Road trip. Quebec advice?



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  1. #1

    Road trip. Quebec advice?

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    So...following on from the other thread on a boycott of the US we have decided to stay in Canada and are looking at the Saguenay fjord area and Tadoussac for whale watching. My question is....is Saguenay itself a decent place to be based for a few days to explore the area? Tadoussac for whale watching cruises is about 1.5h away driving along the north shore of the fjord and it looks like the fjord cruises start from nearby to Saguenay itself. Also found a really good deal on a 4.5* hotel in Saguenay at $120 a night. Didn’t find any decent Airbnb or VRBO places for our dates unfortunately. There’s some decent music festivals on in the city too at the time. I don’t mind driving about to see stuff either.

  2. #2

    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    This is a trip I have been wanting to do for a long time.

    So I have very little to offer other than I have been told that the #381 highway to get up there is one of the most beautiful drives ever.
    The Big Map of Ontario's Best Roads.

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  3. #3
    JavaFan's Avatar
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    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    do you parlez vous, JC?
    outside of Montreal, I've had little problem with my tourist French

    no trip advice, other than to encourage it
    I have a soft spot for la Belle Province

  4. #4

    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaFan View Post
    do you parlez vous, JC?
    outside of Montreal, I've had little problem with my tourist French

    no trip advice, other than to encourage it
    I have a soft spot for la Belle Province
    I speak French fluently...I have no idea what these people in Quebec speak.

    Not strictly true....they understand me, I have a difficult time with them if they use a lot of slang.

    I booked a hotel on Hotwire and it turned out to be the 5* (4.5* depending on reviews) one I thought it would be. $120 CDN a night, very happy about that one. Wife is a little upset that their state of the art personal card swipe wine dispensers may not be in operation yet. Cruises are about 60 for the fjords and 70 for whale watching. Pretty reasonable I think as each one is about 3h long.

    I'm driving there with the wife so I’ll hopefully get to go along both shores of the fjords. Nice free music festival on while I’m there. Should be fun. Looking at staying in Lévis on the way up for something different. I like to see new places and I’ve already been to Quebec City.

    Edit: I may also head up this way on the bike sometime soon.

  5. #5

    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    All booked....one night in Lévis, one night in Trois Rivieres a few nights in Saguenay.....a couple of cruises to see fjords and whales and maybe a ferrry across the St Lawrence or two. Didn’t realize just how big that river gets further out east. It is a 60 minute crossing from Rivière du Loup to the other shore and 1.5h from Trois Pistoles further up. All car ferries, all about $40ish for a crossing with a car, 30ish for a bike. Booking.com had some $25 off vouchers if you shared a link so got $50 total off the hotels. Apparently beluga whales are seen easily from the car ferries and hang around the port areas along with seals and sea lions.

  6. #6

    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    Is it hard to get around in the small towns if you don't speak french? I mean ordering at restaurants and things like that.

  7. #7
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    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by danp View Post
    Is it hard to get around in the small towns if you don't speak french? I mean ordering at restaurants and things like that.
    Montreal is difficult as it's the home of the Separatist movement
    many there just will not speak English, even though most can

    Quebec and places east that rely on tourist dollars,
    the locals, while being single language Francophones
    are more open to try and help out a single language Anglofone

    a little effort goes a long way....biggest problem I have
    is that I'm a bit more fluent in Spanish and sometimes that slips out
    you get funny looks when you drop a por favor on them
    they're not sure if you're being a jive turkey or not

  8. #8
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    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    Being originally from Quebec city (grew up there for 20 yrs) , outside of Montreal and Quebec city, the english is rare and not very developed as it's not needed to conduct business most of the time.

    Seeing that people use the internet a lot and watch more and more tv shows in english they might understand better but not speak it.

    As for @jc100 and the comment regarding "not understanding" their french, the way i see it it's like the equivalent of someone from Southern USA not understanding someone from somewhere in Australia or vice-versa. It's just different accents with different idioms. And if you're going to Saguenay, bonne chance, their accent is usually thicker up there. But they're nice people in general.

    There isn't tons to do in Levis, you could keep exploring old Quebec city by taking the ferry (which is a lot shorter there). Trois Riviere should be alright, not super exciting but fun nevertheless.

    Sadly you're missing the BIG summer festival happening right now on the plains of Abraham (and throught out old city). Enjoy your trip
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  9. #9

    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by LePhillou View Post
    Being originally from Quebec city (grew up there for 20 yrs) , outside of Montreal and Quebec city, the english is rare and not very developed as it's not needed to conduct business most of the time.

    Seeing that people use the internet a lot and watch more and more tv shows in english they might understand better but not speak it.

    As for @jc100 and the comment regarding "not understanding" their french, the way i see it it's like the equivalent of someone from Southern USA not understanding someone from somewhere in Australia or vice-versa. It's just different accents with different idioms. And if you're going to Saguenay, bonne chance, their accent is usually thicker up there. But they're nice people in general.

    There isn't tons to do in Levis, you could keep exploring old Quebec city by taking the ferry (which is a lot shorter there). Trois Riviere should be alright, not super exciting but fun nevertheless.

    Sadly you're missing the BIG summer festival happening right now on the plains of Abraham (and throught out old city). Enjoy your trip
    It was a joke....actually quebecois french is a lot like the French of southwest France. It oddly also has some very old french words that aren’t used much in Europe too. The accent is what throws me plus local slang. I lived in Paris so was used to the equivalent of “BBC French” if you like. Very clear. I’ll get by just fine.

  10. #10

    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by danp View Post
    Is it hard to get around in the small towns if you don't speak french? I mean ordering at restaurants and things like that.
    Little side story....when I first arrived in Canada (from France oddly) I was really tired after the flight and at the via Rail station in Montreal there was an announcement about “coach” seats in English that I didn’t understand (I didn’t know what “coach” meant) so I asked this old lady what it meant in English. She totally ignored me so I asked again...then realized she was ignoring my English but didn’t even bother to say she didn’t understand. Being tired and irritated I called her an ignorant whore in french and she seemed to understand that just fine. Not my proudest moment but I remember it well and it left me wondering about the “polite Canadians” I’d heard about. Long story short....some people are odd about language and fiercely patriotic.

  11. #11
    LePhillou's Avatar
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    Re: Road trip. Quebec advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by jc100 View Post
    Little side story....when I first arrived in Canada (from France oddly) I was really tired after the flight and at the via Rail station in Montreal there was an announcement about “coach” seats in English that I didn’t understand (I didn’t know what “coach” meant) so I asked this old lady what it meant in English. She totally ignored me so I asked again...then realized she was ignoring my English but didn’t even bother to say she didn’t understand. Being tired and irritated I called her an ignorant whore in french and she seemed to understand that just fine. Not my proudest moment but I remember it well and it left me wondering about the “polite Canadians” I’d heard about. Long story short....some people are odd about language and fiercely patriotic.
    Love it. She kinda had it coming.
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