It is a week since I was online so now I have to try to catch you all up. Last Thursday we left our spot by Sault Ste. Marie and headed across Canada. We had a late start so only made it to Sudbury that night. It was really hot.......and guess where we parked for the night? The picture should give you a hint. (Blogger is not allowing me to add pictures right now. I'm wondering if that means I won't be able to post at all?) The next morning we headed off to Ottawa, then on Saturday we arrived in Quebec City.
Quebec City is an experience....one I'm sure we won't repeat! There was road construction along the highway on the way into the city, so the maps meant nothing, the Garmin our friends rely on was confused, and there were no signs to show what route we should use instead of our intended route. After driving around awhile, remember we're both pulling 35 foot RV's, we spied a woman on a bicycle and I flagged her down to ask for help. She said it was hard for her to tell us where to go because she only rides a bike and doesn't drive a car, so she used trails and smaller streets most of the time. However, she pointed us in the right direction and we were able to find our campground.
The next mornng, Sunday, we headed into the city to tour Old Quebec. It is the oldest walled city on the North American continent. And apparently the folks up here want to keep it a secret as they post no signs to show us English speaking Americans where it is. All their street signs are in French; and one could argue that all our signs are in English, but if you are relying on tourism and advertise in tour books that everyone should visit your historic attractions, then you should post an occasional sign showing where that attraction is. We drove in circles for two hours, wasting 1.06$ a liter gas before giving up and attempting to find our RV's again. We finally found a familiar numbered highway and pointed the truck in a westerly direction, and we were successful in locating home, vowing to call the tour company that had been advertised in the campground brouchere for an afternoon guided tour.
What a crazy experience! As we boarded the small bus for our tour, the driver explained to us, in his heavily French accented English, that we were lucky we decided to go on a tour because the streets and highways in Quebec City were a horrible mess. Well, he told us nothing we didn't already know! He explained that many streets had three or four names, depending on which end of the street you were on. So the government, in their wisdom, decided to number the streets instead. However, a street maybe named route 134 W would run only north and south, and in the same manner, a street named 5th street S would run only east and west. Spaghetti junction in the Twin cities is nothing compared to each and every intersection in that city!
But our friendly driver knew where he was going, and he went there at full speed, cutting off drivers and causing us to wonder if our insurance would cover us in Old Quebec City. When one young woman was rudely cut off and she directed her horn honking at our driver, he spouted "she got a new horn at a lawn sale and was just trying it out to see if it worked!" Mr. Bus Driver told us many times during our almost 3 hour tour, that he was a 'stupid snow shoveling socialist who was hair handicapped' causing us to disolve into laughter each and every time that he lifted his beret to show us his bald head. He drove past two prisons that were empty because, according to the driver, "apparently there are no bad people up here." Mr. Bus Driver also explained that religious schools and seminaries are closing because nobody goes to church up here. He showed us one large, very beautiful old building that was a seminary in the Latin Quarter (named because the seminary students learned Latin) and it now was educating a student body of five. He also talked complained about the government, citing the fact that Quebecers paid the highest taxes on the planet, state and federal taxes amounting to 15% on everything.
We drove down a very pretty bustling street, lined on both sides with clubs and bars and other "places you go to be seen," according to our driver. He warned us to not go there unless we wanted to pay 10$ for a beer. He said a beer costs 7.50$ and if you gave them a ten, they would keep the change, making it a 10$ beer! He said the young girls were very beautiful, but that they all suffered from a very serious problem, cotton shrinkage. He said it seems that no one ever taught them how to do laundry properly, so they dried their cotton shirts and other clothing on high heat, and everything shrunk, causing the wearer to expose huge expances of stomach, legs and other body parts when they wore the garment. I told him that we had a similar disease in American high schools and colleges! Mr. Bus Driver also said that we should take notice of the young men wearing shirts that showed off their very expensive muscles. He said they all pay a lot of money to join gyms to develop muscles because they were too lazy to work, work being the usual way one would gain muscle. He claimed that 90% of the people in this city were on some type of government payroll and that the other 10% were on welfare.
We spent a fun afternoon with a very pleasant man who loved to make people laugh. And he did. My cheeks ached from all the laughter he got out of me! And at the end of our three hour tour, we were deposited safely back at our campground, much better educated than when we had begun. We have no clue as to how much of what Mr. Bus Driver told us was the truth, but I have a feeling that it was more truth than not. He earned a nice tip.