the heart and soul of French Canada. In 1759 the famous battle on the Plains of Abraham where the British General Wolfe defeated the French general de Montcalm. Both generals were killed, but Québec fell to the British. But in 1774 the British government passed the Québec Act, and granted French-Canadians religious, and linguistic freedom. 

Anders in Québec City
This historic arrangement is still for ever contested and discussed to today. Lucky for all of us Canadians, we have a wonderful French culture with a North American twist right here in Canada in the Province of Québec.

Liz ready to shop.
Anders and I love to walk the small narrow streets here in Québec City with their unique shops and boutiques. In the lower town we found fashion for women and men designed and made right here in Québec at affordable prices. 

Small shops with a lot of locally made clothing and products
Even if you do not buy anything, go and get pampered and helped by knowledgeable staff at the exclusive shops in rue Petit-Champlain, Sous-le-Fort, etc. The people helping you show style, humour, and class. Most of them speak a little English.

Love this city
Two years ago we visited many of the famous historic sites including La Citadelle, Place Royale, Vieux Port, and the grand Chateau Frontenac.

Summer 2011

Winter 2009
Winter 2009, visiting our daughter Linda while she was attending Laval University in Québec City

In winter, wear warm boots, in summer, a sun hat. This city needs to be explored by foot, a week is the minimum time to get immersed into Québec City.

Winter or summer you will love it here
Naturally, besides the historic sites, the beautiful churches, the quaint streets, the fashion, there is the food and wine. Take time to sit down and indulge into some of the culinary delights. Choose a restaurant with French only menu cards, the food will be more adventurous, the service more flamboyant, and it will be a true Québec treat!

Dining in Québec City is just simply wonderul.

Oh so good!
By five o'clock we wanted to head back to our campsite Plage Fortier, but the trafic was not moving at all, Québec was celebrating "Nouvelle France" and everybody was scurrying somewhere to celebrate. This celebration happens every year in  Vieux-Québec  with various cultural, musical and historical activities. Ah, no problem, we found a nice terrace to sit outside and enjoyed an other glass of wine.

Suffer one must at times....
For more pictures of this part of the trip click on the picture below or go directly to the slideshow here.

Quebec City

Quebec City, visiting Linda, 2009 Spring

Anders and Liz

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

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60,   61,  62,  63,  64,  65.


05 July 2012

Cross Canada and Back, Part 34

Cap-Chat to Ile d'Orléans. Québec, Canada

Day 78 of our Cross Canada Trip. It is Monday the 1st of August 2011.

We break camp in the early morning hours at Cap-Chat on the Gaspé Peninsula in the Province of Québec. We have a big day ahead of us, about 500 km on winding roads along and around the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and right through Québec City.

View Cap-Chat to Ile d'Orléans, Québec, Canada. in a larger map

We were hoping to take the ferry across the St. Lawrence River at Matane to Baie-Comeau. No such luck, they are booked up for the next four days... Wow, scary, that makes the BC Ferries look pretty good.

Drive from Cap-Chat west bound along the St. Lawrence River.

Roads are busy, but an easy drive.

Nice work...
Highway 132 and 20 east bound are both pretty good. We had sunshine, clouds, rain, heavy rain, and did I mention rain... It is a very scenic and pretty drive (if it doesn't rain) and can be highly recommended.

The St. Lawrence River is tidal

It rains at times

We cross the St. Lawrence into Québec City and the traffic is not too bad.... the TomTom GPS comes in handy, "don't leave home without it". Liz is on the phone as we are driving, but all the campgrounds in the city are booked up, it does not look good. 

Crossing St. Lawrence River in to Québec City

Crossing St. Lawrence River into Québec City
Finally we get one camp site about half hour east of of Québec City on the north side of the St. Lawrence River. This is fine, because we want to go further east in a few days, up to the Saguenay. Our campground, Camping Plage Fortier at 1400 Chemin Lucien-Lefranzois in L'Ange-Gardin.  It looks OK but pricey, $53.54. It is fairly well run, however as we are soon to find out, a whole bunch of announcements keep coming out of the loud speakers. Sounds like something out of prison camp in a war movie or from the TV show MASH. I don't have a clue what they are saying.... all sounds like French to me.

Camping Plage Fortier
The first evening everyone has a fire, and someone from the campground is driving around with a small garden tractor selling fire wood all evening. At 9:45pm we get a thunderstorm warning, and then all of a sudden at 11pm the loud speaker comes on again, announcing that it has to be quiet and all fires must be out.... you go figure, maybe we can sleep now.

Thunder on the way..

Next morning, Tuesday the 2nd of August we are off to Ill d'Orléans, the birth place of French America. Supposedly this is where the French first  arrived in Canada.

Bridge across the St Lawrence River to Ill d'Orléans

St. Lawrence River

Wonderful wineries.
This is a wonderful friendly little Island with lots of small farms "Agro tourism", including wineries. Art galleries, bakeries, fish stores, cheese and vegetable stands everywhere. 

Time for a cappuccino

Quaint villages.

Wonderful farm land.
Old weathered farmers are selling Maple Syrup along the windy country roads. Idle sugar shacks are waiting for the winter activities when the sap of the maple trees are cooked into delicious syrup and people gather to enjoy warm local delicacies. Now in summer, we tasted wine, cider, fish, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, chocolate and more.

Sugar shack

Louise Lasnier studio - gallery. A must see.

We visited some great art galleries and especially liked the work of Louise Lasnier. Great Day!

For more pictures from this part off our trip, click the picture below or go directly to the slide show here.

Anders and Liz

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.