Friday, September 06, 2019

Story Of A Trip About "Vs' And "Ks" and One "M"


Click on any of the pictures to make them full size for your viewing enjoyment!

Once again I had the dubious pleasure of going on a geocaching road trip with two of my brothers where we spend an extended weekend touring cities and geocaching and acting like teenagers rather than grown men. It was a blast !

Brother Al and Brother Ken and myself headed to the Interior of BC looking to visit Al's son in Kelowna and another of our brothers and his wife in Vernon.

The trip took us from Vancouver through the cities of Mission, Kelowna and Vernon. Hence the name of this episode called V's and Ks and one M

We cruised out through Mission BC where we spent some time looking for a few caches in the city. The big "M"  you see in the picture above is an art piece celebrating the town of Mission and it's industrial heritage. We did a few easy city caches, just enough to start the weekend on a positive note with successful hunts.


After Mission we crossed over the mighty Fraser River and headed to the Upper Fraser Valley city of Chilliwack. Once in Chilliwack we crossed over to the north side of the river and took some scenic farm roads as we followed a geocache series that wound it's way east with the landscape alternating between fields of summer time corn almost ready for harvesting, and quiet enclaves where livestock grazed the fields.
The nice thing about taking the back roads is you see more scenery than if travelling the highways and you come across unexpected treasures.

In this case the small village of Rosedale provided a stellar surprise in the form of an antiques shop housed in an old garage. Outside scattered around the garage property were old trucks. I have to admit my brothers are more into old cars than I am, but even I was impressed with a couple of vintage trucks that are rare to find. And to have two of them on the same lot was even rarer.


A red Diamond T flatbed was prettied up and parked waiting for admirers to come along. Diamond T trucks were built as luxury trucks of the times, if you had one of these you had serious money.


The other pretty boy on display was a Federal truck. I have seen a lot of old Fords and Chevies and Dodges but not often you see a Federal parked nonchalantly among the other old trucks.

After finishing our caching around Chilliwack we stopped for a quick bite to eat in Hope, then hotfooted it to Merritt and beyond to make up for time spent.
The three brothers arrange a geocaching road trip 2 - 3 times a year. The downside to frequent caching and road tripping is you tend to have to go through the same towns to get outside of your normal range. As a result of this, we have done many of the caches on the main roads that run to and through those towns.

Just east of Merritt we pulled into a natural grasslands reserve and found two Gold Country caches. The Gold Country series were created by multiple towns in the Thompson area of BC getting together drum up tourist business for their dying towns. And they scored big.
Over 200 hundred geocaches stretching from Merritt to Lytton and Lilloeet and all the way north to Clinton ensure there is a steady stream of folks running around the towns and areas looking for hidden treasure. Those same people overnight in the small towns, buying meals, gas, groceries and filling motel rooms and campsites which is a tremendous boost to the local economy.


As we had crossed over the Coast Mountains we were now on the leeward dry side of the mountains and the coastal rain forests of the coast had been replaced with dry grasslands and rolling hills.This is prime cattle and horse land, and many ranchers enjoy a good life living the cowboy way.


After finding the Gold Country caches we were back in the truck and on our way to Kelowna. Al's son Chris was expecting us and as Chris was out caching himself we sent him a hail to let him know we were in town and where to meet us.
Chris met up with us a city cache at a local farmer's market where we collectively found a geocache hidden on an old tractor.
It was good to see Chris as Ken and I had not seen him for months, and dad Al was happy to see his son as well. Family grows and move apart from each other, so you treasure those moments when you can get back together, even for a little while.

We managed to sneak in a few caches before the sun went down, and at that point we decided dinner and a beer were high on our list of things to find next..


ABOVE = Al and Ken AKA Bowser98 and MrTJ

Saturday we were out caching in the sunshine again with Chris along as a local tour guide. We did some downtown caches, some neighbourhood caches, and few caches on the outskirts of the city that brought us up into the hills for a good view of Kelowna.

