We left Montreal mid-morning and headed up to Quebec for what was supposed to be about a 3 hour drive. The highway from Montreal to Quebec was pretty rough so we had a bit of bouncing around in the RV. Fortunately, the Allegro Bus smoothed things out a bit with its independent suspension and dynamic air shocks.
There is one bridge crossing the St. Lawrence into Quebec City. We came upon an enormous amount of traffic a couple miles from the bridge that delayed us by an hour. It was very unexpected for a Saturday. Eventually we worked our way to our campground: Camping Transit in Levis, just across the river from Old Town Quebec. As soon as we parked the RV we jumped into the Jeep and headed to the Ferry with the intent of spending a nice Saturday night in the city. The ferry is only about 10 minutes from the campground, but again we ran into unforeseen traffic and the trip took over an hour. Eventually we were able to park the car and ferry over to the city, where we discovered that fireworks would be displayed over the river at 10pm. That explained all the traffic. We also learned that there would be no ferry service back to Levi until 11:30 pm. There were so many people in town you could barely move so we took a long walk out of the old town district, to where the locals go, and found a wonderful restaurant for dinner: Graffiti. As darkness came we strolled by the Parliament and captured some nice photos of the building architecture and the Tourny Fountain. We then went into old town, where the streets had finally thinned out of people, as they were all busy getting ready for the fireworks.
After a lot of walking and a wonderful dinner we worked our way over to the riverfront and watched the fireworks display.
We got back to the campground after midnight. It was a long, but beautiful day. We are finding sunny days like these to be rare! It was surprisingly warm too, in the mid to upper 80s.
Being Sunday, and tired of the big city crowds, we decided to take a scenic drive along the St. Lawrence River, up to Tadoussac. It is about a 4 hour drive, one way, so we left early. The views along Rt 138 and Rt 362 are spectacular. The river is extremely large, almost like a lake, and there are mountains all long the edge. We were happy that we were in the Jeep, and not the RV, as we came upon many very steep mountain grades, up to 15% on Rt 362, and 11% on Rt 138. The RV could handle these, but at a snail’s pace I’m sure.
We had no set plans for the day, except to sightsee, until we were about 45 minutes outside of Baie Sainte-Catherine when I suggested that we consider taking a whale watching trip. We found a brochure in the car that indicated a cruise was leaving in 45 minutes out of Bair Sainte-Catherine. We were then on a mission. We arrived 2 minutes before departure. Charlie ran in and got tickets while I parked and grabbed my cameras. We raced on board and as soon as we felt the cold air rush across the water we realized we had left our jackets in the car. It was nearly 80 degrees on shore, but frigid on the water. So we now have new fleece jackets which we purchased on-board the ship.
It was a beautiful day for a cruise on the river. The water was calm and the skies were blue. We saw a few whales, but they never seemed to put their heads out of the water and they weren’t the large type I had hoped to see. It was neat to see all the seals though. We also saw a couple of Beluga whales. One had a baby. They didn’t come out of the water very much, so I could not get any good pictures.
After our cruise we took the Jeep on the ferry over to Tadoussac for a little more sightseeing and then headed back home. On the way back we stopped by Port-au-Persil for a couple of sunset pictures.
For the last 2 hours of our drive back the rain returned. It was a nerve-racking drive on dark mountain roads. We were happy to get back safely.
On Monday we decided to head back over to the city for some sightseeing, with the expectation that the crowds would be much smaller. We had a great day in the city and then went back to the Campground where we cooked up some Moules and Frites to celebrate the French. By evening the weather had changed. The winds picked up and the temps dropped down into the 60s. By nighttime, the rain was back. It rained all night long.
We took it easy on Tuesday, getting things ready for our departure to the far Eastern shores of Canada. We loved Quebec, and the area north of the city. Everybody was very friendly, the sights were beautiful and the local cuisine was excellent.
The campground was nice, but we were rarely there. We did find their close proximity to the freeway annoying, as we could hear the traffic. Because of this we kept the windows closed. Well, that and the rain.
It would be wonderful to return to the area one day and camp along the river in St. Simeon where you can enjoy the river and explore the nearby mountain ranges. It is absolutely beautiful terrain. It is hard not being able to see and do everything. We’d be here forever if we did that! We are thoroughly enjoying the time we have though!!!