After we returned from hiking Scotland’s West Highland Way in the spring of 2017, Patty and I were both looking forward to taking another trip abroad. We couldn’t afford to make it another two-week affair, but we were determined that it must 1) provide exercise, 2) deliver on ‘quaint’, and 3) check off some element of our shared ‘Bucket List’.
We had always heard that the old gated city of Quebec, Canada was about as quaint as they come. And coincidently, long ago a surprising number of my ancestors called the early settlements of New France ‘home’, even well before the city of Quebec existed. With our approaching wedding anniversary lining up near-perfectly with the peak in the Autumn foliage colors at that latitude, and plenty of hiking opportunities in the area as well, I started planning for an early October trip to Canada. I knew that Bo and Peggy, our neighbors, who were also our traveling companions on our trip to Scotland, were always up for an adventure. So, we invited them along.
We planned this trip to run from Saturday, September 30, through Saturday, October 7, because it seemed as though there were more flights available for Saturday departures, and those flights were also a little bit cheaper. Also, many public parks in Canada had free admission that summer, due to Canada’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of their Confederation (We had heard that Quebec City can get crowded with tourists during the summer, so we avoided the main celebration that was scheduled for July 18-22.).
Bo and Peggy had visited Quebec City before as part of a cruise ship tour from Boston to Montreal. So, they had seen some of the Old City. But we would make sure to plan activities that would get us out of the city, and would fill a full week. These would include 1) touring the Ile d’Orleans, an island in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River, just north of Quebec City; 2) driving up the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River to Tadoussac, where we could either take a cruise up the fjord-like Saguenay River, or take a whale-watching cruise on the Saint Lawrence; 3) drive up the Saguenay River to Saguenay, hopefully doing some hiking along the way; 4) returning to Quebec City along a different route with additional hiking opportunities; and 5) relaxing in Quebec City for the last couple of days before returning home. The blog posts that follow describe our adventures on each day of this trip.