It’s true, we’ve now passed the one-year mark since we began our journey. It has been a rich and full experience and yet time has passed very quickly.
Before I forget, I’ll answer a question that was asked just before we left: What if we don’t like it? Well, we love it. Even though the first time I woke up in Island Girl knowing that I’d be living here for a while, my first thought was – What have I done? – I quickly came to love it and have never looked back.
New France. A 400 year old city with a complex history that includes changing hands several times between the French and the British. Québec CIty (aka Québec), once the capital of the Dominion of Canada is now the capital of the province of Québec. Continue reading →
A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I would share more information about our Wi-Fi situation at Les Bergeronnes, Well, this was one of the campgrounds that didn’t have Wi-Fi. And back when we entered Canada, we turned the data settings on our iPhones and our iPad (which we normally use as a hot spot when we don’t have access to Wi-Fi) off because data is very expensive for us outside of the U.S. This meant that when we had no access to Wi-Fi, we had no other options.
The good news was that there was one place in the Les Bergeronnes that offered Wi-Fi. It was kind of a snack/gift shop in one of the interpretive centers. And one day we did get to use their Wi-Fi while we had some coffee there but unfortunately, the place shut down every day at 6 p.m. and most days we were out and about until after that time.
I love fjords! And I have been fortunate to see some in Alaska and Norway, and now have an opportunity to see the largest one in Quebec, the Saguenay Fjord. It’s one of only 38 of the 2,130 fjords around the world that is at least 60 miles long. Most of the fjord is protected as part of the National Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay.
We made another change in our travel plans. We’d originally planned to continue to drive around the Gaspé Peninsula and check out the north side of the peninsula.
But we learned about an intriguing area on the north side of the St. Lawrence River from Lois and Bev, new Ontario friends we met at a ceilidh in Baddeck, Cape Breton Island. The Saguenay Region is an area where the confluence of several bodies of water brings nutrients to the surface that attract many different types of whales. It’s a whale watching “mecca”.
The drive from Percé out to Forillon National Park on the eastern tip of the Gaspé peninsula is very scenic. And it’s an exciting drive on a very steep road with multiple 10-15 degree inclines and one 17 degree incline. They don’t much believe in switchbacks here.
Oui. Québec is unquestionably French. And the Frenchness is palpable in the air as soon as you enter the province. All signage is now in French, and you almost never hear English spoken, unless it’s by another American.
In 1535, French explorer Jacques Cartier landed in what are now Québec City and Montréal, but it was Samuel de Champlain who first recorded the word kebec (an Algonquin word meaning “where the river narrows”) when he founded a settlement at what is now Québec City in 1608.
The region had been fully settled and controlled by various Aboriginal groups, including the Mohawks, the Cree, and the Innu, and the Inuit, formerly referred to as Eskimos, in the remote far north. And all of these “First Nation” groups are still resident today in the province.