 
The houses in the picture have lovely views but are sitting atop a rock, so chances of having a backyard to play is is limited. But you have what you want and what you can pay for. I guess if you don't have kids you don't have to worry about them falling off the cliff in your back yard.

We spent the day puttering around Kelowna and as the afternoon wore on we started working our way north towards Vernon. We had a dinner engagement lined up with another brother and his wife, so we had to keep on the move and be conscious of the time, all the while trying to get "one more cache" squeezed into the drive.


The Okanagan area of BC is lined up in a north-south orientation which follows the path of a glacier more than 10,000 years ago.
From Osoyoos in the south, which is located right on the Canada - U.S. border, to Vernon in the north, the Okanagan Valley is one long valley blessed with perfect weather for harvesting wines and fruit.
The wide valley also presented generous views along our route as we traveled to Vernon.

We made it into Vernon just a few minutes late, but then we found out there were two hotels of the same name just blocks from each other. One has the proper name, the other one doesn't advertise that name and the signs on the hotel use some other name. After wasting some time going back and forth we finally guessed at the right hotel and found our brother Wayne and his wife Inga waiting for us. Wayne has been having a medically tough time the past few years, so the visit meant all that much more. We would have loved to continue the visit after dinner but the whole exercise of getting out of the house and going out for dinner was too much of a strain for Wayne's health so we said our goodbyes for the night.


Sunday morning brought the threat of rain for the day. We didn't mind that too much as Wayne and  Inga had told us in conversation the temperature for the past three weeks had been hovering in the 40C degree mark. Way too hot to geocache as the heat just saps the strength out of you, and a fun day of geocaching quickly turns into sunburn, heat stroke, and a visit to the Dairy Queen instead of geocaching.

We cached in the morning in and around Vernon, one of the fun and pleasant things we seen was the community book exchange in some of the neighbourhoods. The city, or neighbours even, build these small elevated boxes and the residents donate books they have read. Other residents will visit, bring their own books, and exchange them for books which are in the box. This sort of idea brings the community together and as a visitor it is gratifying to see a positive vibe in the community.

We stopped for lunch and made that the break away point from our geocaching in Vernon, as we now had to start heading back towards Vancouver and we had a lot more caches to find on the way home.  Chris, Al's son whom had driven back from Kelowna that morning, joined us for lunch. As we were chowing down on our fine cuisine as presented by the local fast food chain, the rain started coming down in buckets.
Just as well, as we had an hour and half drive ahead of us to the next series of caches a couple of hundred miles away, so let it rain all it want.
We said our goodbyes to Chris, jumped in the truck, turned on the windshield wipers, and began the trip southward towards the Coast


The rain was just letting up as we reached our first stop on the new route of caches. We were now back in the range grasslands not too far from Merritt, with an old barn on a farm the location of our first cache.

A narrow glacier carved valley studded with low lands and intermittent small lakes and ponds headed south from the small community of Aspen Grove to Princeton. Along this valley were a series of caches amounting to 18 or more that would provide a few more notches on the belt for cache finds, as well as provide an alternative route home rather than the standard fast speed highways.


Many of the caches we were to find were located at roadside pullouts either along side on of the multitude of lakes, or they were on rises in the land which provided unspoiled views of the narrow valley.
     

Make no mistake, we were back in Cowboy land and if you forgot that for a minute, signs for dude ranches and country crafts helped you remember. So did the cow patties when you stepped away from the main roads and ventured on the side roads past the cattle guards.


It's surprising on how much time is taken up looking for geocaches, even if you have picked the ones close to parking so you can turn them into "park and grabs".
Between the miles to travel to Princeton and finding the caches along the route, it was dinner time when we rolled into Princeton.
A quick tailgate dinner was on the menu as we had another 135 miles to go and a 90 minute drive to our last few caches.


Our last cache to find was in Sunshine Valley just east of Hope.While the area is becoming increasingly popular as a weekend cabin area or year round out of the way home, it's original purpose was much darker.
This was the site of one of the internment camps for Japanese citizens during World War II.
It was wrongly assumed that if you were of Japanese heritage, you would turn against your own country and betray them during the war. Many families were rounded up, stripped of their monies, homes, business, and sent inland away from the coast to live in cold cabins more befitting a war criminal or POW.

