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Old 05-22-2011, 12:52 PM   #46
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Wow, Quebec is so pretty!
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:17 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
I'm so happy you are sharing this with us PIO, I'm really enjoying hearing about it and my desire to visit is even stronger now. Thank you.

Queenie, what month of the year were you there, love the pretty snow?
Dec/Jan

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Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Gosh, beautiful pictures of Quebec. I went there a few times with my parents as a kid, but haven't been in years and years. Your pictures made me want to plan a trip back. I do remembe the food, but mostly remember as a kid not likely all the "fancy" stuff...probably be a lot different now! I also remember how very European it felt. (Montreal feels like this also, but more "modern" European.)

From here, Quebec City's probably a 10 hour drive at least, so I guess a good reason why we haven't been.

The pictures in winter from Queenie are beautiful, but it gets C*O*L*D in winter up there. They don't call Canada "The Great White North" for nothin'! You are much better off with a summer visit.
What do you mean it gets cold? It only got down to -30 wind chill in Montreal

I'd not go in summer but I think fall (or Autumn to us Aussies) would be a good time to go. But I adore Winter so unless you want to do ALL the things PIO did in Niagara and can handle the cold I'd go then again.

Sigh...loved Quebec. Thanks again for all the photos.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:24 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
Thank you for your lovely update on Quebec. I also adored Quebec. We went in the winter so (if this isn't treading on toes...I will take them down if it is) this is some photos with snow on the ground.

Such a beautiful city

It's wonderful you telling people about it as it's well worth the trip.







Thanks for sharing your winter pics....is it a retrospective TR in the making??



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
I'm so happy you are sharing this with us PIO, I'm really enjoying hearing about it and my desire to visit is even stronger now. Thank you.

Queenie, what month of the year were you there, love the pretty snow?

Your welcome. I hope you make it out there sooner rather than later.

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Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Gosh, beautiful pictures of Quebec. I went there a few times with my parents as a kid, but haven't been in years and years. Your pictures made me want to plan a trip back. I do remembe the food, but mostly remember as a kid not likely all the "fancy" stuff...probably be a lot different now! I also remember how very European it felt. (Montreal feels like this also, but more "modern" European.)

From here, Quebec City's probably a 10 hour drive at least, so I guess a good reason why we haven't been.

The pictures in winter from Queenie are beautiful, but it gets C*O*L*D in winter up there. They don't call Canada "The Great White North" for nothin'! You are much better off with a summer visit.
Hence why I decided to visit in the summer. I've been in Whistler at -30C; which I believe is positively WARM in comparison to the Eastern side of Canada in the winter. The only way I'm heading there in winter is if I'm skiing!


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Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
Your pics make me want to plan a trip to Old Quebec!
Thanks for reading tiggrbaby!

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Originally Posted by DisneyFirefly View Post
Wow, Quebec is so pretty!
You live on the right side of the North American seaboard....perhaps you could plan a trip?
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:04 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
Dec/Jan



What do you mean it gets cold? It only got down to -30 wind chill in Montreal

I'd not go in summer but I think fall (or Autumn to us Aussies) would be a good time to go. But I adore Winter so unless you want to do ALL the things PIO did in Niagara and can handle the cold I'd go then again.

Sigh...loved Quebec. Thanks again for all the photos.
Autumn is beautiful here as long as you stick with September/October. You get into November and the weather can get pretty lousy (rainy and even occasionally snow).
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:16 AM   #50
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Autumn is beautiful here as long as you stick with September/October. You get into November and the weather can get pretty lousy (rainy and even occasionally snow).
Pete - It's been a life long ambition that I visit the East Coast during leaf-peeper season! I'm going to get there one of these trips....and I hope you and the family will be happy to share your favourite coffee shops with my family and me!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:04 AM   #51
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You live on the right side of the North American seaboard....perhaps you could plan a trip?
I would... But I don't have a passport, let alone money to pay for it
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:03 AM   #52
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PIO, Quebec City is so very beautiful! And Queenie, those winter photos are just awesome. I am a person who prefers the cold over the heat (yeah strange I know, I just don't like sweating!) so maybe as a compromise it will have to be an October destination for some time in the future...
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:11 AM   #53
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Pete - It's been a life long ambition that I visit the East Coast during leaf-peeper season! I'm going to get there one of these trips....and I hope you and the family will be happy to share your favourite coffee shops with my family and me!
Leaf peeping is best in New England and the Adirondak region of New York State (the NorthEast section) in early October. Really Buffalo does not get good leaf colors. Perhaps it is from growing up in New England, while the leaves turning colors are definitely beautiful, I wouldn't recommend someone traveling half-way around the world to see it! Certainly there are trees that change color in Australia...aren't there?

