Tag Archives: Quebec

27-28 October 2018:
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada:
Discovered

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

It is cold and windy here in Quebec City, which should not be a surprise as November approaches. I went for a long walk in the city, up and down the Terasse Dufferin along the river, and into the neighboring suburb of Faubourg. Here is some of what I saw:

The high winds have caused a change in our itinerary. We are forced to skip our journey into Saguenay Fjord tomorrow and will instead overnight here.

In my destination lectures for guests aboard ship, I I usually introduce Quebec City like this:

There are two types of people in the world. Those who love Quebec, and those who have not yet been there.

We have been lucky enough to have been here many times and love it still. Just last week we had the opportunity to remain at our dock until late in the night and watch the sun set and the lights go on at the spectacular Chateau Frontenac in the upper town of Quebec City.

The Chateau was built as a grand hotel hotel by a railroad company in the 19th century and has been lovingly maintained and restored. It is in many ways the symbol of Quebec.

On a cold night on the Saint Lawrence here is some of what I saw:

A few days ago I journeyed with guests to Mount Sainte-Anne for a hike in a beautiful hidden canyon. It was the last day of operation for the season: winter is coming.

From there we crossed the Saint Lawrence to Ile D’Orleans to visit a winery that specializes in vines that can withstand the extreme cold. In addition to traditional wines they also harvest ice wine, which can only be crushed at below freezing temperatures.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

26 October 2018:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada:
Turnaround

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’re back in the great cosmopolitan city of Montreal, a city that on its face is very French.

But it is truly Quebec’s melting pot.

In the most recent census, Francophones were estimated as 49.8 percent of the population, followed by English at 22.8 percent. And the rest? Just about every language, ethnic group, race, and heritage cheek-to-jowl.

The diversity brings a wonderful vibrance to the culture: music, theater, and food.

Here in the province of Quebec, we have learned the local definition of autumn: it means winter is coming soon. Temperatures are already below freezing by night and just barely above by day. But few places are as vibrant this time of the year.

For those guests leaving us here, safe travels. And welcome aboard to new friends.

We are set to make one more journey eastbound on the Saint Lawrence River and then down the northeast coast of Canada and the United States and once more into New York harbor.

Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

25 October 2018:
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada:
Midway

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are back in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, a less-visited town midway between Quebec City and Montreal. You can read more about this place in my blog posting of October 5.

In the three weeks since our last visit the temperature has fallen sharply: about 32 Fahrenheit or 0 Celsius this morning.

In town city workers are installing 4-foot-high poles along the side of streets: when snow begins to fall soon, this week help the snowplow find the curb.

When the poles are completely buried, it is time to hibernate.

I took this photo out in the country, the last glow of fall colors for this season:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

24 October 2018:
Québec City, Quebec, Canada:
Below the Chateau

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

In Atlantic Canada and much of the Northeast, it sometimes feels as if winter arrives with the turn of a switch.

We arrived this morning in Quebec City to find temperatures at the freezing mark with a forecast of snow this afternoon. For some of us this is merely ordinary, but for those who live in warmer climes it can be a bit of a shock.

I went out for a walk in the morning to capture the scenes of the season, including some of the remaining colors in the trees as well as decorations for Halloween. Strolling around the Old Town at nearly every intersection we could see of you of the famed Chateau Frontenac.

Here is some of what I saw:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

23 October 2018:
Saguenay, Quebec, Canada:
Autumn in the Fjord

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have returned to Saguenay, a pretty little town at the navigable end of a spectacular large fjord.

About 7:30 this morning we turned to starboard and entered into Saguenay Fjord.

As is often the case we were saluted by the spouts of many whales who feed and breed at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River and the Saguenay.

About 10 in the morning we passed abeam of Notre-Dame-du-Saguenay, the famed 19th century statue of the Virgin Mary that is atop one of the ridges of the Fjord. I have discussed Notre Dame in previous blog entries about Saguenay.

Here in the town, we were greeted with a superb autumn day. A strong sun more than made up for the chill in the air.

On the pier we were met by local performers, some of whom participate in a summertime theatrical presentation about the region.

We also went for a walk to Saint Alphonse Church, a place beautifully framed by the autumn leaves and decorated within both with the icons of the Catholic Church as well as the symbols of Halloween.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

9 October 2018:
Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada:
Company Town

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

I went with guests today for a tour of a recreation of an old logging camp and a pass-by of huge aluminum and paper mills. It was a cold and wet day on the Saint Lawrence, but we were met by warm Canadian hospitality.

