Category Archives: Music

150 YEARS OF JOIE DE VIVRE IN GATINEAU!

MOSAÏCANADA 150 / GATINEAU 2017
From June 30 to October 15, 2017, discover MOSAÏCANADA 150 / Gatineau 2017, a major international horticultural exhibition that combines various art forms with horticulture. The theme of the exhibit will reflect 150 years of history, values, arts and culture in Canada, represented by some 100 different arrangements. The free exhibit will be in the form of a route extending over almost one kilometre. Each visit will last approximately 90 minutes.
THE CANADIAN HISTORY HALL
On July 1, explore the Canadian Museum of History’s brand new 40,000-square-foot gallery, the Canadian History Hall! This signature gallery will trace Canada’s history from the dawn of human habitation to the present day. It is the largest and most ambitious exhibition project ever undertaken by the Museum. Authentic artifacts and stories are explored through various lenses, as visitors encounter the events, movements and personalities that have shaped our nation, and whose influence on our lives can still be felt today.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – VOLTA
From August 3 to 27, experience Cirque du Soleil’s new show, VOLTA. It tells a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports, the show weaves the adrenaline rush of acrobatics into a visually striking world driven by a stirring musical score. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible.

AS FAR AS EYES CAN SEE (EXHIBITION)
From June 28 to August 30, view the exhibition À perte de vue, a major exhibition of large-scale works by 10 Canadian visual artists. The historic La Fonderie building, a remnant of Gatineau’s industrial heritage measuring nearly 58,000 square feet, will be the site of this unique exhibition organized by AXENÉO7 in partnership with the Centre de production DAÏMÔN and Galerie UQO, as part of the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene festival. Admission is free!

What’s Up in Ottawa -Spring 2017 News

Ottawa Tourism
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
GARDENS GALORE
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
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The year of celebration continues!
OTTAWA THE HEADQUARTERS OF CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
The year of celebration continues!
MORE
Fun ways to continue the party
STEP OUT AND ENJOY OTTAWA’S NIGHTLIFE
Fun ways to continue the party
MORE
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
EXPLORE THE RIDEAU CANAL THIS SPRING
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
MORE
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
QUICK BITES OF OTTAWA’S FOOD AND DRINK SCENE
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
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What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
OTTAWA RACE WEEKEND
Get out and get active!
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What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
MUSEUM ROUNDUP
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
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REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
3 museums, 3 days, $30
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Pedal power
CYCLING EXPLORATIONS
Pedal power
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‘Green light’ for St Patrick’s celebrations around the world!

16 March 2017:  Over 250 iconic landmarks and sites around the world will be illuminated green over the coming days – as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2017 Global Greening initiative to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

The annual initiative, now in its eighth year, which sees a host of major landmarks around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day, has grown from strength to strength, with many new landmarks signing up to take part this year.

Stadiums, statues, castles and towers will go green to celebrate our national day (17 March) with exciting additions for 2017 including the One World Trade Center in New York – the main building of the re-built World Trade Center in New York and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Canadian landmarks going green this year include the Toronto Sign, Casa Loma, Whistler Ski Resort, Calgary Tower, Cabot Tower, The Big Fiddle, the Museum of Nature, the Big Nickel, the Distillery District, the Sails of Lights, the Futalognkosaurus (dinosaur) in the Royal Ontario Museum, Montreal City Hall, Complexe Desjardins, and La Tour McGill.
Click Tourism Ireland’s Global Greenings for footage of the world turning green.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the eighth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more well-known attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved. The eagerness of cities and countries everywhere to take part underlines the strength of the deep connection that people all over the world feel to Ireland. More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.”

Of course, the ‘greenings’ are just one part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. The place to be on 17th March is Ireland where there are two festivals which shouldn’t be missed.

In Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, the ‘St Patrick’s Festival’ will last for four great days, taking in the weekend and running from 16-19 March.  The city will be alive with music, film, arts, dance, culture, fun and even international rugby.

Each year the festival has a different theme with this year’s ‘Ireland We Are’ giving the city a chance to showcase all that Ireland stands for today.  Festival favourites include the world’s largest outdoor céilí, world-class museums hosting free workshops and guided historic walks including famous sites such as the Guinness Storehouse. The main event, the St Patrick’s Festival parade, is held on Friday 17 March in Dublin’s city centre.

