Quebec- Another country within a country
Trip Start May 05, 2007
58Trip End Sep 02, 2007
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I had a fairly long drive from New York to Montreal and under the impression that they were in Quebec City I continued on through and hoped to find accommodation near the city. Every time I stopped at a campsite I got the same reaction, an overpriced campsite with basic supplies ($35+ for 15/20amps and just water, often very little English too!). So I continued on the road until I finally gave up in frustration and needed rest to rethink what to do.
In the morning and after a few phone calls I found out the people I wanted to catch up in were in Montreal (about 250kms away), however there were a few people I worked with from the bell desk in Banff here, so I decided to stay here in Quebec City for a few days and explore and then head to Montreal for the Saint-Jean Baptiste celebrations
Originally not wanting to spend too much time in an area where language as well as familiarity was a barrier I booked a guided tour of the city (in English!) which was very interesting to learn about the history of the region and why they speak predominantly in French. It was all to do with the battle with the French and English hundreds of years ago, and there still remains a lot of reminders there today (like a cannonball wedged in between a tree base in downtown old Quebec City!). The wall surrounding the city is also a timeless reminder of the era and has been listed as an UNESCO world heritage site, the wall separates old Quebec and the more newer region
After the tour of the village I called and met up with old friends from Banff, which was really refreshing after being on my own for quite some time as well as having some familiarity in a very different town. That night I went out with Dom to a club and tried my luck the French ladies, some success but bloody difficult, I know I was the only guy in the club with a phrasebook (but that helped me too some loved that!!). In the end I gave up trying to speak the language and ended up just pointing at the book (like some stupid person or a real tourist out of his depth - which I felt like!!!) In most of the area outside the downtown region they only speak French and I found my verse of conversation quiet often went like this.....
"Bonjour, comment ça va? Parlez-vous l'anglais? Je ne parle pas français!"
"Hello, how are you? Do you speak English? I do not speak French!"
After the nightclub I was exhausted mentally and physically (getting home quite late/early) I sent most of the day in bed, which was good for a change
The following day was supposed to be hot and sunny and after not having seen a lot of it in previous weeks I was easily talked into going to the largest water park in Canada, Valcartier Vacation Village. The site features more than 23 different water slides, some of which are found only in Québec, with a huge wave pool and an ultra-modern campground with 700 sites right inside the park, which we stayed in. Despite my lack of swimming ability (which can be seen in the video) and the often cold periods in the afternoon I had fun, plus there was plenty to see too!