While visiting the East Block at Parliament Hills in Ottawa, we came across one of the most fascinating facts, the meeting room where the Prime Ministers, Father of confederation and Governor-General used to sit, had only 12 chairs with a rectangular table, while there were always 13 leaders present for the meeting at the same time. Do you know why they didnt fix 13 chairs instead of 12?? As for most of the Catholics, no.13 is told to be unlucky, they were very superstitious and the 13thperson had to always grab a seat next to the table at a couch or other chairs, strange!!!!! Are you superstitious?? Do you believe in something like this??
This summer, instead of flying abroad, we explored Canadas natural beauty. Canada has immense landscapes surrounded by the Great lakes, and every province has its own natural wealth which is very well maintained by the Govt. Our road trip in Canada included a trip to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec City, and on the way back to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. The Province of Quebec has similar backdrops, landscapes as in Europe. While Mont-Tremblant reminded us of our trip to Grindelwald in Switzerland, Quebec City looked somewhat similar to Dijon in France. If you havent yet been to Europe yet then a trip to Quebec from Toronto can be a great choice this summer. A week-long holiday in this region can be planned and which can include:-
If you are short in time then some tour companies arrange 2nights 3 days package of 1000 Islands, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City bus tour which is told to be good also.
Canadians bear to live at least 6-8 months in extreme cold weather conditions with multiples inches of snow that gather in the front and back of our yards. Depression is most common here in the winter months when youre bound to smell the heat indoors. Nevertheless, now since gorgeous summer days are here and kids are on vacation, its time to make full use of these wonderful days and make memories for a lifetime with family and loved ones.
Mont- Tremblant Trip
Road trips are loved by Canadians in and around Canada during summer months, Mont-Tremblant is a very good option near Toronto, it falls in the province of Quebec. The distance from Toronto- Mont-Tremblant is 653 Kms which takes around 7-8 hours to reach the destination. If you havent been to Switzerland yet, save on flight tickets and drive to Mont-Tremblant this summer. It gives you a similar feel and breathtaking views of Swiss mountains, lake,s, etc. Mont-Tremblant village has a lot of activities to offer to the kids and families, including luge, gondola rides, bungee jumping, rock climbing, golf course, water park, beaches with water sports, etc. Summer nights in Mont-Tremblant village are filled with rocking music and famous bands, crowds gather to dance on new and old French and English tunes. Mon-Tre-Blant as they pronounce in French, this place is such a colorful, lively and delightful place with French influence but most people do communicate in English as well. Mont-Tremblant is the preferred place to be all year round and its very famous for skiing in winters as well.
Hotel Choice:- Holiday Inn Express is located in the heart of the village just minutes walking distance to all the major attractions. Equipped with Ski closets located at the lobby and spacious rooms with a small kitchenette and other necessities suitable for everyone, especially families with small children. You can read our reviews about Holiday Inn Express, Mont-Tremblant here below,
Tips on a road trip with family from Toronto:-
Quebec City Tour
After spending 2 fantabulous days in Mont-Tremblant, we drove further down east to our next stop to Quebec City, wed heard a lot about this truly awesome place for the last 5 years but never got an opportunity to visit. French is the main widely spoken language in and around the city. Quebec City has a very ancient heritage; back in the 1600s since the French settlers started migrating to Canada and made this gorgeous hill station located on St. Lawrence River their new home.
Walking tours in the old city are the best, you can see almost all the major attractions on foot, Parliament Hill, Fortifications of Quebec ( This wall looked somewhat like The great wall of China), Notre Dame, Quartier Petite Champlain,Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupr Shrine,St. Lawrence River Vieux-Port de Qubec. With these marvelous long summer days, full of greenery, flowers, the city landscapes, youll love walking on those narrow streets of the old town. But if youre traveling with a stroller, itd definitely feel like a great workout, lol, going up and down on the steep hills, wasnt that easy. You can also use the elevator which will take you down to the port but still if youre spending a day there, its great walking and exploring the town.
Street theater is one of the oldest arts performed on the streets/parks of Canada. The town doesnt pay them anything; they only depend on your praising and contributions. We came across 2 of the great artists, one of them was from Argentina who was performing abroad for the first time, he was just amazing, and his acts were simple yet very entertaining. Next time, if you see one of the Street Performers, please stop by and appreciate them, they work very hard and its their source of income.
