Mile 3550. Day 19.
Since my last blog we have covered another 1000 miles. But we have also had some great relax time. We spent three days in Montreal at a beautiful KOA campground before moving on to a hotel in Quebec City 150 miles further east.
Montreal was the first stop in two weeks where we stayed more than two days. We looked forward to this time in Montreal – setting the trailer up and leaving it for multiple days is a relief. The campground had about a dozen guests, nowhere near full, so it felt like we had some room to breath.
Except the one morning I woke up and looked out the window in my nightgown and there was a woman taking photos of our trailer.
Having a little more time also gives us the chance to get up and do a morning run – from this campground that meant a beautiful route on a rural farm road. I did four miles two days in a row (still trying to get back up to a six-mile run).
Our tendency in a city is usually to spend one day exploring the historic area and another day hiking or exploring a natural area. With two full days in Montreal that worked great. Day one was spent walking around Old Town, going to museums
and cathedrals and window shopping. Listening to outdoor musicians and having an amazing dinner at the world famousAu Pied De Chochon. Day two we headed to the Montreal Botanical Gardens, located adjacent to the 1976 Montreal Olympic site. The gardens were exceptional, made even better by the sunny fall day. We walked and walked and really enjoyed our visit.
Next morning we leisurely packed up and headed east again. Arriving mid day in Quebec City we headed straight to the Montmorency Falls. We had read that this was a top thing to do in the area but we didn’t really know anything more about it. Boy we were glad we went. The falls are spectacular and a unique walkway, bridge and staircase as well as a gondola provide visitors a fun experience around this beautiful natural wonder right in the city.
We then checked into a hotel. We looked forward to a bit of a break staying in a hotel. But although I tried to prepare, we kept thinking of things we left in the trailer (baseball cap, gin – you know, the important stuff). We had a wonderful French dinner at a gastropub of all places. La Voie Maltee is known for a menu using all their beers to prepare their food, with a French flair. Steak Tartare and Moules Frites was a great end to the day.
Saturday morning we drove to a river walk area and did a wonderful 5 mile run along a 32km path that follows the St. Lawrence. Nothing makes a run easier and more enjoyable than scenic beauty.
Back to the hotel and shower and then off for a day in Old Town Quebec.
Old Quebec is much smaller and “quainter” than Old Montreal. The entire Old Town of Quebec is surrounded by an old wall – very reminiscent of many European cities. After exploring the shops and restaurants (we ate Poutine) in Old Town, we spent a couple of hours walking on the wall enjoying the amazing views including the Parliament, the Citadel and the Saint Lawrence River. The walk eventually took us to the historic and very beautiful Chateau de Frontinac. This hotel, which boasts it is the most photographed hotel in the world, is one of several stunning hotels built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is so beautiful, grand and elegant on its perch high above the river.
Saturday night we headed to a tiny neighborhood where we seemed to be the only people over 30, to go to a Ramen Noodle restaurant Tora Ya Ramen. We knew it would be good when we found a line outside the door. After waiting 45 minutes we were seated in the tiny space and had a wonderful meal, filling, delicious and cheap. And fabulous service.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny and we headed 45 minutes outside of the city to the Jacque Cartier National Park to hike. We had barely put the
city behind us before we began a climb and found ourselves surrounded by stunning color in the trees. We did an amazing 8-mile hike through this spectacular forest, along rivers, up and down and all around. It was a seriously lovely day.
Tonight we are packing up for an early morning departure as we run for the border. The USA border is only a couple of hours from here and we will cross into Vermont mid-morning.
Our 19 days in Canada has been an amazing experience. A gorgeous
country with lovely people. Thank you Canada. We will be back.
But tomorrow – it’s Hello USA – my phone will work again! But our adventure is barely begun – we still have more than a month on the road.
I hope you will keep following.
Run for the border – Farewell Canada!