In Northern Ireland, the newly curated ‘Home of St Patrick Festival’ celebrates St Patrick, the man and the saint, as one of the world’s most inspiring and loved saints of all time. Taking place in the beautiful landscape of Counties Armagh and Down, which was once Patrick’s home, the festival will culminate on Sunday 19 March with ‘The Voice of the Irish’ closing concert in spectacular Newry Cathedral.

“TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES 2018 SEASON

ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS’ 2018 SEASON INTRODUCES AN EXCLUSIVE “TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES

Vancouver, March 15th 2017: The spotlight shines on Canada’s North this year as the world is invited to discover epic locations in Canada celebrating 150 years of confederation. This event has inspired Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) to introduce more in-depth Canadian Arctic exploration…

 

The intimate and immersive nature of OOE’s small ship expedition cruises impacts travellers’ lives, while enhancing their appreciation for the Arctic and other Canadian destinations. Exploration of the Arctic is slowly becoming a journey of choice and a “Trip of a Lifetime” for Canadians and global travellers. OOE has been developing sustainable Arctic tourism for over a decade and are consistently innovative in creating itineraries taking visitors to some of the most unspoiled places on earth with programs that focus on education, science, history, arts & culture and exploration.  OOE’s small ship adventures take travellers further afield providing access to archeological sites, remote Inuit communities and wildlife viewing opportunities few often experience.

 

OOE’s 2018 cruise season continues to inspire, with the introduction of a ‘Circumpolar Art in the Arctic’ program that bridges the Norwegian High Arctic and the Canadian High Arctic through visual art. Internationally acclaimed visual artists include Cory Trepanier, David McEown, Bruce Pearson, Christopher Cran, wildlife documentary producer Karen Bass, internationally award winning photographer Daisy Gilardini, as well as polar scientists, historians and ambassadors of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

 

A new and exceptional voyage for 2018 is the inaugural Canada’s East Coast Golf Expedition.’ The seven-night expedition cruise invites guests to experience some of the best golf courses along Canada’s East Coast.  Passengers enjoy the luxury of waking up every morning to a new course and the ease of boarding an expedition zodiac to take them ashore for their next round of golf. With additional expedition stops to Sable Island and Iles de Madeleine, this program offers unbeatable golf and cruising memories for golfers and non-golfing partners alike.

 

From early July to the end of September, OOE operates several 12-night ‘Classic Northwest Passage voyages emphasizing early Arctic exploration. Along with an historical focus, guests travel to some of the last remaining great wilderness regions on the planet with sightings of polar bears, whales, and myriad bird species.

 

The 11-night ‘Baffin Island – Jewel of the Arctic trip that was introduced in 2016 has already become one of the top selling voyages. The stunning nine-night ‘High Arctic Explorer voyage commences in Resolute, Nunavut, one of the most northern outposts in the Canadian Arctic. This trip offers the perfect blend of wildlife, history, culture and scenery.

 

The 10-night ‘Labrador and Torngat Explorer cruise departs from the historic town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and explores two iconic National Parks, Gros Morne and Torngat Mountains. Exploring the rugged Newfoundland & Labrador coast provides an abundance of wildlife experiences that can be seen all the way up to Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit. This itinerary is special and a gem of new offerings launched for the 2017 summer travel season.

 

A number of early booking offers are in place for 2018 summer travel. On Canada’s East Coast Fins and Fiddles and Golf Expedition a complimentary pre-voyage hotel and US$100 shipboard bar credit is provided. For all other Arctic and Labrador voyages, early bookings benefit with a flight credit ranging from US$500 to US$1000. All offers expire May 31, 2017. ONE CLUB Loyalty Program members (past travellers with OOE) can apply their 10% loyalty savings to any current booking offers.

News From Vaud Tourism. Lake Geneva Region. March 2017

Encounter in Vaud

Jean-Yves Cavin – Co-director of the Cully Jazz Festival

The Cully Jazz Festival, which will be celebrating its 35th edition this year, has become an illustrious event thanks to a clever blend of specific ingredients. The recipe isn’t that easy, but it’s a resounding success each year. Co-director and artistic director Jean-Yves Cavin has been able to maintain and improve its preparation. He tells us all about it in this new episode of the video series “Encounters in Vaud” which is produced by the Lake Geneva Region Tourism Office. Internationally reputed artists, a stunning setting, a goodly pinch of art de vivre, passionate winegrowers, charming wine cellars, a welcoming village and a strong sense of hospitality: the Cully Jazz Festival is all that. Be tempted…

Villars – Bretaye / 17.03.17 – 19.03.17

Afterseason Villars Electro FestivalCome and join the best of Electro clubbing at the Maison de Montagne in Bretaye. Swiss and international DJs will perform set after set in a heated tent with an incredible view, perched at an altitude of 1700m overlooking the Dents du Midi.