Kudos to the local heritage society for keeping the memory of this painful part of history alive and in plain view of travelers lest we forget our mistakes of the past.

By now it was 7.30 PM and we still had a two hour drive to get to my house were Al had left his truck. Al still had another hour drive home after that while Ken's trip was considerably shorter.
We arrived home in the dark, emptied our gear out of the truck, had a chat about the weekend and when we should go again, then it was time to head into the house and get ready to head back to work in the morning.

Three brothers got to spend a weekend together, got to visit an ailing brother, and visit a son/nephew all on the same trip. And no band aids and gauze were required like one of our previous trips. (That's on another travelog report)  😉
   

The complete set of pictures can be found here on my Flickr photo web site.

If you liked the story drop me a comment   

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Victoria Rambling - Another Geocaching Trip To Vancouver Island


Once more the three amigos, actually three brothers, caught one of the BC Ferries and floated across the Straight of Georgia to Vancouver Island to cache in the general Victoria BC region.
 Ken, Alan, and Ed (myself), known in the geocaching world as MrTJ, Bowser98, and TJGUY98, were on a boys-only long weekend of geocaching and just plain having fun.

Every year there is an automotive swap meet in the Saanich area and Ken and Alan are big on going to the event to meet up with old buddies and see if they can pick up a few old car manuals which they resell through their online business.
For myself the swap meet was a necessary evil to endure as part of the weekend trip
No, not really  LOL    It's only 2-3 hours out of the weekend and while those two are meandering around the piles of treasure I usually take the time to prep for the geocaching day ahead.

CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO SEE THEM FULL SIZE !!

Each time we visit the Victoria region we pick a different area to geocache in, that way we don't trip over caches already found, and we get to see new sights and vistas on our travels.

This visit could almost be called "The Ocean Tour" as most of the caches we picked were along the shoreline or beaches of Georgia Straight. This presented us with continually changing ocean views and scenic vistas. The pictures I took are almost all great to look at and I had a hard time picking just a few for the Blog. All the other picture are on my Flickr page and deserve a view.


We started our adventure just as soon as we disembarked the ferry in Swartz Bay by heading to a small cove hosting a local marina and houses along the shoreline. Boats at moor in the bay were to be a common sight on this trip, as the protected bays provide perfect anchor for those weekend sailors whom love the boating life style.


Want a house on the water? How's this, close enough? Maybe too close huh .. ?
What a fantastic view these people have, but look at the size of the logs on the beach right in front of the house. Can you just imagine a winter storm's powerful waves throwing those logs up against your retaining wall all the while the waves are crashing over your upper deck? 


Yeah, their railing on the lower deck looks pretty bashed up to the point of almost not being there.And look at that tree root sitting ominously by the retaining wall ..  Yikes!


It was already late in the day as this was our "travel" day so we headed over to the small town of Sydney for an early dinner. This is a lovely little town and we always enjoy stopping in when ever we visit the Island. There is always a good place to have either a light meal or a full meal, depending on your appetite, and all at a fair price. Plus, a stop at the Sydney Bakery for dessert sure helps the attitude as well. 😋


Sydney has half a dozen bench/statues on the main drag and these are great conversation pieces and cool art works, plus having a place to sit down to eat your ice cream is always handy.
The local Legion has a jet fighter, an artillery gun, and a tank on display, so there is more yet to see for the visitors (Check my Flickr page for those pictures - link at the bottom of the page)


We always love doing the geocaches that highlight local historical locations and this was one of them. Back before the highways were built for commerce, the water was often the highway of choice. The farms of the area relied on the water to get much of their produce to market. We visited the former site of the Newman Farm which highlighted the importance the ocean shoreline played for them.




Straight from the fields you take the steps down to the water and find the farm's boathouses housing the farm transport of the time, the boats to take your goods to market.

