Canadian Maritimes and Gaspe 56 day Trip   Leave a comment

Day 1-4 Hermon, ME-Quebec

Traveling to rendezvous for the Canadian Maritimes and Gaspe trip was a little more difficult this year from last year as diesel fuel is about $1 more per gallon. We used Bill’s father’s day gift cards at our first fuel stop which paid for a little more than half a tank, we have a 90 gallon auxiliary tank, plus the truck tank. We were lucky to “only” have to pay $3.79/gal!!!!

Our Adventure Caravan Gaspe & Canadian Atlantic Maritime Province 56 day trip is officially under way. We arrived 2 days early so that we could begin our preparations for the trip. We have 17 guest rigs and another couple will join us when we head over to Newfoundland.

We started in Hermon, Maine, at the Pumpkin Patch RV Park. The park staff was very accommodating, and we could not have asked for nicer people. The park itself was beautifully surrounded by woods. We started our trip off with orientation and staff prepared lasagna dinner. We have a great group of people and several have already visited the Gaspe before.

One of our guests noticed that my name tag showed Maryland as my hometown and said she grew up in Maryland. Come to find out, she lived in Cheverly and graduated from the same high school that I did, Bladensburg Sr. High School.

WHAT A SMALL WORLD!

This year, the drive was so much easier since we’ve done it before PLUS we got through the Canadian border without being searched!

Our first day of touring Quebec was a motor coach ride through new and old Quebec City. This year the “unique” building that was being renovated last year was completed. Below is a comparison.

You’ll notice on the left side of the building a drape was put into place to cover up the workers and make it looked like the building was intact.

 

Even the horse watering holes were unique.

I found it very interesting that a canon ball would be embedded at the base of a tree.

 

We stopped along the river near the fort and then headed into old Quebec.

What a beautiful city Old Quebec is.

Within the square is the church of Notre Dame. Check out the ship hanging from the ceiling.

As we wandered around before lunch, we found a Muriel showing all the prominent people of Quebec.

They seem to be into muriels on the side of buildings as we found another beautiful muriel in the shopping district.

No, Bill, that is NOT the Blarney Stone!!!!!!

As we wandered, we found a young woman demonstrating how people of the time used to create fire by scratching a stone.

After lunch we gathered for an historical tour of Chateau Frontanac. The hotel was built by Emily Post’s father. It was in this hotel that she wrote her book of etiquette. You can see the hotel off in the distance.

 

We were split up into three groups. Our group went with the hotel owner’s wife, who shared a lot of old stories about the hotel and its secrets.

I found it very interesting that it was in this hotel that the strategy was planned for “D-Day.” It seems that one of the employees who cleaned up after the meeting found a pad of notes regarding their strategy. When the officer came back to the room to get the notes that he forgot, he discovered that they were already found by an employee. The employee was asked to keep them a secret until after the event. Believe it or not, he did keep that secret and only talked about it after D-Day.

One of the wings is referred to as the “crooked wing” BECAUSE it was built to follow the street, but as you can see from the photo below, it is crooked.

The hotel has one of the city’s finest restaurants. The chef ensured that it was one of the finest by having a fresh garden on the roof (of course today the garden can’t support its many guests) and honey bees for fresh honey.

There were many old photographs of famous people who visited the hotel over the years. I found the photo of Princess Grace dancing with “Tom Cruise” fascinating.

 

BUT WAIT, Tom Cruise and Princess Grace. Impossible! It turned out that it was not Tom Cruise at all, but a royal dignitary from the middle of the 20th century, probably before Tom was born!

Since our last visit, the hotel has acquired a “mascot.”

He was a service dog and when his master died, the hotel took him in. I think he loves his new home since he is petted by the guests all day long.

At the end of the tour, we walked down the “magical steps.”

They are said to be magical because if you make a wish and don’t reveal the wish, it will come true and only then can you tell of your wish. Years ago a couple was married in the hotel and they each made their own wish. In 1993, they returned to the hotel for their 60th wedding anniversary and revealed their wish. Their wish was that they would live happily together for the rest of their lives and one day they would return to the hotel.

In the evening we headed back to Quebec City for the light show. Armed with our law chairs, we were present for the first show of the season. Pictures, depicting the history of Canada, were projected on the silos along the riverfront. What a beautiful show!

Quebec City is just a beautiful at night as it is during the day.

Our last day in Quebec, we began our tour at Montmorency Falls.

Wow, what a hike! Just walking up the stairs, which weren’t much, to the bridge let me know just how out of shape I was. Luckily, after viewing the falls from the top, we walked the 430 steps, but at least that was down. Up would have been a challenge.

In the gift shop, there were photos of what the falls look like in winter. People actually use metal poles to walk up the falls.

 

I can’t even imagine being up here in the winter. Near the main waterfall is a smaller “bridal veil” fall.

 

Next to the Isle of Orleans for lunch. What unique houses they have. Many of the houses were built in the 1700s and are not allowed to be changed. They also have a building moratorium on building, so the older homes are bought and renovated as much as they are allowed. The minimum cost for a very small house on the Isle is $250,000. For waterfront, add another $100,000. Here’s a cute little Gingerbread type house.

 

We stopped at the Chocolate factory for lunch, No, we didn’t eat chocolate for lunch. There was a deli, but we did get some soft ice cream dipped in chocolate for dessert. OH MY GOSH! It was the best! The “Belgium” chocolate dip was so thick, not like in the U.S.

We then toured Albert Giles Copper Works. The creator died 30 years ago and the art is still carried on by his wife and children. One of his daughters gave us a tour and explained the process to us. What beautiful things they had on display and for sale. Can you guess what the yellow background is made of in the picture of the monkey?

Believe it or not, it’s eggshells!

As we drove around Cot-de-Beaupre we came across a few vaulted cellars, which are rare because it required hiring a specialized stone worker. In order for the structure to last, the stones had to be shaped and fitted to form keystone arches. The walls are very thick, the front wall usually being almost three feet thick. The vault was usually covered with soil and sometimes had a second roof.

 

We made a quick stop at the sugar shop-Chez Marie for a taste of honey butter on fresh bread. The bread is made in the same brick ovens from the 1600s and 1700s. There were also a lot of root cellars and houses from that era.

Our last stop of the day was the Sainte-Anne Beaupre Basillica. My Patron Saint.

What a beautiful church.

Downstairs we found a room of candles. There were so many lit that you immediately felt the heat as you walked into the room. It felt like a huge fireplace burning.

 

Before I left, I bought myself a medal and had it blessed. I think the priest was more interested in learning about our group than blessing my medal. LOL

We finished our day with the movie “Anne of Green Gables” and popcorn. What a great movie, and I can’t wait to get to Prince Edward Island

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Posted July 2, 2011 by carolnbill in Adventure Caravans, RV, Travel

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