Leysin / 20.03.17 – 26.03.17

Worldwide Festival

The biggest “British” electronic musical event of the Vaud Alps is held every year in March in the Leysin resort and ski area. Presented by the star of British radio, Gilles Peterson, famous DJs perform for 5 days of musical madness!

Diablerets – Glacier 3000 / 25.03.17 – 26.03.17

Freeride Days

Enjoy the incredible ski region of Glacier 3000, offering powder snow and the motto “freeride for all”. Follow in the footsteps of some of Europe’s best proriders and experienced mountain guides.

Morges / 05.04.17 – 10.04.17

Divinum Wine Fair

Divinum opens its doors to the discovery of some exceptional vineyards as well as tasting of wines from all horizons. Let you guide by the wine-grower artisans whose mission is to satisfy your taste buds and to share with you their passion. Divinum is more than a wine fair, this is an experiment.

Leysin – Les Mosses – La Lécherette

Offer available from 13th March to 18th April 2017

The perfect hotel break !

7 days and 7 nights in the snowy mountains for CHF 710.- For the Easter holiday, from 13th March to 17th April, Leysin – Les Mosses – La Lécherette offer accommodation in a hotel with half-board, plus a daily ski pass (100 km of slopes), entry to the swimming pool as well as price reductions on ski equipment or ski/snowboard classes.

Villars-Gryon – Les Diablerets

Offer available from 1st April 2017 to 17th April 2017

Ski & Snow Fiesta

To celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring, Villars-Gryon – Les Diablerets offer a rich programme of music and crazy events from 1 April to 17 April. All that comes with special SkiSnowFiesta offers in some of the hotels, apartments, ski schools and sport shops. A wonderful way to spend the Easter holidays.

Road trip to Perth for 200th anniversary celebrations. Summer 2016

Adventures during our Perth-Ottawa Road Trip. Summer 2016

 

We left Toronto early in morning and after about an hour on 401 as usually stopped over at Big Apple. The place is well known for cute cafeteria, large giftshop, children`s outdoor pet zoo, and clean washrooms.

After arriving to Perth, we first stopped over at the Fairgrounds where the place was already prepared for the 200th years celebrations. One could see the rib grillers’ stands from all over Lanark county and the vendors offering foods and drinks to all tastes. There was a mini amusement park for young children with bouncy castles and a climbing tower. The stage was ready for musicians and singers; close by the stone carvers were competing in their art – the winners’ sculptures will become part of the new stone bridge being constructed in Perth and funded mainly by donations.

Perth lanark County
Building a New Bridge in Perth, Lanark County, Canada

 

Late afternoon we headed to the McReary’s beach resort. The resort has beautiful and spacious cottages and we stayed in one of them for the next 3 days. The resort is located on the beach and at the same time not far from the main road; that made it convenient for our local day trips exploring the area. Our cottage had fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, living room and the deck with BBQ. The environment is really family friendly and kids were allowed to go around by themselves.

McReary Beach Resort
Paddling in McReary Beach resort

Once settled we all headed for a boat tour that was so much fun!

Water Fun on the lake near McReary Resort
Fun time at McReary Beach resort

We swam in warm lake water, did spectacular jumps from the boat and raced each other. On the way back to the cottage we saw two eagles high up on a pine tree.

Eagle nest near McReary Beach resort
Eagle nest near McReary Beach resort

Next to the beach there one can find a boat house with many canoes and kayaks to borrow, but we were too tempted to relax in the indoor pool; under same roof there is a sauna and hot tub. After dinner we played for a while and later enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the marshmallows roasted on the campfire right behind the cottage.

Family Nights at McReary Beach Resort
Marshmallow Party at the Cottage in McReary Beach resort

The next morning we went to Perth to see the 200th year anniversary parade, which was very well organized and included a lot of various performances. After the parade   we stopped by the ice-cream shop before heading to the park.