DAY 2     

We headed down the Patricia Bay Highway south from our hotel and continued picking up caches along the shoreline.Some caches had us on bluffs overlooking the ocean, others had us down in the tidal zone in parks or nature reserves which preserved the ocean side habitat for fish, fauna, and flora alike.
One of the caches was located on a hillside in the middle of a small subdivision. We had to take 3 flights of stairs to get down to the landing where the cache was located. We passed a swarm of small flies on the way down the stairs and I was last in line so I could tell they were stirred up by the time we all went past. We found the cache, enjoyed the view, and then trudged back up the stairs back to the truck. As we past the flies again they were even more agitated and as I was last in line again they took their displeasure out on me. No biggies, they are just flies. OUCH, Jesus H Christ those aren't flies, they are small black wasps and they were given me the what-for! I got 4-5 stings before I could get far enough away from the nest before they left me alone. And of course those other two clowns thought that was all pretty funny! I would too if it was one of them 😎


Another historical cache we came across highlighted the history of the First Nations in the area. It has been determined there has been a summer encampment on this location as far back as 500 AD by the Peoples who called themselves Lekwungen. They are part of the larger Songhee First Nation family which inhabit this part of the south Island.


The low lying headlands here provide easy access to the shore for fishing and capture of crabs and other sea foods that made up their diet. The moderate climate and a rain shadow environment all contributed to this being a perfect place for the summer days.


Black Tail deer are a common sight in the region, and they have no fear of humans. The one thing I did notice was the lack of dogs in the area. In Metro Vancouver, if a deer was walking through your yard five neighbourhood dogs would know about it and would be going crazy. Here, not a single bark was heard. The natural predator of the deer are cougars, and there is a healthy population of cougars in the Victoria area. Every now and then a lost cougar is spotted running through the downtown Victoria area, which gives all concerned quite a startle!

DAY 3         

This was a shorter day of caching as that dreaded automotive swap meet happened this morning, and we had to catch an early afternoon ferry back to the mainland.
Undeterred we crammed as many geocache finds as we could into the day and carried on doing our thing.

We aimed for the easier caches today which meant we concentrated on urban caches which provided shorter distances from the truck. While these caches were not quite as "scenic" as the ocean side caches, they none the less brought us to some pretty locations and provided a driving tour of Metro Victoria.
I guided us over to the the Mt. Douglas Park area which is a high mountainous spit of land ocean side. While we were on the wrong side of the mountain to see the ocean, the goal of the route I picked was to get us out of the city and start geocaching back towards Saanich and the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.


One of our last locations was Brentwood Bay, a long time Victoria favourite area of local Victorians. 
The houses in the picture are actually one large complex, hence the uniformity of the housing designs and the lack of space and privacy between residences. While I'm sure all the residents appreciate the ocean views, this was the one place on the tour where we looked and all agreed - "nope, I don't want to live there" !  .


Our very last cache was shore side in Brentwood Bay, and this was one of our favourite scenic caches. We loved the view of Brentwood Bay from this spot, and the rough shoreline itself was dramatic with the rock terrain of the island battling back the ever pounding waves at high tide, all overseen by a Gary Oak tree clinging to the edge of the hill.

After this cache it was a dash up island to Swartz Bay to catch our ferry back to Vancouver. The weekend consisted of three days, a couple of ferry rides, 70 geocaches found, and a lot of tom foolery between brothers enjoying a road trip during which time we were "unmanaged" by our Life Partners. (If I say "wives" they will know I am talking about them .. shhh ...   😁    )

THE COMPLETE SET OF PICTURES, AND YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THEM, ARE LOCATED HERE ON MY FLICKER  WEB SITE     

Monday, January 28, 2019

East Coast Cruising - Montreal



September brought a cruise to the East Coast for Annette and I. We started in New York, visited two cities in Maine, then sailed over the International Boundary into Canada and visited several cities in the Maritime region. The cruise ended in Quebec City and we ended our holidays after spending time in Montreal.

CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO SEE ALL THE PICTURES FULL SIZE - YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO! 

Montreal was our last stop on our East Coast adventure. We took the train from Quebec City to Montreal as it was a new type of transportation for us. Mostly we have flown or rented a car and driven between locales - traveling by rail was one more new experience for us.

Via runs a regular service between the cities and the four hour ride was an easy way to watch the scenery go by and not have to worry about driving. It didn't hurt that we went through several bouts of rain and we were secure in our coach seats having a nap while some one else did the driving.


Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, and like many cities it sprawls over the landscape. Our hotel was out in the suburbs to north, but the Metro station one block away made the downtown and tourist areas easily accessible.


Our first stop was Old Montreal near the waterfront where just about all cities have their oldest neighbourhoods. The French explorer Jacques Cartier was the first European to visit the area on October 2 1535, but it wasn't until 1642 that Fort Ville-Marie (Montreal's original name) was built that the area became a solid colony.
If you know your Canadian history, many of the names like Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain, and Paul Chomedy de Maisonneuve stir up memories of your old Social Studies  lessons from high school. Standing in the in the real geographic locations from those school lessons bring's the history to life. 
      

The architecture of the city is old but subtly so, not like the obvious aged buildings in Quebec City. In all fairness to Montreal, if we have visited Montreal first and _then_ Quebec City we probably would have been more impressed with Montreal's heritage. As it was, visiting Montreal second downplayed the city's beauty and caused our group to be under whelmed by the city.
Here and there the older parts of the city shone through, but it was disappointing to see that much of the older buildings had been replaced by newer buildings as the city grew.



Still, the history was there to see if you took the time to walk around and sight see with open eyes.
This nondescript plaque told a story of one of the first gathering places in Montreal when the city was still young. More than likely the square was much larger before the street intruded but I can still imagine people 350 years ago meeting and discussing the events of the day, or haggle over local politics which never seems to go out of style.


The Notre-Dame Basilica and the fronting Place d'Armes Square was one of the major tourist draws in the city and we seen more tourists here than anywhere else. Those damn tourists are everywhere !  :)
Sad to say we passed up the opportunity to tour the church as there was a line up and to be honest, we had already seen enough churches on this East Coast tour.
Just a day or two before we had been in the Basilica of St-Anne-de-Beaupre on the outskirts of Quebec City, so seeing one more basilica got moved down the list.



We also toured Chinatown and were surprised to see that the area mainly comprised of 3-4 blocks of pedestrian-turned streets. I'm sure the area spread out in all directions to some extent, but it seemed like a very contained space. In our home town of Vancouver, Canada, the Chinatown extends outwards for blocks in all directions. Vancouver has the second largest Chinatown in North America, after San Francisco, so it was a bit of a surprise to see such a small part of the city dedicated as an Asian nighbourhood..


However, we also know the bakers in any Chinatown are first rate and we hopped into one of the local bakeries for a warm pork bun for lunch and a cute Angry Bird pastry as a decadent dessert.



On Day 2 or our Montreal exploring we ventured further afield and took the Metro to the prestigious area of Mont-Royal. This is west of downtown Montreal but at one time was one of the wealthy suburbs of young Montreal. The park pictured above is a nice expanse of greenery in an expensive part of the city, but you have to wonder why this green belt was not developed years ago.


A Historical placard advises that there was an exhibition grounds and a horse racing track here in the late 1800s. Seems like the city kept the historical land as a park rather than sell off the land. Good on them !


Mont-Royal is still a desired area of the city to live in but it looks like time is starting to take hold of the neighbourhood. For such a treasured part of the city, one that I have heard of for many years, the infrastructure of the area is suffering and takes away from the charm of the community. Sidewalks with big chunks missing making it a hazard to walk along, and streets that require TLC to once again become appealing to residents and tourists were evidence of a part of the city that needs more attention to live up to it's prestige.