Here is some of what we saw:

BAIE-COMEAU TODAY

Havre St. Pancrace

Fall Colors in the Saint Lawrence

Baie-Comeau is on the Côte-Nord, or north bank, of the Saint Lawrence, near the mouth of the Manicouagan River.

You’ve heard the term company town, right?

Baie-Comeau was a company town that essentially grew out of a single man’s investment and homestead.

And he wasn’t even a Canadian.

Robert Rutherford McCormick rose through the family business to become owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. He was one of those publishers who felt that his newspaper was his personal megaphone.

(He was also a part owner of the Tribune’s high-power radio station which bore the call sign WGN, as in his print publication’s modest motto, “World’s Greatest Newspaper.”

A conservative Republican, he was a fierce opponent of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Also Democrats in general, liberal Republicans, easterners, the World Court, the League of Nations, and later the United Nations.

Oh, and also he intensely disliked the British Empire. He was an America First isolationist who strongly opposed entering World War II and supporting Britain.

So what was he doing in the Dominion of Canada, part of the British Empire until 1982?

Why, he was using the abundant water resources of Quebec and what seemed like an endless supply of soft wood trees to construct a paper mill and a hydroelectric power plant to operate it. McCormick owned 60 percent of the power plant, with the Alcoa aluminum company holding a minority stake.

Newspapers—more so then than now—needed huge amounts of paper upon which to print, and McCormick found a way to go around the middlemen by making his own.

McCormick established the town of Baie-Comeau in 1936. He modestly named the structure holding back the Manicouagan river the McCormick Dam.

MORE COMPANY TOWNS

The economy was also very much in the thrall of lumbering companies on the North Shore, and in more recent times huge aluminum smelting facilities. Aluminum is mostly made from bauxite ore, of which there is nearly none anywhere in Canada. Bauxite comes mostly from China, Australia, Brazil, Jamaica, and a few other places non-Canadian.

So why are there these huge smelters here? Because the production of aluminum requires massive amounts of electricity, and that is something Quebec has in abundance. Huge hydroelectric plants produce power and it makes economic sense to import ore from around the world to the Saint Lawrence Valley for smelting. (It’s a similar story in Iceland, where hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants produce very low cost power for industry.)

TRAGEDY ON THE RIVER

Back out on the Saint Lawrence is the location of the worst maritime disaster in Canadian history.

Not the Titanic.

The luxury liner Empress of Ireland was built in Scotland and launched in 1906. About 570 feet long (about 120 feet shorter than the Silver Spirit), she could carry as many as 1,580 passengers on her route between the United Kingdom and Canada.

In the dark, in a dense bank of fog, the ship was struck amidships by the Norwegian coal freighter Storstad. 

Water poured in through open portholes, some of which were only a few feet above the water. Most of the passengers and crew in the lower decks drowned quickly.

Only four lifeboats were launched before the ship rolled onto its starboard side. As many as 700 passengers and crew scrambled onto the side of the ship.

It seemed for a moment that the vessel had run aground. But fourteen minutes after the crash, the ship sank.

1,012 people drowned, the largest maritime disaster in Canadian history. Of that number, 840 were passengers, eight more than the number who died on the Titanic.

Happening just two years after the sinking of the Titanic, the story of the Empress of Ireland was all but ignored.

The vessel is still down there, a mere 130 feet below the surface.

1,012 dead, not in the North Atlantic, but in the river…and the poor souls did not even get a dreadful James Cameron movie to memorialize them.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

8 October 2018:
Saguenay, Quebec, Canada:
Fjord and Back

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We are returned to the spectacular Saguenay Fjord.

We were last here five days ago, and this morning the colors on the river were moving toward their peak.

In keeping with a tradition dating back more than a century, Silver Spirit came to a halt and then made a slow circle in the river in front of Notre Dame du Saguenay, the statue of the Virgin Mary erected 1,000 feet up the rock face in 1880 by a local salesman giving thanks for his survival after falling through the ice with his horse and sleigh.

Since the statue was installed, tour boats, cruise ships, and many other vessels sing or play Ave Maria in tribute. Today the Italian phenomenon Andrea Bocelli and the American soprano Barbara Bonney performed for us…virtually.

You can read more about the Saguenay Fjord and see some pictures from previous visits in my blog posting of 3 October 2018.