Not far from the park there was a farmers market where we bought local maple syrup and some homemade jams; the stands were also filled with crafts and flowers. It was a fine place to browse…

Perth Farmers Market
Farmers Market in Perth

 

200th Perth Maple Syrup
Special edition “200th anniversary of Perth” Maple Syrup at farmers market

In the park the speeches were already underway and we could see the Mayor and other city officials on the stage. At the end of the ceremony the Mayor handed the special capsule with the money collected for the construction of the new stone bridge to the builders.

After the official part everyone headed across the park to the spacious lawn where the dressed up musicians and dancers were getting ready to perform. The Scottish kilts in different colours, traditional musical instruments and actors were all mixed with the arriving public.
For the next hour we all could watch the scenes from the past brought by the musicians and actors to show the history of Perth from 19th century. The show ended by the guns’ salute and marching of the bands.

Perth 200th
200th anniversary of Perth Celebration

On the way back to the cottage we stopped again at Fairgrounds to have some ribs, check out the stone carving competition and listen to some music.

The day was almost done, we only had enough time to get back to the cottage for some swim in a pool and dinner.

The next morning we left early for the Blue Heron Golf club. The club house was already busy with the arriving golfers, so we quickly got ready and headed out to the course.

Blue Heron Golf Club
Playing Golf in Blue Heron Golf Club, lanark County, Ontario, Canada

The course has nine holes which makes it suitable for those new to the game or seasoned golfers. The beautiful landscaping adds to the natural surroundings creating pleasant environment – mix of water, forest and green lawns… after golf we all were ready to have good lunch, and decided to go towards Perth.

Perth, Lanark County
Beautiful Perth

On the way we stopped by the General store to buy sandwiches. Forget the sandwiches – in the middle of the store there was a small table where a lady was painting the large egg… The painting reminded us some fine antique porcelains, Easter eggs and may be Christmas… the paintings were filled with very fine details such as flowers, birds, butterflies, little bunnies and colourful ornaments. Hard to resist – we bought two beautifully painted eggs and then turned to sandwiches – we were hungry!

Tatlock Quarry
Observation Deck in Tatlock Quarry in Lanark County

After Perth our destination was Ottawa. Instead of staying in the city hotel we stopped at the Generations Inn., which is about thirty minutes away. Even before we open our bags right away kids went to swim in a lake… The Inn has three rooms with private bathrooms located in the old estate. The place is quite well known for the fact that the chief for the Ottawa Senators sometimes cooks his famous dishes for the guests, but you have to call in advance to find out when; we didn’t and so had to visit nearby restaurants.

Generations Inn
Funtime at “Generations Inn”

Next morning we were in Ottawa. First we visited The Museum of History, Children’s Museum and Parliament Hill, later the Airspace Museum and we finished the day watching the amazing Light Show that is projected right on the Parliament building.

In the Museum of History “Napoleon” and “Gold Rush” special exhibits were well worth to visit. Going back in times of Napoleon and learning about his personality and various projects was really like visiting France and Europe of that time. In the halls of “Gold Rush” we were able to wash some golden nuggets and learn about gold mining history. At the exit the special scale displayed the value of your weight as gold equivivalent in $$ – so we all got on! Worth millions!!

Children’s Museum is always full of kids and their parents. It’s a wonderful world of real things scaled to toy size. One can be a banker, another a salesman of Turkish rugs or spices, be a sailor or mechanic or dress up and go on stage!

After lunch on the French side in a small lovely café and some rest we headed to the Airspace museum. And that is where we spent a lot of time learning about airplanes, history of aviation and space exploration.

Ottawa Aerospace Museum
Aircraft tourbine in Ottawa Aerospace Museum
Fighter jet Simulator
Fighter jet Simulator in Ottawa Aerospace Museum

A bit tired we went back to the city to have dinner. And again we went to the Airspace Museum this time for the conference to meet the real astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Robert Thirsk.

Canadian Astronaut Robert Thrisk
Precious moments! Robert Thrisk autographed a book!
Jeremy Hansen and Jonathan
Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen autographed my book

They were presenting the launch of the new recruitment campaign and there were various officials and a lot of fans. We even got a chance to chat with them and get autographs.

Jeremy hansen and Robert Thirsk
Children and Canadian Astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Robert Thirsk in Ottawa Aerospace Museum, July 2016

After such an exciting evening we were back to the Parliament Hill for the Light Show that presented the history of Canada in projected images accompanied by narration and music.

