Last post regarding Canada. Currently I’m in the USA, but more on this topic in my next post.
This time around a bit about cycling into cities in Canada. I have visited 3 bigger cities in Canada, Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal. Same order of appearance when it comes to size.
Halifax will only be briefly mentioned since it was already mentioned in my first post from the road and since I was there under the pressure of the lost luggage and in anticipation of the first spins of the pedals. Actually I did not cycle into the city. So much about Halifax
Quebec City is one of the oldest in North America and if we are to believe the description in Lonely Planet it is the only fortified city north of Mexico City. It was fought over by the French and the English up until the mid 18th century. And this history forms today’s character of the city. Old city centre is still surrounded by city walls and the narrow streets are packed with tourists that find this type of a city foreign. And there lots of tourists.
Coming into the city I took a ferry from the neighbouring Levis and in search of a city map I headed towards tourist information centre. In advance I have memorized a rough, according to the map the easiest way. Well, once I wrote down the name of the street to take it should have been clear to me that this is not going to be easy. You do not need to speak French to realize that a street called “Cote de la Montaigne” has to do something with an uphill. And yes, it does. So Simon dismounted from Lou and pushed all of his more than 50kg uphill.
Finding a way into the city is always easier than finding your way out and managing to end up on the road that you want. But somehow I managed to do that as well. Next big city was Montreal. Through warm showers I found a host that kindly accepted my request. But I needed to come there. From Quebec to Montreal there is more than 250 km so I have spent a night in Trois-Rivieres. And in the morning headed into what turned out to be 149 km long stage. To keep me company I hade fairly strong head wind most of the time and a grey, heavy sky above me. And as a “reward” I got a downpour. The more I tried to reach Montreal before nightfall, the more it was becoming obvious that this is not going to happen. Wind has slowed me down for at least 2 hours and the rain did not help to boost my morale. But there was some sun in the evening. But I still did not manage to reach my goal of the day. I finally arrived at 21:30 and Jean-Francois, my host for the next few days, met me on the street. The deal was that I stay at his place for 3 nights, crashing on the living room floor which for me personally is just fine. But sometimes after the struggles of the day in the evening Life greets you with an unexpected reward. Jean-Francois told me that he had to leave the city on business and that yes, I can stay at his place. The whole apartment just for me. And yes, there is cold beer in the fridge. I have finished off the evening with a cold one and a cigarette on a balcony overlooking a park.
Struggles of the day were behind me and far away. Life is beautiful.