Tonight we return to the Saint Lawrence River and head for the river city of Baie-Comeau.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

7 October 2018:
Québec City, Québec, Canada:
Hello Again

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

It seems like we were here only the day before yesterday. Well, yes, we were.

This morning we were slightly delayed in our return to Quebec because the Saint Lawrence River is running very high because of major storms.

Captain Mino Pontillo was advised by the river pilots we have on board to wait until low tide before passing beneath Le Pont de Quebec just west of Quebec City.

I took this photo as we made our way beneath the old bridge.

The Quebec Bridge was the longest cantilever bridge span in the world when it was built in 1907; it still is.

The total length of the bridge is about 1,800 feet; its central span 640 feet.

On August 29, 1907, eighty-six steelworkers were perched on the partially completed south cantilever of the bridge.

Just moments before the quitting time whistle was to have sounded, two compression chords in the south anchor arm failed and the partially completed center span collapsed.

75 died.

It was later determined that the actual weight of the bridge—its dead load—was well in excess of its carrying capacity. Some engineers had spotted problems, but the contractor had gone ahead to disaster.

On September 11, 1916, with the bridge once again near completion, a new center span was being lifted into place.

One of the four rocker arms failed and the span fell into the river, killing 11 more workmen.

The bridge was finally completed in 1917, and is still in use. And we made it beneath the center span successfully  this morning.

You can read more about Quebec frm our visit of 5 October 2018.

Inside the Hôtel du Parlement, the House of Parliament just below the Plains of Abraham in Québec City. 

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

6 October 2018:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada:
The Big City on the River

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have arrived at the riparian end of our river-to-ocean-to-river cruise, from New York to Montreal.

Montreal is a bustling, handsome, cosmopolitan city on the Saint Lawrence where they happen to speak French. Mostly, that is. They also speak English along with a dozen or more languages of immigrant populations plus those of a few indigenous people.

To guests leaving us here, à la prochaine fois. Until the next time we meet. Or, as an Italian vessel in Canadian waters, arrivederci.

And welcome aboard to new friends. We leave tonight heading east on the Saint Lawrence River and then back out into the North Atlantic and around the corner to the Hudson River and New York City. Here’s our plan:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

5 October 2018:
Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada:
A Visit to the Trifluviens

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Trois-Rivières, which sits between Quebec City and Montreal, would seem to have name very easy to translate.

It is the city of Three Rivers, oui?

Non.

Okay, peut-être. Perhaps.

Trois-Rivières literally means three rivers.  But there are actually only two rivers there.

The city of about 137,000 people including surrounding communities, is on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, at the place where the Saint-Maurice River joins the Saint Lawrence River.

So why is not called Deux-Rivières?

In 1535, on a trip along the Saint Lawrence, the French explorer Jacques Cartier stopped to plant a cross on Saint-Quentin island.

Skip ahead to 1599 when the geographer Sieur François Gravé Du Pont sailed upriver toward Montreal. He reported that he saw what appeared to be two separate tributaries joining the Saint Lawrence at this location.

He did not realize that two large islands divide the course of the Saint-Maurice River into three parts as the water flows into the Saint Lawrence.

So, un, deux, trois.

Trois-Rivières was founded as a settlement in 1634, the second permanent habitation in New France, following Quebec City in 1608.

It was cool–some called it cold–this morning, about 4 degrees Celsius or 38 Fahrenheit. That was fine for us, as somewhat-hardy New Englanders.

The colors of fall were on full display as we visited the cathedral, the old prison, and strolled the waterfront on the Saint Lawrence River. Here is some of what we saw:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

4 October 2018:
Québec City, Quebec, Canada:
Un Coup de Foudre

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Coup de foudre, indeed. That’s a French expression that literally means a bolt of lightning.

But figuratively, it is an expression of love at first sight.

We are arrived in Québec City, one of the most handsome cities of the New World, partly because of geography, partly because of history.

This is a very European, very French city, the cultural heart of the province of Québec.

We will be making four calls in Québec City on this series of cruises and we have visited here dozens of times in the past. If you think that is a recipe for boredom, you’re quite wrong. There are still more corners to explore, food and wine to taste, cobblestones and carvings and wall murals to admire.

Québec City region is home to more than 700,000 people. That’s about one-sixth the population of metropolitan Montreal, which has four million residents, two million in the city itself.

It is Québec City, though, that is the political and cultural capital of the Canadian province of Québec.

Québec City is the most European city in North America, more French than Paris in many ways.

While Montreal is a large city that happens to mostly speak French . . . Québec City is a defiantly French place.