During the night hours, there are someHaunted Ghost town tourswhich you can take. Only if youre one of those explorers/adventures and are not afraid of anything like that. Though Id read it on the web but catching a man dressed up as some kind of Halloween costume with a lantern in hand in the night left me in a shock, some people followed him including a little girl. After walking some more steps, we saw another tour, this time a young girl(must be in college) who was similarly dressed, was taking the tour and told everyone to sit down outside church so that she could explain properly. This freaked me out and I didnt want to stay in the area anymore.
Montmorency Falls Park is also a must-visit while youre in Quebec City, This natural phenomenon is definitely not to be missed! At83 m high(30 m higher than Niagara Falls) Montmorency Falls can be seen from all the way across the St. Lawrence River in Lvis! But the best views are fromParc de la Chute-Montmorency, where you can feel the full forceand sprayof the falls for yourself. There are gondolas to capture the sight but we took the stairs down to the very front of the falls and drenched ourselves with an immense amount of water falling from the Falls, this was a very different experience for all of us and you wouldnt want to miss it. Going down looked super easy but climbing up the stairs was exhausting but surely worth it.
Hotel Choice:- We enjoyed our stay in a beautiful and spacious 1 bedroom suite in Holiday Inn Express in Quebec City. The hotel is recently renovated and looks up to the new standards of hospitality. Pls see our reviews about the hotel here below,
Two nights well spent in Quebec City and we drove to Ottawa on our way back home. Ottawa is the capital of Canada, historic yet modern. The main attractions are the Parliament Hills and around, during summer monthsNorthern Lights, the sound and light show happens at the hills at 10 pm. It is a free bilingual show presented nightly from July 10 to September 12, 2015. Showtimes: in July at 10:00 p.m., in August at 9:30 p.m., and in September at 9:00 p.m.
If youve not been to London and Buckingham Palace yet, you have a chance to see Guard changing parade at the Parliament hills every morning at 9:45 am, every summer morning Parliament Hill is alive with music and colorful drills. TheChanging of the Guard began as a morning routine on the Hill in 1959 and has turned into an annual tradition. This large-scale production includes a regimental band and pipers. The ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. each morning, but arrive about 15 minutes early to grab a spot with a great view.
You can also get to visit the Parliament house, along with the trained tour guide who will explain to you about the Canadian history and the offices inside, the entry is free of charge but youll still have to get the tickets to enter and its available just across the building. The tours are in French and in English. Were fortunate to tour the most historic site, the East Block of Parliament Hills. This building was built back in the 1800s even before the country ofCanadaexisted. The tour guide took us to the 4 main offices in the block. We visited the offices of Sir John A. McDonald (Canadas first Prime Minister), the first Governor-General of Canada, Sir G. E. Cartier ( the Father of confederation), and then one of their meeting rooms where they used to have all their meetings. She explained how those offices were built and arranged according to the importance of the person. We also got to know many other facts about Canadian history and the leaders. Sir Cartiers room had a very vast window facing the lawn of Parliament building where the soldiers used to drill every morning and the interesting part is they didnt have riffles back then, they used to drill with their brooms and mops since Canada was a small country at that time. That day from his room, we saw, many people performing Yoga on the same lawns, on a humid day with heat alert advisory in Ottawa; it somehow looked like a HOT YOGA but those people looked quite serious. It happens there every Wednesday morning, if youre in the city, you should try.
Hotel Choice:- Hotel Indigo is located in the walking district of Parliament Hills, it offers clean, modernized hotel rooms with large beds. Pls see our review here below,
Our trip to the East this summer was indeed a very memorable one. If youre looking to explore something similar to Europe near Ontario, visit the lovely province of Quebec this summer. Surrounded by Mountains, from breathtaking landscapes, greenery, to lakes, forts, French colonies, Quebec has everything. One more piece of advice for all the road trip lovers, Do it now whenever you can, itll get more difficult as you grow older.
See you soon again everyone!!!! If you liked the story, pls dont forget to comment below,