Sailing the St. Lawrence River in French Canada
When I finally graduated with my Master's Degree and before I even went to my graduation, naturally, I celebrated by immediately flying out to go travel. My father, grandfather, and grandmother were on a sailboat sailing the St. Lawrence River in Canada at the time, so my roommate and I ventured out to go meet them.
We initially landed in Quebec City, where we spent the night as my family was almost to Trois Rivieres. We were to meet them the following day, but our bus was late in the afternoon, so we walked all around the streets of Quebec City to get a feel for it while we could. It really had a touristy feel but in a well-thought-out way. There were lovely walking streets with interesting shops and high-quality restaurants, which were quite lovely, and we had a nice meal near downtown of pizza with figs, prosciutto, and goat cheese. As we walked back to the bus stop, we passed by a lot of old architecture, churches, and monuments that were quite lovely as well.
After taking the bus to Trois Rivieres, we met up with my father on the sailboat, where we spent a couple of days sailing the river. It is an interesting lifestyle, sort of similar to living in an RV but with a more complicated toilet. There are a lot of nooks and crannies to store things, which is really important because unsecured items can quickly become a hazard while sailing. Our last sailing day, we hit an insane storm called a squall with heavy wind and rains, and the boat was very tipped at one point, which was absolutely terrifying for me although I was told everything was under control.
We spent the last few days of the trip in Montreal, which is absolutely breathtaking. Vieux Port (old port) near the water has many lovely restaurants and is also a great place to walk around. To the left, you can see the biosphere, a really cool-looking biodiversity museum that I wish I had gotten an opportunity to see, given how much I loved the one in Panama. My roommate and I spent a day walking from our marina across the bridge to the city and got off at a park on an island, where we took these pictures. There was a large music festival going on at the time, which was pretty neat because I heard some songs I recognized as we walked by. We ended our walking tour at the local casino, which was every bit as extravagant as the casinos that you find in Las Vegas.
On our final full day, we walked through Montreal's Botanical Garden, which was absolutely stunning. It definitely rivaled (and for me, surpassed) Sydney's famous botanical garden in size and splendor. If you like flowers, walking, and interesting-looking plants, it is definitely worth a trip.
It was awesome to have an opportunity to see the St. Lawrence River and to practice my French, which apparently wasn't too shabby since I had a 45-minute conversation with a cab driver! French Canada is very welcoming and has a lot more cultural feel to me than some areas that are more English-speaking, so the trip was really cool. If you want an extremely safe, friendly, and laid-back vacation, this is definitely a place to consider.