Three Great Stops in Canada

If our first week in Canada is any indication of what our next month will be like, we are in for a treat!

Great Stop #1:  Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa, the capital of Canada, has grand Victorian architecture in its government buildings and excellent restaurants.  We celebrated Dave’s birthday at Mamma Teresa’s, which opened in 1970, and serves original Italian dishes.  Everything was scrumptious.  We visited the Rideau Canal, which connects Ottawa to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River at Kingston.  The Rideau was constructed as a safe passage between Montreal and Kingston (west along the St. Lawrence, north along the Ottawa River, then southwest via the canal to Kingston to Lake Ontario).  The construction began in 1826 (right after the Erie Canal opened) and the 126 mile canal was completed in 1832.  The canal became a busy commercial artery between Montreal and the Great Lakes for supplies and competed with the Erie Canal.  As with the Erie Canal, commercial use largely ended after railroads were built; for Rideau, it was the Prescott and Bytown Railway, which opened in 1854.  Many of our looper friends transited the Rideau in their exploration of Canada by the waterways.  I was able to go on a Rideau Canal cruise, while Dave hung out with Murphy. 

Great Stop #2:  Bromont, Quebec

Our campsite was about an hour east of Montreal and rather than try to see the city in a day (and Dave has been there before for Formula 1 races), we chose to explore the area near our campground.  It was a great day!  First, we road our bikes along the inter-urban bike trails in the area.  Next, after picking up Murphy, we went hiking at a nearby ski resort.   The Ski Bromont resort becomes a summer playground complete with a large water park at its base, mountain biking, ATV, and hiking trails.  I had never hiked on a mountain designed for skiing and it was a bit steep.  We chose a nice path to hike up (although I was huffing and puffing).  The views from the summit  (at 1852 ft) were gorgeous and it was fun to watch the mountain bikers take the chair lift to the top and then barrel down the trails to the bottom.  We selected a different trail to go down.  It was quite steep, but had lots of tree roots for your footing and they had several areas with ropes to hold on to while you descended.  We let Murphy off leash and he had so much fun navigating the descent.  We kept having to tell him to stop and wait for us! 

Great Stop #3:  Old Quebec City, Quebec

What an unexpected gem.  First, we stopped at the Montmorency Falls, just outside of Quebec City.  The falls are actually 99 feet taller than Niagara at 276 feet, just not as wide.  They have an observation deck, a suspension bridge, a cable car, and a zipline.  We chose the less scary route, and walked across the suspension bridge.  Beautiful spot.  I can’t imagine how beautiful it is in the fall and winter.

On to Old Quebec City, A UNESCO World Heritage site as is the Rideau Canal, and the birthplace of French North America.  In 1608, Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, colonist, navigator, cartographer (and a lot of other things), built the first permanent French settlement.  We listened to a self-guided walking tour as we walked the old city.  As we approached one landmark, the streets were barricaded off and lots of people were congregating on the street corners.  The Pope was visiting Canada and had met with indigenous Canadians in Quebec City.  It appeared as he was getting ready to leave his accommodations in the very large Seminary.  We waited and waited, watched two Cardinals get into a van, and waited some more.    I was getting the hangries so we left and didn’t see the Pope depart. Oh well, it was kind of cool seeing how the security was setting up the area for his departure. My pictures of Old Quebec City in no way do it justice and reflect the European vibe of this quaint area.

Side Note:  When in Ottawa, all the signs were in both English and French and most of the people we met were bilingual.  Not the case in Quebec.  All signs are in French and if we aren’t speaking to someone in the service industry, it is rare to find a Quebecois who speaks English.  It has made it fun when trying to converse with our neighbors in the campgrounds.  The French language is so very expressive! 

Thanks for following along on our summer RV travels.

Madame Brenda with Monsieur David and Le Chien Murphy

2 thoughts on “Three Great Stops in Canada”

  1. Wow, true international travel without getting on a ship or airplane! Neat!
    I tried my rudimentary French on some Candian boaters in the Bahamas and they politely said I should stick to Anglias 😉
    So I don’t think I would do any better in Quebec.
    I guess dogs don’t have a language barrier based on the pic of Mr. Murphy romping with a local.
    Have fun!

  2. Hi Brenda, Dave and Murphy,
    I am enjoying your explorations, some of it brings back fond memories, I have explored part of the same area.
    I love that Murphy is enjoying the exploring.
    My little Harley is my life saver these last few years. I don’t hardly ever go anywhere with out him.
    Have FUN! FUN,FUN!!!

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