Montreal & Southern Quebec

Southern Quebec

I recently visited Canada to attend my nephew’s wedding and was blown away by the magnificence of this vast North American nation. After spending a short time in the culturally rich city of Montreal, I was able to explore the southern region of the province of Quebec and travelled in excess of three thousand kilometres in just over a week. What struck me most during my travels, was how completely different this part of the world is compared to my home in Western Australia. The vast green forests, abundance of water and vibrant French influence on the architecture are strikingly different to what I am used to.

Australia is the driest continent on the planet. In contrast, Canada has more than sixty percent of the World’s lakes. Wherever I went there were rivers, lakes and a plethora of waterfalls to marvel at. Adding to the experience, is the fact that I visited during early fall when the weather is still fine and the landscape is at its most colourful. The following are my first batch of photographs.

Notre-Dame Basilica, Montreal

Notre-Dame Basilica is situated in the historic district of old Montreal. It was built between 1824 and 1829 and the architectural design is gothic revival. This Roman Catholic church was by far my top Montreal Attraction. From the outside, Notre-Dame is not that impressive but the interior is truly magnificent.

Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Quebec

Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Mont Tremblant is a ski resort nestled within the Laurentian Mountains, northwest of Montreal. I only ever visit ski resorts during the winter skiing months and the experience of being in Mont Tremblant during Fall was a welcome change. The village has wonderful colourful architecture and the surrounding area is extremely picturesque.

Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Country Quebec In Fall

I almost missed the changing colours of Fall in Quebec, but was lucky enough to catch the first glimpses of orange, yellow and red. The following was taken close to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region in the far east of the province.

Country Quebec

Perce Rock, Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec

Percé Rock is an impressive rock monolith in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. It is one of the largest natural arches in the world.

Perce Rock, Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec

Mont Tremblant National Park

Mont-Tremblant National Park is located north of the town of Mont-Tremblant. It is vast, covering an area of over one thousand five hundred square kilometres. The Park is renowned for its rolling hills, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. La Chute du Diable waterfall is one of the many natural attractions.

Mont Tremblant National Park, Quebec

Lac Vaillant, Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

Lac Vaillant is one of thousands of lakes in the Laurentides area of Quebec province. I was fortunate to spend almost a week exploring this magical area.

Lac Vaillant, Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

Lac Tremblant, Quebec

Lac Tremblant is a long narrow lake at the foot of Mont Tremblant. This pretty natural reservoir is only steps away from the ski village.

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The Lakes Of Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

The lakes of Chute Saint Philippe are a perfect place to get away for a romantic weekend away from bustling Montreal.

The Lakes Of Chute-Saint-Philippe, Quebec

New York, NY

Cape Cod, MA

Following a glorious few days in Falmouth (click HERE to read about Cape Cod and HERE to see my post on Boston), it was time to head out to our final destination, New York. The plan was to spend a couple of days in the Big Apple to take in the New Year festivities, before flying back to Australia, late on New Year’s Day.

New Year in New York

New York 2015

A search on Google will quickly confirm, that New York is the place to be for New Year’s Eve and, in particular, Times Square, which attracts more than a million revellers. For those wanting the full experience and to get close enough to see the ball drop on the stroke of twelve, it is necessary to get there early in the day and be prepared to spend many hours in the cold and in a cramped environment, without toilet facilities! Entertainment commences mid-afternoon and after the ball drop, there is a dazzling pyrotechnic light show.

New York City Sightseeing Bus Tours

Brooklyn Bridge

This was my first visit to New York and as it was only for a couple of days, I decided to purchase a ticket for one of their “Hop on Hop off Bus” tours. This is a great way to take in the sights and to get a feel of the city. The guides on the buses were all amazing and had a great knowledge of the history and the tales of the city. I would highly recommend both the uptown and downtown options as well as suggesting that you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the experience.

Central Park, New York

Central Park is in Central Manhattan and is a must see on any visit to New York. There is such a buzz about the park and there is always something going on there. The childrenN USA88 went ice skating on New Year’s Day. The park is far bigger than I imagined but can be explored on a hired bicycle.

There are a number of activities/attractions on offer around Central Park that are also well worth experiencing. These include the American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts. For my fellow fitness fanatics, wake up early and join the numerous joggers who frequent the park.

Newark, New Jersey Sunset

Newark, New Jersey

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in New York

New Year Fireworks

Boston, MA

Boston – An Iconic Historical City

Whilst staying in Cape Cod (Read about Cape Cod in winter HERE ), the opportunity arose to visit Boston, a city I have always wanted to explore for of its rich economic and social history, which dates back to the sixteen hundreds. The city and its environs, have become the region’s hub and are now home to some of the finest hospitals in the world, numerous cultural and professional sports organizations and many institutions of higher education such as the prestigious Harvard University. As it was going to be a one day excursion, we decided to make an early start in order to fit in as much as possible!

Boston, MA

Boston Freedom Trail

On arrival, one of our first activities was to walk the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail. This was an excellent way to get a quick, historical perspective of the city. The trail starts at the Boston Common and takes you past such sites as Massachusetts State House, Benjamin Franklin’s Statue and Paul Revere House. It ends at the USS Constitution Museum which preserves the memory of the World’s oldest commissioned warship and recounts many of its stories.

Massachusetts State House

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Visiting the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, is a high tech, interactive experience that includes a show with entertaining actors. The museum itself is small and sits on a barge in the water. Part of the tour is on restored tea ships, where a re-enactment of the tossing overboard of the tea chests takes place. This activity is a great choice, especially if there are youngsters in your group!

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Boston Architecture

Boston is one of America’s oldest, continuously occupied cities and is made up of buildings constructed in many different ways and a diversity of styles. Beautiful historical structures have been carefully preserved and stand next to interesting and sometimes colourful, modern structures.

Boston Architecture

Harvard University

Another thing on my “Must See List” was Harvard. This university reigns supreme, in terms of global higher education institutions and so a visit to its campus was our next stop. Not only did we get to view the actual grounds and buildings but we were extremely fortunate to have arrived just in time to watch an Ice Hockey game. The cream on the cake being, that Harvard won!

Harvard Ice Hockey

A New York New Year

The final stop of our American tour, is New York and as luck would have it, it was just in time for New Year!! Click HERE to view the post on New York.

A window to Boston