However, the fall can be a great time of year to vacation on the Eastern seaboard. The heat of the summer is over and the cold weather has not yet set in. A good time of year to visit areas like New York City, Washington DC, the Appalachians and even down into Georgia. And my other top 3 North American city - Boston. (Top 3 are San Francisco, Toronto and Boston.)
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:51 AM   #54
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Very cool pictures. What a beautiful city! I would love to go there, but I can't help but wonder if the city is at all HA. I know you said it felt like Europe so that makes me think it isn't at all HA.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:02 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyFirefly View Post
I would... But I don't have a passport, let alone money to pay for it
Well...then, how are you going to be able to jump on a plane at a moment's notice and come and visit me ?

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Originally Posted by shushh View Post
PIO, Quebec City is so very beautiful! And Queenie, those winter photos are just awesome. I am a person who prefers the cold over the heat (yeah strange I know, I just don't like sweating!) so maybe as a compromise it will have to be an October destination for some time in the future...
Maybe we can have an Aussie invasion in Quebec City in an October some time in the future.

Hmm...wonder if we can fit it in our pretend trip?

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Leaf peeping is best in New England and the Adirondak region of New York State (the NorthEast section) in early October. Really Buffalo does not get good leaf colors. Perhaps it is from growing up in New England, while the leaves turning colors are definitely beautiful, I wouldn't recommend someone traveling half-way around the world to see it! Certainly there are trees that change color in Australia...aren't there?

However, the fall can be a great time of year to vacation on the Eastern seaboard. The heat of the summer is over and the cold weather has not yet set in. A good time of year to visit areas like New York City, Washington DC, the Appalachians and even down into Georgia. And my other top 3 North American city - Boston. (Top 3 are San Francisco, Toronto and Boston.)
In Melbourne, we have heaps of trees that change colour; usually in the parks and gardens or in the trees planted along footpaths in the various suburbs. But our native flora is eucalyptus and wattle and bottlebrushes. They have a different appeal but the leaves don't change colour to reds, yellows nor oranges...

I might have some Boston pictures in this TR...when I get round to it.


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Very cool pictures. What a beautiful city! I would love to go there, but I can't help but wonder if the city is at all HA. I know you said it felt like Europe so that makes me think it isn't at all HA.
I did this trip in 2007 and I cannot remember taking note of HA. I think the funicular allows for scooters but definitely the stairs up didn't...but there might have been HA ramps. Even though it is European, it is located in North America and I can't imagine that Quebec City wouldn't have been retrofitted with some degree of support for the HA....?
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:25 PM   #56
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Montreal – All that Jazz!

Montreal – All that Jazz!


We’d decided that we were not going to hire a car in Canada and I wish I could remember why. No matter.

I had worked out that we could get to Montreal from Quebec by train on the Canadian Via Rail. Back in 2007, there was no such thing as internet sales on the Via Rail site, which necessitated us purchasing these tickets from the Quebec City railway station.

The inside of this station….




We’d arrived in plenty of time to catch our train…







The seats were comfortable enough.




And we spent some of the 3 hours it took to get from Quebec City to Montreal playing cards.





The Via Rail service was great. The carriages were clean, people were friendly and the trains ran on time.



The scenery was pretty good as well.








Montreal…from the train.




When we were planning this trip, the only place that DH insisted we go to was Montreal. He had previously been there for a work trip and had pretty fond memories of shopping and wandering around the Old Port area in Montreal. I think he wanted to trip down memory lane….

The thing was….I just couldn’t see us fitting Montreal in our touring plans. It was just one city too many for me. But DH rarely puts his foot down; and in the tug-of-war-give-and-take marriage of ours that sometimes resembles a battleground, I’d seen the sense in gracefully backing down from this fight.

But when I was planning this trip, somehow…Montreal just slipped to the bottom of the ladder in my research and investigations. And I wished I had put more importance on Montreal…because we really didn’t make the most of our time there.

We got into Montreal pre-Jazz festival and I left there kicking myself at not paying attention to when the festival started. It started the day we left! We were in Montreal for two nights before the Jazz festival and there was enough pre-festival activity for to make both DH and I salivate and turn liver green for not being there to enjoy some of the music. Can anyone tell that we are both Jazz junkies????

And to add insult to injury, I hadn’t paid any attention to booking accommodation for Montreal till the last minute and in the end, DH had to organize the accommodation here and we ended up in a hotel near the Greyhound bus terminal, which wasn’t exactly the best part of town to be in.




Still, it was only for two nights.

After we settled in, we decided to head on into the heart of town. Despite being in not the best part of town, we were within walking distance to everything and we decided to walk.

Yes…we can smell when there is one around in any town!




We’d found our way to Chinatown!






After the expensive and rich meals we had enjoyed in Quebec City, we were all hanging out for Chinese. We found a restaurant in Chinatown that had a lot of Asians inside and decided that we would eat there too. We ended up eating rice with steamed chicken with ginger and shallots, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce and sweet and sour prawns. The meal came to CAN$55, which after what we had paid in Quebec City and Niagara was such a bargain that even after all these years, I still remember how much it cost!