On the plus side, many store windows boasted views like this, so it was easy to overlook the slow decay of the area. Except if you were walking and eating and twisted your ankle in one of those sidewalk pot holes. Grrrrr


Our last visit was to Montreal Olympic Park built for the 1976 Summer Olympics. 
The park is smaller than I thought it would be but it still held a surprising number of stadiums designed for specific venues.


While many of the venues are closed and are only open for specific events, we still wanted to visit the park to see what it was like. One of the things I wanted to do was ascend the Observation Tower which provided a spectacular view of Metro Montreal. While the weather did not look bad, just slightly overcast, the admissions personnel advised us that there was fog cover over much of Montreal, including the downtown core. That meant even if we had paid for the fare to go up the tower, we wouldn't see anything. So .. sadly, we crossed that off our bucket list of things to do.


Also on our to-see list was the Biodome located in the Olympic Park. In the Biodome they have recreated 4 ecosystems found in North America. But alas, the Biodome was closed for renovations. not to re-open until late 2019.
We ran out of places to visit at the Olympic Park, still we were glad we took the time to come and visit the area as we had all watched the 1976 Summer Games on TV and cheered for our own Canadian teams. It was a bit of history relived for us.


This is the last picture of our East Coast Adventure - catching the Metro under the Olympic Village to head back to our hotel.
Tomorrow we would be up an some ungodly hour and on our way to the airport to hop on a plane and head back home to Vancouver.

This was an 18 day trip for us and while it seemed long, the time went fast and we packed a lot of travel and a lot of sight seeing into those 18 days.
We started in New York, hopped a cruise ship and visited Bar Harbor in Maine, Portland in Maine, then crossed over into Canadian waters and visited St. John, New Brunswick, then Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and ended our sea voyage in Quebec City.
A train ride to Montreal brought us to our last city on the itinerary.

Except for New York, which Ken and Linda had visited previously, this was new territory for us and I think we all enjoyed the easy pace of the trip. A few hectic days in New York, then a relaxing 11 day cruise with one city per day, then a brief spurt in Montreal at the end was a good way to stretch out the vacation.

For me, the takeaway was a chance to see and experience a lot of the name places which had only been in Social Study and geography books when we talked about the early days of North America and in particular Canada. 
The West Coast of Canada is the youngest part of Canada, it was good to visit the older provinces where much of Canada's history resides.

Thanks for coming along on our East Coast Adventure, more adventures to come I'm sure !

The complete set of Montreal pictures can be seen here on my Flickr web site.
Do pay the web site a visit, all my complete sets of this and previous adventures reside there    


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

East Coast Cruising - Quebec City



September brought a cruise to the East Coast for Annette and I. We started in New York, visited two cities in Maine, then sailed over the International Boundary into Canada and visited several cities in the Maritime region. The cruise ended in Quebec City and we ended our holidays after spending time in Montreal.

Quebec City is one of the gems of Canada. In the old section of town located by the St. Lawrence River many of the old buildings are still standing. These buildings date back 200 - 350 years and are built in the European style. This lends an aura of Old Europe to the Lower and Upper Town sections.

Standing on the bluff above the river, Chateau Frontenac opened its doors in 1893 and has commanded the scene ever since.
Built by Canadian Pacific Railway as one of their destination resort hotels for the rich and famous, she retains her majestic to this day.

As CPR built the railway across Canada they were awarded huge land grants as incentive to build the railway. 
On the prime land they constructed mega hotels and marketed the resorts to the rich adventurer whom loved discovering the "rougher" side of the world. The elite class could travel from a "chateau" in Toronto, to Montreal, to Banff National Park in Alberta to Victoria on thew West Coast,  enjoying the scenery while ensconced in the luxurious train cars as you travelled between Grand Hotels.
Ahh, there's nothing like being rich.  

Quebec City was the last port of call for our cruise but in a bit of a rare move the cruise line had us booked for the night on the ship and we were to disembark the next day. 
This allowed us two full days to tour the historic Lower Town and Upper Town, as well as visit the the Quebec Citadel. a functioning Canadian military fort.


