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2013 Feb by Michael Novins
Montreal -- I have visited Montreal several times (September 2000, February 2006, February 2012, July 2012 and February 2013), first to see the New York Mets play the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium. My favorite restaurant meals are smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz's, which was founded in 1928 and where I have eaten on each of my visits (http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/), and Snowdon Deli, which opened in 1946 (http://www.delisnowdon.ca/); bagels at Fairmount Bagel, which opened on Fairmount Street in 1949 (http://www.fairmountbagel.com/), and St-Viateur Bagel, established in 1957 (http://www.stviateurbagel.com/main/); the Wilensky's Special, a grilled salami and bologna sandwich, at Wilensky's Light Lunch, founded in 1932 (http://www.wilenskys.com/); steak at Moishe's Steakhouse, opened in 1938 (http://www.moishessteakhouse.com/); roast chicken at Laurier, established in 1936 (http://www.laurier1936.com/); and any dish with fois gras at Au Pied de Cochon (http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca/). The best places to drink are Taverne Square Dominion, first opened in 1927 (http://www.dominiontavern.com/), and the two great cafes on Rue Saint Viateur, Café Olimpico and Club Social.|
Quebec City -- In February 2012 I traveled by bus (http://www.orleansexpress.com/Search.aspx) from Montreal to Quebec City, where I visited the Historic District of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, had lunch at Café Buade, opened in 1919 and the oldest restaurant in the city (http://www.cafebuade.ca/home.html), and attended the Carnaval de Québec (http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/en).
2008 Jun by Jorge Sanchez
I was I Quebec and wanted to arrive overland to Labrador Peninsula and then to Newfoundland, hitchhiking if possible, or taking ferries whenever necessary.|
After two days I reached Baie Comeau, but then the asphalted road finished. I f I wanted to continue further I had to penetrate in a lonely graved road in the middle of the forest, in the emptiness, with bears around.
Until Labrador, I had the following villages in between:
- Kilometer 22: fuel station plus a cafeteria and motel
- Kilometer 344, Manic 5: fuel station, motel plus supermarket
- Kilometer 383, Relais Gabriel: fuel station and motel
- Kilometer 561, Fermont village: fuel, food, everything
- Kilometer 567, Labrador City/Wabush: fuel, food, everything
Once in Labrador I still would have about 500 more kilometers until Goose Bay.
But I had to try that road, there was no way back.
There is very little traffic in that road, which includes some trucks carrying containers with freezing fruits and vegetables, plus some bold tourists in their motor homes.
The distance from Baie Comeau to Goose Bay, in Labrador, is 1100 kilometers. Signs on the road regularly advise you to be careful with the fuel in your car because there are few petrol stations.
As I checked in a map that the Tourist Office in Baie Comeau gave me (they tried to persuade me not to venture to hitchhike, but to take a plane, saying: “C’est la brousse!”), between that village and Goose Bay, there are the following and only stops along that journey into the wilderness:
I had arrived to Baie Comeau by bus from the city of Quebec. People in my bus advised me to take a plane to Goose Bay, in Labrador, or the twice weekly train from Sept Îles (in Quebec) to Esker, in north Labrador, and then a plane to Goose Bay.
But I was fascinated by the adventure to cross that unknown land. During that same journey to North America I had already crossed the Trans-Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek to Whitehorse, in Yukon, and the Trans-Mackenzie Highway from Peace River to Yellowknife, in North Western Territories. Now, in order to complete the series, I had to enterprise the Trans-Labrador Highway.
There I go!
First Day. I reached the kilometer 344.
I walked until the exit of Baie Comeau, and started hitchhiking on the road 389.
About five cars and trucks passed by during the three hours that I kept waiting on the road. The drivers looked at me surprised to see a hitchhiker, but did not stop. I was beginning to think that I had made a serious mistake by trying to hitch hike along that unusual highway.
Suddenly a car stopped. The driver, a man of about 60 years old, told me that he was heading to an encampment in the middle of the forest, at 80 kilometers distance, where he worked, but I would not be allowed to stay there for the night. So he suggested dropping me off in the first petrol station, at 22 kilometers distance, where, in case of rain (it rained every day and every night), I could find a shelter. I agreed.
Once I arrived there I noticed that the cafeteria was closed, as well as the motel because the next day, 24th June, was Saint Jean, holiday in Quebec.
Soon several trucks parked besides the cafeteria and I asked the drivers to take me with them. They replied that their company did not allow them owing to insurance problems.
One hour later, already dark, a car stopped. The driver was a lady, Suzanne, about 50 years old, and her companion was Daniel, a young friend of about 25 years old. They offered me marihuana to smoke (many people associate hitch hikers with anarchy, narcotics, Rock and Roll music, free sex, etc.), but I gently declined. They were heading to an Ecological Reserve called Louis Babel. They said that in that park there is a lake with an island in the middle; the whole site was formed by a meteorite that impacted the Earth 210 million years ago. The place is overwhelming beautiful and sheltered exotic flora and fauna. But since they had only a tent for two people, they could not invite me to go there with them, but they would drop me in Manic 5 instead.
Once we reached Manic 5, Suzanne learnt through the supermarket employee that one of the barracks of the motel, the number 26 B, had been booked by a group of Quebecois tourists for the next day, but that night was empty, so I would be able to spend the night in the wooden corridor, for free, sleeping on the floor, because outside was raining, and there were plagues of mosquitoes. When Suzanne and Daniel went away, they gave me drinks, sandwiches, chocolate and a bag full with fruits. Merci beaucoup!