We walked down to the Old Port area of Montreal and took a look around Place Jacques Cartier.





But you know what? After Quebec City, the Old Port area just felt….modern. In fact, I just seem to remember that the whole of Montreal was modern….and it definitely suffered in the comparison to Quebec City.

But looking at the pictures of some of the buildings we took, I suspect that if we had visited Montreal FIRST and then Quebec, I would have been charmed by this city’s Old Town as well.











With DS tired out, we decided to head back for the night….




….but not before catching a couple of open-air events for the Jazz Festival. (Can you hear the sound of my teeth gnashing here….still!!?)

It might have been modern in comparison but the sounds were JAZZY!


In Search of the Underground City


After last night’s initial disappointing impression of the Old Town area, I was determined that we were going to do things that were different to what we had done in Quebec City and “only in Montreal”. We had one full day to spend in Montreal so that meant we had very little time to take in the sights. Plus – with my initial reluctance at researching Montreal, we were definitely on the back foot here.

So, for the first time in a long time, I relied on DH to be the tour guide. He suggested that we go in search of the Underground City. We walked into to town again…




Yup…most definitely a very modern city!




…and DH took us down….






…and into the tunnels underneath Montreal. I do have pictures…but Mum is in all of them. We walked MILES!! We must have walked for an hour and the half admiring the basement doors into various buildings.
I had envisaged that there would be shops lining the tunnels everywhere….but that’s not the case. It is just long, long corridors of tunnels with the occasional group of 5 or 10 shops…..more tunnels……more basement doors…..more walking….. until we eventually we made it DH’s destination….Eaton Place.

Eaton Place is a shopping mall and there are at least two floors that seem to be subterranean and another one or two floors that are at ground level or higher. There would have been about 150 - 200 shops in this complex filled with all the name brands that you would expect. We took some time to look around but we didn’t buy anything because Canadian pricing is similar to Australian pricing i.e., not cheap.

I remember that Mum and I had a conversation when we finally emerged from Eaton Place…we had not seen the daylight nor the sun in about 3 hours!




(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:35 PM   #57
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(Continued from Previous Post)


Biosphere – Connecting with my inner geekiness


Despite not doing much research on Montreal attractions, there was one place that I knew I needed to go to. So, we jumped on a train…



…and headed over to the Montreal Islands…..and….



The Biosphere, at Parc Jean Drapeau. Not to be confused with the Biodome, which was the velodrome for the Olympic Games and now houses a collection of animals and ecosystems.


Why the Biosphere? Well…it has to do with something that I learnt at University and the Bucky Ball, which is the basis for this geodesic shape. The Bucky Ball is so named after Buckminster Fuller…



…who was an engineer and architect that loved this shape and based the construction on an icosahedron….a regular polyhedron with 20 faces, 30 edges and 12 vertices….




….and then it was thought possible to be a naturally occur shape for carbon molecules to form in the 60’s and proved to be possible using mass spectroscopy in the mid 80’s. Because of the similarity in shape to the Buckminster Fuller ball, the carbon molecule was named the Buckminsterfullerene. The Buckminsterfullerene is most commonly found in soot.

(Have you only now realized the true extent of my inner geekiness???)


The Montreal Biosphere was built as the American Pavilion in the 1967 Montreal Expo and contains a museum and interactive activities relating to the environment and ecology.


DS learnt to walk on water…





…and about the forces of water…





….how man-made construction around rivers can cause water flows to be different…




…..but this would have been his favourite water display!





We all took the opportunity to head on outside…




…and take a look at the structure up close.








By this stage, we’d decided that we needed to go take another look at the Old Port and we headed back there to see if our….my…..impression had changed.






There were a few more people around in the daytime than at night..







…and there’s no denying that it was postcard pretty in its own right.





We walked over to the Port area…








….and in the daylight, I still found it to be a modern city!




I can’t remember where we had dinner that night. I do remember seeing more free pre-festival entertainment and wishing that we had managed to be in the town for the premier Jazz Festival of the World!

The sounds were definitely JAZZY!


In the wash-up, we enjoyed Montreal. Not as much as we enjoyed Quebec City…and if we had to do it again, I would choose to go to Montreal FIRST and then Quebec City….and I would definitely check up the dates of the Montreal Jazz Festival and moving heaven and earth to be there!


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Old 05-26-2011, 12:47 PM   #58
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That's a total bummer that you left the day the festival started! Montreal is on our list of places to visit. I guess we'll have to add Quebec City to that trip.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:45 AM   #59
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I think you saw the top 90% of attractions in Canadia.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:24 PM   #60
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Just had a few minutes to start reading this new TR. Nice photos for a point and shoot! Your DS looks so cute and little (but I'm sure he doesn't wan to hear that )

Niagara Falls looks really cool with lots of fun stuff to see and do. Quebec looks like such a pretty place to see. Keep the pics coming!
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