Right across the street from our ship was Lower Town, so we didn't have far to go to start our tourist thing.
Samuel de Champlain founded the city in 1608 as a fortified city surrounded by fortress walls. de Champlain was an accomplished individual. Known as the Father of New France, to his credit he was an explorer, a cartographer, a drafts man, a soldier, a geographer, an ethnologist, a diplomat and a chronicler. He explored and settled the Quebec area,as well as charted the Great Lakes.




As I mentioned earlier, Quebec has done a fantastic job of keeping their stock of heritage buildings, and the future generations are rewarded by the forefather's foresight. In the picture above is the foundation and location of the oldest know building. While the building itself was torn down many years ago, the location is one of the early hubs of the Quebec.
           

All of the tourists shops are located in Lower Town, while Upper Town holds the restaurants, hotels, Chateau Frontenac and The Quebec Citadel 

We made the rounds of the shops and then opted to take the set of stairs that leads from one level to another. I wanted to try the funicular for a couple of bucks, but NOHHH, someone said we had to walk up the stairs.  


This was our hotel and indicative of the old buildings that still permeate the top of the bluff that holds Upper Town.

We walked around the edge of the city and came across the outer wall of the fortress city beyond which we could see the modern city complete with office towers crowned with radio and TV antennae.
We use the wall as a turn around point and meandered back through the city stopping enjoy the scents coming from the restaurant doors. 
We spent the day just winding our way through side streets and back alleys enjoying the Europe flavour of it all.
Before long it was time to point our way back to the ship to have our own wonderful meal

The next morning was a bit more chaotic as it was time to disembark from the boat and catch a cab to our hotel. Although the distance was not overly far, carting suitcases, overnight cases, backpacks, and assorted other packs was not high on the list of things I wanted to do.

It was late morning by the time we got to our hotel room and dropped off the bags in the storage area. After that, Annette and I wandered down the street and found a small cafe tucked under the corner wall of the Chateau Frontenac. The late breakfast was wonderful and inexpensive for the location, so we made a date to come back again tomorrow.

In the afternoon Annette and I explored the Quebec Citadel. The citadel is star shaped to be able to protect itself from any angle, and it is buried into the ground, so there is very little for the enemy to shoot at. Consequently obtaining pictures was a bit harder to do. There are some surface buildings of which I used my phone to capture pictures, as my camera battery had died, but they are not as good as I would have hoped for, so ... sorry, no pictures.


Turning our attention to the Grand Dame of the hotelier world, the Chateau Frontenac has built a wide boardwalk along the top of the bluff for their guests to "stroll" and be seen by each other, and by the paparazzi of the day.   


It also afforded a Grand view of our ship and really puts into perspective the size of the ship. The Adventure Of The Seas is the one in front, it is one of Royal Caribbean's mid-size ships. Samuel de Champlain's ships had nothing on modern ocean going vessels !


Our day trip for this port of call took us out of town to Montmorrency Falls and to The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre


Do you know the difference between a church and a basilica? Neither did I until it was explained. A Basilica is a church with certain privileges conferred by the Pope. In modern terms it is a Vatican approved place of pilgrimage. Hence the royal name of a Basilica.

To be honest, coming from the West Coast I have seen plenty of waterfalls, and after touring Europe several times, a church has been ticked off the must-see box many times, so no cavalcade of pictures of the basilica here.


Back in town we spent our last morning wandering around the Chateau Frontenac lobbies and the inner art store and the fancy gift store. Many beautiful articles of clothing could be purchased in the gift store, and many expensive pieces of modern art could be purchased in the art store.
I opted to be a big spender myself and paid $3.00 for a bottle of water. Hey, I was on Holidays!

By noontime we had caught a taxi down to the train station and were waiting for our 12.30 PM train to take us on our last leg of our journey.
The bustling metropolis of Montreal awaited us, complete with rides on the Metro and a visit to Montreal Olympic Park, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics.

As you may have expected, I posted only a few pictures on this page - the complete set can be found here on my Flickr web site.
After your read, drop me a line and comment on the travelog.