In July and August 2017, we had an extraordinary trip to Canada, more specifically in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. We had been feeling like it for several years and had kept that plan in the back of our minds and close to our hearts, while going around two other oversized countries in the Americas between 2013 and 2016: the U.S.A. and Brazil. Thereafter, we felt that visiting the northernmost country in the continent was naturally essential, thus making a new dream come true. We also allowed ourselves a long interlude in the North-East of the U.S.A. after marveling for hours at breathtaking Niagara Falls, which are a link between those two fabulous countries. The couple of friends who came with us during our trip to Slovenia in October 2016 joined us again to share that unforgettable adventure. We had the pleasure and privilege to attend their marriage proposal from the second day. Then, we moved on with our journey crowned with that new and refreshing happiness that we carried in our hearts until the end. That embellished each moment of that trip which was already full of promise.
We started with Montreal, dynamic and open city. It is resolutely French-speaking, which does not mean it necessarily closes at English speaking: it manages to reconcile admirably both cultures. And what a pleasure to hear all around us the language of Molière with that one of its kind accent! We noticed with amusement that even the voice of the GPS had against all odds the Quebec accent, thus accompanying us all along our ride and lulling us with its exotic intonation. We took a day trip to the beautiful Mauricie Region National Park, where we rented canoes.
We continued with Ottawa, human-sized capital with a remarkable sweetness of life. Located in Ontario, so English-speaking, it welcomes nevertheless both cultures like Montreal, and bilingualism there comes naturally as well. We had the privilege to attend superb festivities for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Canada. We spent two memorable days there before we get to Toronto, disproportionate, made by contrasts, very cosmopolitan and lively, sometimes noisy, that gave us the feeling we had already set foot in the U.S.A. We spent three days there, and enjoyed ourselves attending a Blue Jays baseball game, a first for us and obviously a defining moment. The last day, we split up for a few hours and I went on my own to the prestigious Toronto University, thus carrying on with the artistic pilgrimage I started in the U.S.A. in 2013 and 2016. Indeed, the major part of my novel «Swan song» takes place there. Besides, a short passage from the book takes place in Niagara-on-the-Lake - small village on the Wine Route quite rightly rated among the most beautiful in the country - that we visited the day after. Naturally, we lingered for hours in the must-see Niagara Falls, where we had the luxury of taking a cruise to get close to those thick and powerful falls. Great sensations and splash guaranteed!
Then, we crossed the border to spend eleven days in the North-East of the U.S.A., and then we came back to complete our Canadian adventure in Quebec City, oldest city in North America that immediately appealed to us with its ramparts, its cobbled streets and its typical architecture. It exudes an undeniable European charm, while keeping a North-American character. From there, we took a ride to Tadoussac, where we took an unforgettable whale watching cruise. We felt like we were back to our childhood because the spectacle was entrancing and the cetaceans were impressive. Then we left that beautiful city reluctantly to make a stop in a sugar bush in Trois-Rivières where we learned the basics of maple syrup production.
Finally, we returned to Montreal. The journey was complete. We enjoyed the last hours in that remarkable city. Then, we left Canada with a profound melancholy, forever marked by that country where we feel inhabited by a indefinable sense of well-being, and by its humble, warm, even-tempered and very unaffected people who had contributed to make our trip a real pleasure.
Published on December, 15th 2018
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