"Have a great long weekend guys," said the Canadian cabin crew member with a wink and a smile as we disembarked our aircraft in Quebec City. We thought nothing too much about this farewell, until we discovered we had arrived for three days of Gay Pride celebration. What a bonus! Quelle formidable!
We followed St Catherine Street East from the centre of downtown Montreal until we saw thousands of small pink balls strung across the street. For five months of the summer period St Catherine Street is a pedestrian freeway which gives the area a local and relaxed feel. The gay strip goes for about a mile and would have to be one of the most thriving gay areas in the world. It's easy to see how the term 'Le Village' comes about. This is more than just a couple of bars, its a whole district.
Looking ever so smart in our brand new Cadillac hired from Calgary Airport we were on our way to Banff. The hire car company gave us very specific directions for leaving the airport and getting onto the highway but we completely missed the directions they provided and somehow ended up on the more scenic route of Highway16 which is 'straight as an arrow' all the way to Banff.
We visited Niagara Falls on one of its hottest August days in years, marvelling at the perfectly clear blue skies. Our coach ride with City Sight Seeing took a couple of hours from the centre of Toronto to the Falls. On the way we dropped into Niagara College Wine and Visitors Centre to do a little wine tasting. The wine was interesting, but even more interesting was a couple of cuties we spied on our tour who helped make our day a delectable feast for the eyes.
It seems everything in Calgary is big. It has a big tower, big beef steaks and big cowboys with big hats. The 36 hours we spent in this ultra modern city of a little over one million people gave us just a taste, but our short stay was certainly worth it. Here are a few things we did and some things we'll add to our list for next time.
So, what do you do when the summer sun is full blaze in Vancouver? Get wrecked on a beach of course. Or better still, spend the day at Wreck Beach near the University of British Columbia, about a 30 minute bus ride from Davie Village. However, it's not where it starts, it's the end part of this journey you'll never forget.