I slept happy and even had a shower, taking good care the next morning to leave the place clean, thus the coming tourists would not notice that a stranger slept there the previous night.
Second Day. I reached the kilometer 567.
People are afraid of the unknown. If you hitchhike on the road they will have fear of you and few will pick you up. But if you ask the drivers directly, in a petrol station or in a cafeteria, for instance, you have more chances to get a ride. And that is what I did. At 6 AM I went to the cafeteria of the motel while the customers were having breakfast and requested, one by one, to be taken until Fermont, or further. The truck drivers unanimously refused with the excuse of the insurance, and some customers too at the beginning, declaring that they had no room in their cars. But when I insisted to their wives, who usually went later for breakfast, they were more willing to take me, and one of them finally said that they would reorganize their bags in their car so as to make room for me.
After visiting and enormous dam and Louis Babel Ecological Reserve they dropped me in Relais Gabriel, where asked the customers of the cafeteria for a ride.
A man, of about 55 years old, from Montreal, asked me why I was hitchhiking. I replied that it was the only way to get to Labrador overland and, furthermore, I was short of money after two months travelling around North America. He alleged that his company does not allow picking up strangers. Then I went out and started to hitchhike. After half an hour the truck driver changed his mind and invited me to accompany him.
The truck was huge, carrying refrigerated cargo to Labrador City.
He was a very nice man; his name was Alain. He explained me many anecdotes occurred during his frequent journeys from Montreal, and had seen many bears and mooses. Until that moment I had not seen any big animal in the Trans Labrador Highway, apart from some porcupines.
We traversed Fermont, but did not stop. Then we crossed to Labrador City, inhabited by about 9000 persons. I found a bower in a park and when the night came I slept watching the stars.
The next day I continued my journey until Goose Bay.
2008 Jun by Veikko Huhtala*
2008 we travelled by Greyhound bus to Montreal. It is the largest city in Quebec. In Montreal we changed bus and drove to Quebec City. Quebec City is the capital of province. In Quebec City we changed bus again and drove this time to small town called Baie-Comeau. There we stayed one night in motel. We were going to Labrador City and we had to rent car, because there are not buses going there. It is a long drive, almost 600 km to Labrador City. Only first 215 km to Manic is paved road. Next 175 km from Manic to Gagnon was gravel road and very dusty, because of so many trucks travelling on the road. Next 90 km from Gagnon to Fire Lake was paved road, but next 60 km from Fire Lake to Mount Wright gravel again. Last 40 km to Labrador City was asphalt road. Labrador City is located just on the border of Quebec. On the way back to Baie-Comeau we slept one night in the car. This was dusty trip but I liked this road very much. On the way back to Montreal when crossing St. Lawrence River, we saw some Beluga Whales as well. I was never seen these animals before. |
2007 Aug by Bryant Canas
||Bryant Canas does not wish to be contacted by MTP members|
Went on a weekend road trip with Adam and Alan who were very into visiting Quebec, Canada just like I was. We stayed in Montreal and visited Crescent Street everyday. |
2000 Jul by Spencer Camishion
I took a day trip from Montreal to Mont Tremblant ski area, which was predictably abandoned in the Summer. But still I saw quite a lot nice houses, and ate a great lunch of poutines! |
1979 Nov by Alfredo Fournier-Beeche
2009-05-25 I remember the month of November, 1978, as the last time I was in Montreal, in the Province of Quebec. I helped Canadian Pacific with a bid to provide services and equipment to the government railways of Costa Rica and had to go on several occasions to prepare and review draft contracts and other documentation. My work took me to the emblematic Victoria Station. As always, I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the city and taste its food and, if possible, its wine. In Montreal this is quiet a treat, since the Quebequois have excellent palate. The old part of the city, "Vieux Montreal", I remember as the section where the majority of the restaurants worth mentioning are: La Fille du Roi, Les Halles, with excellent west coast salmon washed down with French white wine, and the excellent restaurant on the floor level at the Château Champlain Hotel (then, it belonged to Canadian Pacific) where they had follies resembling French spectacles, although more covered up. This hotel is Montreal’s tallest hotel, at 133 meters in height, or 38 stories high, and on top there is a very good bar to have a drink and relax after a long day’s work, with a magnificent view of al the gorgeous city. There is also a “bier haus”, with a Munich type band and men in leather short pants dancing in a platform in the center of the salon and excellent beer and schnapps. One night I was invited to a delicious dinner at a Chinese restaurant, but the friends I was with did not allow me to eat with fork and knife, and there were none. I learnt. In one occasion, I stayed at the Bonaventure Hotel and the climate was very cold, but as I entered I saw the swimming pool and it was full of people that came out of the water only to take air. It seemed to be a lot of whales coming in and out of the water. Of course, I joined them immediately. Montreal is a beautiful city, with lots of history, good food and lots of things to do and enjoy. Streets are wide and trees are abundant, much as European cities. Once I read that Montreal is an European city with American cars. The center of the city has a very good subway (Metro) and it has brought very extensive underground tunnels and pass ways that permits moving on foot or train throughout most of it. Because my family name is of French origin, people started in French at full speed and my knowledge of the language is limited. Very difficult, to say the least. Montreal used to be Canada’s biggest city and most populous, but it was passed by Toronto because of the independent moves of the 70’s and 80’s, that cost the city many of its corporate headquarters. It is on the Saint Laurence River and it owes the river much of its preeminence. I have not been at Quebec City, a sin I must obtain pardon for by going. |