Category: Travel, Canada

Haida Gwaii Adventures

Travel, Canada

BC Ferries, Northern Adventure

The Ferry With The Funny Name
It’s funny what random and bizarre thoughts percolate through a person’s mind while waiting for a ferry. In my case, it was the name of the ship that my wife and I plus two friends were about to board. The vessel that would take us from the port of Prince Rupert on the Northwest coast of BC across 100km of open ocean to the storied isles of Haida Gwaii was called the, “Northern Adventure”. That struck me as a rather odd. Don’t get me wrong. I like a good adventure as much as the next person but in a suitable craft such as a canoe, kayak or even a white water raft. On a ferry, I prefer calm, peaceful, unadventurous voyages yet as I waited for the loading process to begin, I couldn’t but help wonder if the name was simply a marketing ploy or an omen of things to come. The answer arrived sooner then expected.

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Visiting Montreal and Quebec City

Travel, Canada

Greetings,

This page contains a collection of links to tourist information focusing on Montreal and Quebec City, Canada. I created it to help a friend who will be visiting these two cities this summer. Having toured both cities last summer during a trip across Canada, it’s my intention to write about that experience in a subsequent post. In the meantime, I offer this information to anyone planning a trip to the “Belle Province” (Quebec).

Before I start, I have a couple of suggestions to make. Because visiting time is usually limited and there is an abundance of things to see and do in each city, I recommend starting off with an excursion or tour on one of the Grey Line, “Hop-on, Hop-off” buses  (Montreal) (Quebec City). Tickets are good for two days and they are a great way to see the main attractions of an area as well as learn about its history and culture.

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Manitoulin Magic

Travel, Canada

Manitoulin Island was one of those undiscovered gems which my wife Maureen and I happened upon, almost by accident while travelling across Canada. Located along the north shore of Lake Huron, it had the distinction of being the largest fresh water island in the world. While the island may be big, it’s population was quite small resulting in a peaceful, serene, unhurried way of life that the tourist bureau loved to promote. Also promoted was the island’s unique geology, beautiful scenery, pastoral countryside, picturesque shoreline, and significant population of artists and artisans. It sounded like a perfect, “Routes Less Travelled” destination.

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Across The Top Of Lake Superior

Travel, Canada

North America is blessed with many scenic drives. Many such as the Cabot Trail, Oregon Highway 101 or Pacific Coast Highway, run along the sea coast and are famous for their spectacular scenery and dramatic ocean vistas. Less well known but no less scenic is Ontario Highway 17 which traverses the north shore of Lake Superior from Thunder Bay to Sault St Marie. This route shares many of the same scenic attributes found along more well known drives such as rugged headlands, a rocky shoreline, sandy beaches and shimmering waters. In fact, the landscape along the north shore of Lake Superior is so picturesque and compelling, it has inspired countless generations of artists including members of the famed Group of Seven. So, please join my wife and I as we explore this breath-taking landscape.

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Thunder Bay – A Tourist Gem

Travel, Canada

Thunder Bay is a unique city. Located within Canada’s most populous province, it’s one of the country’s most isolated cities. An urban oasis amidst a hinterland of rocks, trees and muskeg, Thunder Bay is a long way from anywhere. Winnipeg is a day’s drive to the west while Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa are even further to the east. Small wonder this community is on no one’s top ten tourist destinations list. Nevertheless, this community offers a surprising number of attractions and activities for those willing to spend a little time and do a little exploring as my wife and I discovered during a recent cross-Canada trip.
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Do You Know The Way To Thunder Bay?

Travel, Canada

“Do You Know The Way To Thunder Bay?” (Apologies to Bert Bacharach and Hal David).

Anyone who has driven across North Western Ontario from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay will appreciate the humour of this question. After all, there is only one main road between the two cities – the TransCanada Highway – and, it’s a drive most motorists would rather forget. From the Ontario border to Lake Superior, this asphalt artery is just two lanes wide yet carries a LOT of traffic, especially during the summer months. Add in scenery that’s not very scenic plus drivers who are usually in a hurry and the result is a “way” that’s less than ideal for Rv’ers. Luckily, there is an alternative route which bypasses much of the TransCanada Highway and its issues. It’s a route that’s much less travelled but much more interesting and much more accomodating for slower moving Rv’ers as my wife Maureen and I discovered during a recent trip across Canada.
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Wonderful ‘Winterpeg’

Travel, Canada

Golden Boy - Manitoba's SymbolIt’s hard to get excited about visiting a city that’s referred to as, “Winterpeg” by many of its citizens. And, the negative quips don’t end there. Other comments include; “Winnipeg has two seasons, 10 months of winter and two months of mosquitoes.” or “’Winnipeg’ is Cree for muddy waters. The Cree don’t have a word for horribly depressing city.” or “Winnipeg is the only city where you can switch from ‘heat’ to A/C and back again, all in one day.” or “In Winnipeg, there are 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.” or “In Winnipeg, your snow blower will have more miles on it than your car.” Such self-deprecating humour may be a therapeutic way to cope with adverse conditions but, does little to encourage tourism, or so my wife Maureen and I thought when planning a recent trip. Had it not been for a good friend and former resident who extolled the virtues of the ‘Peg, we might have bypassed the city entirely. Instead, we decided stop, take a look and explore. In doing so, we discovered that Winnipeg was a wonderful city with much to offer.

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What To Do In The “Soo”

Travel, CanadaTravel, USA

Canal - Sault St MarieThe comedian Rodney Dangerfield and the city of Sault Ste Marie share at least one thing in common. Neither one gets much respect. For Canadian travelers in particular, Sault Ste Marie is often seen as little more than a wide spot in the road where they can get some gas, maybe a meal or perhaps a night’s sleep before moving on. The idea of actually spending time in the area is as laughable as one of Mr. Dangerfield’s jokes. Nevertheless, there are an amazing number of things to see and do in the “Soo” (the city’s nick-name) as my wife, Maureen and I discovered during a recent cross-Canada trip.

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Myths, Stereotypes and RV’ing in Quebec

Travel, Canada

quebec_welcome_250aWhen talking with friends and family about RV’ing across Canada, one question that often comes up is, “What’s it like travelling in Quebec?” Unstated but implied is their real query, “What’s it like to travel in a province where the principal language that people converse in, that road signs are displayed in, that menus, tourist brochures, maps, etc. are printed in, is not English.” This unstated question usually arises from a multitude of myths, misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Quebec, its residents and their attitude towards English speakers.
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Roaming Around The Gaspé Peninsula

Travel, Canada

gaspe_172When most RV’ers think about heading to the East Coast of Canada, visions of the Maritimes dance in their head. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. or even Newfoundland are possible destinations. Seldom considered is the other East Coast – the Gaspé Peninsula. Although part of Quebec, the Gaspé offers landscapes, scenery, ocean vistas and attractions rivaling the best found in the Maritimes.  That was what my wife Maureen and I discovered during a recent trip through eastern Canada.
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