Defiant despite the fact that the battle that broke the hold of the mother country on New France took place here on the Plains of Abraham.

Defiant in the face of the British who tried to change not just the government but also the culture.

Defiant against the Americans who rose to power to the south and who fought—first with armies and later with movies and television and McDonald’s.

And, it must be said, defiant in many ways against the First Nations who were living here . . . for centuries or longer before Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534.

Politics and history aside, Quebec City is one of the most spectacular cities in the world.

QUEBEC 5372 SANDLER-9041

QUEBEC 5372 SANDLER-9052

QUEBEC 5372 SANDLER-9094

After sunset, the Chateau Frontenac. Photos by Corey Sandler

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

3 October 2018:
Saguenay, Quebec, Canada:
Into the Kingdom

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Rivière Saguenay – the Saguenay River – is one of the major rivers of Quebec, the largest fjord in the province.

When you stand in the heart of Quebec City or Montreal, the province of Quebec extends nearly 1,200 miles north from the Saint Lawrence to the top of the Ungava Peninsula.

I’ve been there: it looks nothing at all like Quebec City or Montreal.

The Saguenay drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands; that lake is filled by thousands of streams and rivers in the watery north of Quebec. The nation of Canada possesses about 8 percent of the world’s fresh water. Quebec alone has 3 percent of the water reserves.

Today I went with a group of guests on a glorious hike into the Okwari Reserve along the River Mars, a spectacular place anytime of the year but especially in the fall.

Here is some of what we saw:

MORE PHOTOS FROM LA BAIE, SAGUENAY

Photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

One of the world’s longest, the Fjord du Saguenay cuts through the Canadian Shield. The huge rocky plateau occupies nearly half of all of the Canada, extending from the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Valley northward to the Arctic Ocean.

The river was an important trade route into the interior for the First Nations people of the area. During the French colonization of the Americas, the Saguenay was a major route for the fur trade.

Few roads connect with the area from the south and east, and only one road connects from the northwest. No roads go north from the area into the wilderness; the last roads north end just a short distance from the city—still within the Lac St-Jean area.

There are no human settlements due north of Saguenay all the way to the Canadian Arctic islands, except for a few isolated Cree and Inuit villages.

The Kingdom of the Saguenay

Another name for the region, one which was latched upon by the early French explorers . . . looking for riches . . . is the Royaume du Saguenay or the “Kingdom of the Saguenay.”

The grandiose name is either the result of a misunderstanding . . . or a bit of a jest or even a calculated trick put upon the French by the locals.

When the French arrived to colonize New France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they learned from the Algonquins of a legendary kingdom to the north.

When French explorer Jacques Cartier arrived at Stadacona in 1534, he did not come with a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

The key to the Kingdom may lie with Chief Donnacona, the leader of the Iroquois village of Stadacona, at the place now occupied by Quebec City.

Cartier kidnapped two of Donnaconna’s sons and brought them back with him to France. They told Cartier of a place they called Saguenay, populated with blond men who were rich with gold and furs.

We have no reason to assume that Cartier or Donnaconna and his sons believed there really was such a place. But the story served as a golden ticket: it gave Cartier something to sell to the king so that he could make another trip to the New World, and it assured Donnaconna’s sons of a trip back home.

La Fabuleuse Histoire d’un Royaume

Since 1988, a cast of more than a hundred locals presents an astonishing pageant that tells some of the story of the Saguenay region. It is presented in a massive amphitheatre constructed by the town. They’ve also built a handsome dock for cruise ships, and each season the number of ships increases.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

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————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

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SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

22 October 2013: Saguenay, Quebec

22 October 2013: Saguenay River and La Baie, Quebec

Ha! Ha! Indeed

The Rivière Saguenay – the Saguenay River – is one of the major waterways of Quebec, and the largest fjord in the province.

A fjord is a long, narrow inlet of the sea between steep cliffs.

The Saguenay drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands; that lake is filled by thousands of streams and rivers in the watery north of Quebec.

Quebec extends nearly 1,200 miles north from the Saint Lawrence to the top of the Ungava Peninsula at Ivujuvik.

The Saguenay flows just slightly south of east meeting the Saint Lawrence River at Tadoussac. As a fjord, its waters are tidal as far upriver as Chicoutimi, about 100 kilometers or 62 miles.

The fjord cuts through the Canadian Shield, the huge rocky plateau that makes up nearly half of all of the Canada, extending from the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Valley northward to the Arctic Ocean.

The metamorphic base rocks are mostly from the Precambrian Era (between 4.5 billion and 540 million years ago), and have been repeatedly uplifted and eroded.

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Saguenay National Park, south of La Baie. Photos by Corey Sandler

The Canadian Shield was the first part of North America to be permanently elevated above sea level and has remained almost wholly untouched by successive encroachments of the sea upon the continent.

The walls of the fjord reach to as much as 500 meters or 1,600 feet in many places; in many places the cliffs descend at least that much below the waterline.

La Baie, Quebec

La Baie is part of the city of Saguenay, Quebec, located where the Rivière à Mars flows into the Baie des Ha! Ha!

It is a beautiful place and the locals are trying very hard to develop the port as a cruise destination; I wish them well–but hope it is never spoiled by too much success.

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Performers on the pier at La Baie, welcoming to town. Photos by Corey Sandler

Ha! Ha! does not refer to a place of great merriment; it is a native word that means dead end or cul-de-sac.

No roads go north from the area into the wilderness; the last roads north end just a short distance from the city—still within the Lac St-Jean area. There are no human settlements due north of Saguenay all the way to the Canadian Arctic islands, except for a few isolated Cree and Inuit villages.

Our Lady of the Saguenay

Charles Napoleon Robitaille was one of the first salesmen to travel the roads of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

He worked for a Garneau Brothers, a shop in Quebec, and traveled between the small villages of the Saint Lawrence and the Saguenay selling household goods.

One of his winter routes required him to cross the frozen Saguenay between Chicoutimi and the parish of Sainte-Anne at Lac-Saint-Jean.

In the winter of 1878, the ice broke and Robitaille fell into the water with his sleigh and his horse.

Fearing he was about to die, he implored the help of the Virgin Mary. He got to shore, and he decided to commemorate his survival with a statue.

In 1880, Robitaille managed to engage the great Canadian sculptor and wood carver Louis Jobin to make a statue to be installed on one of the headlands overlooking the fjord at the mouth of the River Eternity.

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Notre Dame du Saguenay. Photo by Corey Sandler

For more than a century, visitors have made pilgrimages to see Our Lady of the Saguenay. At some point, it became traditional to sing or play Ave Maria.

Regardless of religious faith, most of us found our thoughts directed at friends and family and former shipmates as we made a graceful 360-degree circle in front of the cliff before proceeding further up the river to La Baie.

Personally, my thoughts turned to the first time I made this voyage up the Saguenay, accompanied by the gracious cruise director Judie Abbott.

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Judie Abbott on the bridge this past July. Photo by Corey Sandler

All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy of a photo, please contact me.

 

20 October 2013: Quebec City, Canada

Don’t Hate Her Because She’s Beautiful

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We’ve been to Quebec City dozens upon dozens of times in winter, spring, summer, and fall. This season on Silver Whisper four times. The girl can’t help it; she’s prettier and more fashionable than Paris or Montreal or just about any other city I can think of.

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Quebec City as winter takes a peek at Autumn. Photos by Corey Sandler

We were here two days ago, and autumn was in full color. We returned today, and there was a hint of the coming winter in the air: a cold wind and a continually changing sky. Gray in the morning, drizzly at noon, a touch of sun in early afternoon punctuated by a perfect rainbow from a passing sky, and wintry clouds at sunset.

In the morning I traveled with guests to the Old Town, aiming my camera at pumpkins and goblins.

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Colors of Quebec City. Photos by Corey Sandler

Then we went to Montmorency Falls and I leaned out over the rail to photograph the torrent of water tumbling over the edge of the Canadian Shield into the Saint Lawrence.

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Montmorency Falls, Quebec. Photos by Corey Sandler

And then as sun set and the temperature dropped toward freezing, I set up my tripod on the upper deck and recorded the night lights as Silver Whisper set sail east toward the Atlantic Ocean.

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After sunset, the Chateau Frontenac. Photos by Corey Sandler

Tomorrow we sail up the Saguenay River through one of the most spectacular fjords in the world, paying a port call at La Baie.

We’re preparing to head south down the coast of New England and eventually south to the warmth of the Caribbean…but my thoughts will often return to the chilly beauty of Quebec City. The girl can’t help it.

All text and photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy of a photo, please contact me.

 

19 October 2013: Montreal, Quebec

Bon Journée, et Bon Voyage

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Silver Whisper sailed into silver-gray Quebec City on Friday.

