Québec – est-ce que vous parlez française?

The days in Pembroke (ON) and Châpeau (QC) were soon numbered, all service work on the jeep done, our seven things stowed in the car and ready for the next long journey; “Québec, we are coming!

Right at the border between Ontario and Quebec we made a short stop at Lucia and Philipp – another cousin from « Hobel » (Hochwald) – who run a dairy farm together in the vast expanses between the Ottawa River and the Lorenz River. Again a warm hello and, “come in, make yourselves comfortable; we just have to finish the cowshed”. As a novelty, we accompanied the older daughter to a soccer match and now, we know that the rules of the game are not quite comparable to our European football.

From our cousin to Montréal it was only a stone’s throw, at least by Canadian standards, and we were already standing in the traffic jam on Friday evenings looking for some kind of accommodation.
We found this in the provincial park “Île de Boucherons”.

In the Vieux-Montréal we also felt comfortable right away, and we meandered through the many alleys of the old town. The many tourist offers we generously left to the left, enjoyed the fine white wine in the sun and watched the bustling activity on the “Place Jacques Cartier”, which reminded strongly of that of the big French metropolis and tourist highlights.

In addition to a historical mark, the international triathlon with Swiss participation enriched the weekend with a lot of spectacle and hype. Of course, we also took part in the traffic hype and visited various places in and around the center, where a tourist must have simply been.

On the “Île de Boucherons”, which is located in the middle of the Lorenz river and between residential, harbour and industrial areas, we enjoyed a day off and relaxation from the hustle and bustle of the past days; cycling and canoeing were the order of the day.

The plain to Québec we drove through, mostly unintentionally by “route barée”, in a zigzag and experienced thereby landscape lines as expected, others again we hardly imagined as we experienced these. The landscape was again strongly marked by a very intensive agriculture, in the proximity of the Lorenz river again much industry with all its effects on the landscape.

In Québec-City, the only North American town with a city wall, we felt comfortable from the first minutes. The centre resembles the European architecture of the past and makes it very special. Strolling through the many alleys and elevations with farsightedness, even the rainy day and the many tourists could hardly tarnish.

Tired we lay down late in the evening under the tossing Montmorency waterfall, northeast of Québec-City, and dreamed about the many wonderful corners and experiences.

On our way we followed the northern shore of the Lorenz River over side roads. An area that is very cordial, very familiar to us from the landscape and yet always surprising with wonderful views over the Lorenz River and the mountains in the north of the river.

Again we tried different side roads and forest paths. Most of the time we failed somewhere at a gate or checkpoint. The huge forest areas in the coastal area are in a management plan and probably do not tolerate tourists who wander leisurely along the forest roads.

Thus, we had to be content with the tar roads along the coast and were always looking forward to the many great campsites that gave us the feeling of being in the middle of the wilderness.

In St.Siméon we definitely crossed the Lorenz River and looked for our beloved back roads somewhere in the mountains. And we also found a lot of adventure in the different “Réserve faunique”, whether wild trails for our jeep, or just simple hikes and bike tours.

Then the hunting season caught up with us, where the “Réserve faunique” are closed to normal tourists who only want to “promenade” in the park! A funny park keeper explained the behaviour of the hunters to us in a very sarcastic way: “When it starts, they can hardly be held anymore. With a twinkle in her eye, she also said that it might be better for us to drive around the area on a large scale; you never know.

So we had to limit ourselves to provincial and national parks. Often, because of the northern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, we had to dive again to the north coast of the Gaspésie. The places at the coastal road were after the many forests again a wonderful change.

At the extreme tip of the Gaspésie we took a longer break in the national park. Besides washing our clothes, the bikes were activated again and by bike we followed the coastal road to Cap Gaspé. We will remember this bike tour for a long time; suddenly we stood in front of a black bear mother who enjoyed eating berries with her young on the roadside. At first we were shocked to look this wonderful animal in the eyes only 10 meters away, but then we enjoyed the moment. The wind was good for us and the bear was probably not interested in our presence either, finally he has to exterminate a lot until hibernation and his fat pads grow.

Beside the porcupine, which almost jumped into our front wheel, the observation of a lynx near the path, made the whole thing almost a surrealistic day. Somehow we had the feeling to be in a zoo, but nowhere was a glass pane between us and the animals.

The continuation of the Baie de Gaspé and Baie des Chaleurs gave us new surprises after every curve and the landscape trumped itself every time. Again and again we had to make a stop and see ourselves full. You can hardly describe this – you simply have to have experienced it. Also the night on the railway embankment at Coin-de-Banc with a wonderful evening atmosphere and a wonderful sunrise, this in the middle of the delta of the Rivière-du-Portage, remains unforgettable. Admittedly, it was very fresh, but the chattering of geese and the experiences soon brought the cold fingers into oblivion.

Further we followed the coastal road of the Baie des Chaleurs; from one tourist place and a white church tower to the other. During the high season, there must be a lot going on here and there is hardly a lot of tourist facilities. But the landscape can, both at the coast and in the hinterland, keep up at any time and satisfy the many desires of the hungry people.

Our days in Québec were soon numbered. On a rainy day, we left the province via the Restigouche-River to New Brunswick, a province that even many Canadians don’t really know and usually leave behind.

We crossed the provincial border in wet and cold weather eagerly awaiting something new.




Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator