Soak up that old French magic
Eastern Canada oozes with historic sights, writes Spida Everitt
BONJOUR! Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. While many of the major cities in Mexico date from the 16th century, among cities in Canada and the US, few were created earlier than Quebec City and it is the only North American fortified city north of Mexico whose walls still exist.
The Quebecois are very proud of their city and their heritage and this stands out in the way their city is showcased.
As part of our motorhome tour around eastern Canada, city tours on luxury buses are prearranged. It is great to sit back and relax and let someone else do the driving for the day. Our guide here in Quebec is brilliant. She knows her history and is a joy to have on the bus.
We start our tour in the “old town” where one of the most famous art pieces rests among cobblestoned streets and centuries-old buildings.
We take in the sights of summer but are constantly reminded this city and the waterways around it provide one of the biggest ice skating rinks during winter.
The city of Quebec is alive with culture, history, great shopping and fantastic eateries.
After hitting the road and bidding farewell to Quebec City we stumble across an amazing wildlife park outside Montreal, as we follow the enormous St Lawrence River south and inland.
The Parc Omega is located in Montebello. This is like no other wildlife park I have ever been to. It is here that you drive your own RV around the 12km track to see an amazing variety of native wild animals, in their natural habitat. Along the track are lakes, meadows, small valleys, forests and rocky hills.
It is home to an enormous amount of wildlife including deer, elk, goats, all coming to your RV window for a carrot. (Remember to grab a bag of carrots from reception).
There are bison, moose, lots of black bears, arctic wolves, coyotes and moose.
Keep your eyes peeled at all times, as the caribou aren’t too fond of the carrots so they won’t come to you. If you don’t want to take your RV inside the grounds, there are also bus tours available. It is brilliant how you are able to get so close to these animals and take some fantastic photographs.
You can spend as little or as long as you like here, we took three hours but could have stayed longer.
Throughout our eastern Canada trip we have stayed in the KOA Holiday Parks. They are the sister parks to the Big4 and Top 10 Parks in Australia and New Zealand.
They cater for absolutely everyone, especially children. They have all been in fantastic locations with all the services and amenities you will need.
Our next stop is Montreal, which has an atmosphere of its own. Its super-friendly people and the romance in the air are a lively blend of all things English and French, flavoured by the rich Canadian setting.
Nearly three million people call Montreal home. The city sits on an island roughly 40km long and 15km wide, where the Ottawa River flows into the mighty St Lawrence River.
The Notre Dame Basilica was the highlight of Montreal. Built in 1829, it overflows with elegance and charm.
It is big enough to hold 5000 people and has the most amazing interior.
You can light a candle or take a tour of both chapels.
From the Notre Dame Basilica to the horse-drawn carriages, Montreal is a living breathing French metropolis. Watch The Great Australian Doorstep TV Show Saturdays @ 5pm on Channel 7Two nationwide or tune in to our radio show every Sunday morning at 6 in Queensland and 38 Southern Cross Austereo Stations Australia wide.