Quebec is one of the most glorious cities in the world, a mix of the heritage of New France of the 18th century with modern French arts, couture, and cuisine…put through the blender of the Quebecois culture.[whohit]-MONTEAL2 TURNAROUND-[/whohit]

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Silver pumpkins in Quebec City. Photo by Corey Sandler

It rained a bit in the morning, then turned clear and cool in the afternoon. No one seemed to mind getting a bit wet or a bit cold: Quebec City fills us all with warmth.

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Between (Canadian) Thanksgiving and Halloween in Quebec City. Photo by Corey Sandler

Today, we say goodbye to many new and old friends who are disembarking in Montreal. And we say welcome aboard to a new group as we prepare to head back out of the Saint Lawrence.

With this call in Montreal, Silver Whisper begins the final leg of 2013 fall colors tours in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. We are headed back to Quebec City, then up the Saguenay River to La Baie, and on to Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard. We’ll finish up with a grand procession on the Hudson River to the New York Cruise Terminal.

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Our voyage begins again from Montreal, headed to New York. Photo by Corey Sandler

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Food in Montreal is always a treat, although not all cuisine is haute. At left, the line forms in front of Chez Schwartz for smoked brisket on rye. At right, the peculiar Quebec favorite of poutine: french fries, cheese curds, and unidentified brown sauce. I’ll take Schwartz’s anytime. Photos by Corey Sandler

I hope you’ll join me here in the pages of my blog.

Bon Journée , et Bon Voyage: Good Day and Safe Travels.

All text and photos copyright 2013, Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a photo, please contact me.

17 October 2013: the Saguenay River and La Baie, Quebec

The Fabulous Story of the Kingdom of the Saguenay

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The Rivière Saguenay – the Saguenay River – is one of the major rivers of Quebec, the largest fjord in the province.

Quebec extends nearly 1,200 miles north from the Saint Lawrence to the top of the Ungava Peninsula. I’ve been there: it looks nothing at all like Quebec City or Montreal.[whohit]-FABULEUSE SAGUENAY-[/whohit]

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Silver Whisper at the dock in La Baie, and as seen through a window of the cruise terminal. Photos by Corey Sandler.

The Saguenay drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands; that lake is filled by thousands of streams and rivers in the watery north of Quebec. The nation of Canada possesses about 8 percent of the world’s fresh water. Quebec alone has 3 percent of the water reserves.

One of the world’s longest, the Fjord du Saguenay cuts through the Canadian Shield. The huge rocky plateau occupies nearly half of all of the Canada, extending from the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Valley northward to the Arctic Ocean.

The river was an important trade route into the interior for the First Nations people of the area. During the French colonization of the Americas, the Saguenay was a major route for the fur trade.

Few roads connect with the area from the south and east, and only one road connects from the northwest. No roads go north from the area into the wilderness; the last roads north end just a short distance from the city—still within the Lac St-Jean area.

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Cartier arrives in New France. From La Fabuleuse. Photos by Corey Sandler

There are no human settlements due north of Saguenay all the way to the Canadian Arctic islands, except for a few isolated Cree and Inuit villages.

The Kingdom of the Saguenay

Another name for the region, one which was latched upon by the early French explorers . . . looking for riches . . . is the Royaume du Saguenay or the “Kingdom of the Saguenay.”

The grandiose name is either the result of a misunderstanding . . . or a bit of a jest or even a calculated trick put upon the French by the locals.

When the French arrived to colonize New France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they learned from the Algonquins of a legendary kingdom to the north.

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The loggers and the famers arrive in the Kingdom of the Saguenay. From La Fabuleuse. Photos by Corey Sandler

When French explorer Jacques Cartier arrived at Stadacona in 1534, he did not come with a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

The key to the Kingdom may lie with Chief Donnacona, the leader of the Iroquois village of Stadacona, at the place now occupied by Quebec City.

Cartier kidnapped two of Donnaconna’s sons and brought them back with him to France. They told Cartier of a place they called Saguenay, populated with blond men who were rich with gold and furs.

We have no reason to assume that Cartier or Donnaconna and his sons believed there really was such a place. But the story served as a golden ticket: it gave Cartier something to sell to the king so that he could make another trip to the New World, and it assured Donnaconna’s sons of a trip back home.

La Fabuleuse Histoire d’un Royaume

Since 1988, a cast of more than a hundred locals presents an astonishing pageant that tells some of the story of the Saguenay region. It is presented in a massive amphitheatre constructed by the town. They’ve also built a handsome dock for cruise ships, and each season the number of ships increases.

