Having spent a few weeks in the english ...

Trip Start Sep 16, 2002
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Trip End May 31, 2004


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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Thursday, October 31, 2002

Having spent a few weeks in the English speaking part of Canada, I thought it only fair to visit the French (as they were here first until the Brits put an end to that). So I hired a car and drove east to Quebec (or New France as it used to be called). Canada is so vast and that becomes quite apparrant when driving. After a long straight 5 hour drive along a motor way that just went on and on and on....... I arrived at Montreal. Now I was told that the people of Quebec are not very friendly when you speak English, so I was expecting a few language problems. In fact there used to be legislation in Quebec which meant that signs could only be in French and if they weren't you were fined. However this was a long time ago. Montreal (which derives its name from Mount Royal - the hill overlooking the city) has a very European feel to it. From fashion to the general temperament of the people. It was smaller than I thought it would be especailly the CBD. This is because alot of businesses were driven out of Montreal when Quebec was trying to breakaway as an independent state from Canada. So most businesses headed off to Toronto - which is now the commercial capital of Canada. After a couple days of sight seeing in which I scaled Mount Royal, walked through the old town and visited the very impressive Olympic Stadium I drove further east to Quebec City.

Quebec City was basically where the main battles between the French and English occured. The main attraction is the walled citadell which is the only walled fort north of Mexico City. And its in very good condition. The city definetly does not have a North American feel to it. Inside the old town there are bistros, art galleries, cobbled streets and strange sculptures dotted around the streets. Its like they are trying to emulate Paris, especially with the Art scene. There are a lot of local artists and shops willing to sell their masterpieces. They even paint frescos on the motorway pillars. Very French.....

Well after saying goodbye To Quebec and the friendly people (no language problems) I was feeling decidely masochistic and started to drive back to Toronto from Quebec City in one go. This was a big mistake for 2 reasons. The first was the fact I was driving back at the end of Thanksgiving weekend. And the second was the fact that it was around a 7 hour drive assumming free flowing traffic. So I left at around 10am and arrived in Toronto at around 9:30pm. A gruelling 11.5 hour drive (with breaks of course). However this stunt was performed by a professional, please do not try this at home or without some prior consultation.
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