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The pageant includes some astounding special effects. Photos by Corey Sandler

On this cruise to La Baie, a rare full-day visit, we were able to attend a performance of La Fabuleuse.

There’s Jacques Cartier, Chief Donnaconna, the Generals Montcalm and Wolfe to stage the battle of the Plains of Abraham, loggers, farmers, capitalists, horses, chickens, geese, a trained pig, barn dancers, flappers, twisters, and hippies.

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Modern times to a grande finale. Photos by Corey Sandler.

It’s not Shakespeare, but the Bard of Avon never put on a show that included explosions, lasers, floodwaters, and a field of grass the sprouts on stage.

It was a fabulous pageant, un grand spectacle.

All text and photos copyright Corey Sandler 2013. If you would to purchase a copy of a photograph, please contact me.

 

30 September 2013: Saguenay and La Baie, Quebec

Up the Saguenay River to La Baie, Ha! Ha!

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant SIlversea Cruises

Le Royaume du Saguenay, the Kingdom of Saguenay, is one of the most spectacular watery regions of lower Quebec.

Ha! Ha! Indeed.[whohit]-SAGUENAY-[/whohit]

I’m not making fun of the place. The local First Nations People called the cul-de-sac on one fork of the Saguenay River Ha! Ha!, which we believe means (en francais) a cul-de-sac. The English word is a bit harsh: dead end. But it is anything but dead.

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In the park. Photos by Corey Sandler

The people of La Baie take great joy in the place where they live. Fishing, hunting, skiing, hockey, and greeting the occasional cruise ship that makes an excursion up the river. In 2013, about 20 made the tip, Silver Whisper among them.

In fact, we’ll do it three times this season, returning in a few weeks for a visit inbound from New York to Montreal and again coming back out.

Shhh…don’t tell anyone else or they’ll ruin the place.

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In the park. Photos by Corey Sandler

The morning began as we made a left turn out of the Saint Lawrence near Tadoussac. There we were met by greeters in the river: a pod of beluga whales and a few minkes.

The Saguenay River extends about 100 kilometers or 62 miles in a deep fjord: about 500 to 600 meter high cliffs, and at least that much water beneath our keel.

The pale blue, almost white belugas were known to early mariners as “canaries of the sea” because of the high-pitched whistle they sometimes make. We instead whistled at them.

About two hours later, near Eternity Bay, we passed below Notre Dame du Saguenay, a statue of the Virgin Mary erected in the 1880s by a local salesman giving thanks for his successful escape from a plunge through the ice.

I was up on the Bridge giving commentary and then Captain Luigi Rutigliano executed a graceful full circle in the river in front of the statue as we played Ave Maria on the open decks.

At La Baie, the locals were out on the dock dancing, demonstrating arts, and shaking the hand of every passenger.

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The Silver Whisper at the dock in La Baie. Photos by Corey Sandler

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The autumn sun lights the trees. Photos by Corey Sandler

 

I went with a group of guests to the National Park of Saguenay and we climbed on a fairly technical path up to a spectacular view of the river. Ha! Ha!

 

29 September 2013: Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City, Canada: Je me souviens

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

What is better than a visit to Quebec City on a superlative fall day? How about a second visit in three days. [whohit]-QUEBEC CITY#2-[/whohit]

Je me souviens is the official motto of Quebec City; it means “I remember” and it refers to the rich culture and (to some) the mixed history of the region. But for us, we remember yet another stroll through one of the most glorious places we know, the most European city in North America, more French than France in many ways.

I wrote about Quebec City in my blog post of 27 September; you can read that entry below.

Today we walked deep into the banlieue of Faubourg, the residential suburb of Quebec City. It is like a miniature version of the big city, with silver-spire churches, bistros, and handsome houses. All it was lacking were thousands of tourists.

Speaking of tourists, the principal difference between today’s visit and our previous one two days ago was the presence of several other cruise ships in port. One of them, the Celebrity Summit is docked just in front of us and it is like a monstrous horizontal skyscraper.

The Summit appears to me as if it were the box that our lovely ship was delivered in.

It is not something I want to remember.

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Fall comes to Faubourg. Photo by Corey Sandler

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Early morning near the Chateau Frontenac. Photo by Corey Sandler

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A magnet for sweet tooths. Photo by Corey Sandler

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Museum of Civilization in Quebec City. Photo by Corey Sandler

All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like a copy of any photo, please contact me.

 

28 September 2013: Montreal, Canada

Au Revoir…Arrivederci…and Welcome Aboard

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We arrived this morning in Montreal to a second consecutive spectacular fall day. We deserve it.

About 300 our guests will be disembarking and heading home. More than 50 will stay with us as we head back out on the Saint Lawrence and then turn south toward Nova Scotia, Boston, and then west to New York. [whohit]-MONTREAL-[/whohit]

Safe travels for those heading home…happy to see friends who are staying, and welcome aboard to our new guests.

Here’s our next cruise: from Montreal to New York by way of Charlottetown, Halifax, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard.

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Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris.

You can quibble about a few francophone cities in Africa that have more residents—Algiers and Kinshasa amongst them—but French is not the mother tongue there.

The metropolis of Montreal is truly cosmopolitan.

Think of it as a large, exciting city where most of the inhabitants happen to speak French.

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Pointe a Calliere, near the Old Port of Montreal where we are docked. Photo by Corey Sandler

Montreal is Canada’s has about four million habitants in its metropolitan area; it is the second largest city of Canada, after Toronto.

The French language is spoken at home by about 66 percent of Montreal residents, followed by English at 13 percent.

I have described Montreal as a cosmopolitan city, though, and that is very much true.

There are more than a dozen languages in common use. In approximate order: French, English, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Creole, Chinese, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian, Vietnamese, Russian, Armenian, and Polish.

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Reflections of autumn in Montreal. Photos by Corey Sandler

Quebec is Canada’s largest province. Only Nunavut, which is governed as a territory, is larger.

To put things in perspective: Quebec occupies a territory nearly three times the size of France. Or, for that matter, three times the size of Texas.

When you walk the streets of downtown Quebec, there are more than 1,200 miles between you and the province’s northern boundary along Hudson Strait.

Unlike most Canadians I’ve been up there, and let me tell you: Ivujivik looks nothing at all like Montreal.

And they don’t speak much French up there, either: northern Quebec is the home of the Inuit and a lot of caribou, seals, and polar bears.

For us, we’ll enjoy haute cuisine aboard our five-star hotel as we sail from French Canada to Acadia, New England, and New York. There are more than a few languages, accents, and local peculiarities ahead: stay tuned.

All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like a copy of a photo, please contact me.

 

27 September 2013: Quebec City, Canada

27 September 2013: Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City: A Coup de foudre

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

A Coup de foudre, indeed. That’s a French expression that literally means a bolt of lightning.

But figuratively, it is an expression of love at first sight.

We have been to Quebec City dozens of times; we’ll be here four times in the next month, and we’re still in love.

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The portal to the sublime Seminary of Quebec, and a statue to women’s suffragists at the Quebec Parliament. Photos by Corey Sandler

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Near our dock in Quebec City. Our ship’s funnel reflected in a building across the way. Photos by Corey Sandler

Our transatlantic crossing began in Southampton on September 12 and sailed in mostly gray skies and fractious seas to Cornwall, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, and ports on the outer reaches of Saint Lawrence River.

Our reward was superb weather in Quebec City, a Chamber of Commerce day with impossibly blue skies, warm sun, and (relatively) few tourists in town. Let us give thanks.

The Cultural Capital

Québec City region is home to more than 700,000 people. That’s about one-sixth the population of metropolitan Montreal, which has four million residents, two million in the city itself.

It is Québec City, though, that is the political and cultural capital of the Canadian province of Québec.

On this visit we chose to go to the Parliament where we took a guided tour of the beautiful interior and its two houses. It is a less-visited jewel of Quebec City.

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Inside the Quebec Parliament. Photos by Corey Sandler

Europe in Canada

Québec City is the most European city in North America, more French than Paris in many ways.

While Montreal is a large city that happens to mostly speak French . . . Québec City is a defiantly French place.

Defiant despite the fact that the battle that broke the hold of the mother country on New France took place here on the Plains of Abraham.

Defiant in the face of the British who tried to change not just the government but also the culture.

Defiant against the Americans who rose to power to the south and who fought—first with armies and later with movies and television and McDonald’s.

And, it must be said, defiant in many ways against the First Nations who were living here . . . for centuries or longer before Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534.

Politics and history aside, Quebec City is one of the most spectacular cities in the world.

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A portion of the skyline of Quebec, and river buoys on the bank. Photos by Corey Sandler

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The Lower Town of Quebec City. Photos by Corey Sandler

All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like a copy of a photo, please contact me.