Parliament Hill Light Show in Ottawa
Parliament Hill light show, Ottawa, Canada

Tired after such a long day full of events we were ready to go back to Generations Inn for a good night sleep…

Next morning we were on our way back home. We decided to stop over in Peterborough and visit the unique lift locks. Dated back to 1900 the locks operate based on the natural powers created by the weight of the water in the tubs – this is the largest hydraulic lift lock in the world that raises boats up to about 65 feet high! It was a lot of fun to watch the boats go up and down – they looked so small compare to locks’ structure!

Before getting back on the road we stopped over for pizza lunch and then drove all the way home talking about places we liked most…

UNESCO new World Heritage Site in Stuttgart for Le Corbusier houses

Germany gains 41st UNESCO World Heritage Site

On July 17, 2016, the two Le Corbusier houses at the Weissenhof Estate in the Southern German city of Stuttgart were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it the first World Heritage Site for Stuttgart and the 41st for Germany.
As part of a transnational joint application, Stuttgart and destinations in seven other countries applied to have 17 of Le Corbusier’s buildings listed due to the architect’s outstanding contribution to Modernism. The two Stuttgart houses are the architect’s only buildings in Germany and include the Weissenhof Museum, which illustrates the radical change in architecture around the time of the Second World War as well as Le Corbusier’s visionary thinking.
Germany’s other 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the majestic Cologne Cathedral, the expansive Wadden Sea habitat, Classical Weimar and Regensburg’s charming Old Town. They can be explored on eight different themed routes<http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/unesco-world-heritage/unesco-routes/unesco-routes.html>, from natural wonders to architecture to palaces and parks.
For more information about Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, visit www.germany.travel/unesco.

Let’s Go to Perth celebrating 200 anniversary together! July 22-24 weekend

Suggested itinerary:

Day One: Friday, July 22

  • Arrive in Perth between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for the BBQ Block Party http://bbqblockparty.com/ at the Perth Fairgrounds (50 Arthur Street)

Directions from Toronto (3hrs 46 mins):

https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Toronto,+ON/Perth+Fair,+50+Arthur+Street,+Perth,+ON+K7H+3E3/@44.2698707,-78.9357309,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x89d4cb90d7c63ba5:0x323555502ab4c477!2m2!1d-79.3831843!2d43.653226!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a443bbdbc8b:0x63becdf201c85aee!2m2!1d-76.2464385!2d44.892452

  • Lunch at festival food stations
  • Canadian Stone Carving Festival http://canadianstonecarvingfestival.com/
  • Dinner
  • Drive 17 minutes to McCreary’s Beach Resort to check in anytime after 4:00 p.m.

Directions: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Perth+Fair,+50+Arthur+St,+Perth,+ON+K7H+3E3/McCreary’s+Beach+Resort,+McCrearys+Beach,+Perth,+ON/@44.9570316,-76.3101839,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a443bbdbc8b:0x63becdf201c85aee!2m2!1d-76.2464385!2d44.8924522!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd2725b1659098f:0x32b0fe57cb669651!2m2!1d-76.2192498!2d45.0213694

  • Relax and enjoy the beach!

Day Two: Saturday, July 23

  • Breakfast
  • Travel for 14 minutes to Perth for Blast from the Past (Opening Ceremonies are at 11:30 a.m.) Full Event Schedule: https://perth200.ca/signature-events/homecoming-weekend/homecoming-weekend-schedule/
  • I suggest parking at Café Bean, 1 Sherbrooke Street East, Perth

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g499284-d8067083-Reviews-Cafe_Bean-Perth_Ontario.html

Directions: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/McCreary’s+Beach+Resort,+McCrearys+Beach,+Perth,+ON/Cafe+Bean,+Sherbrooke+Street+East,+Perth,+ON/@44.9621085,-76.3101839,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd2725b1659098f:0x32b0fe57cb669651!2m2!1d-76.2192498!2d45.0213694!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a68a8055c4f:0xffaacf4efb660bd6!2m2!1d-76.246822!2d44.903985

  • Walk about 4 blocks for 8 minutes to Stewart Park (80 Gore Street East) to see the parade. Map: https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Stewart+Park+Festival/@44.8988287,-76.250517,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x41185e3fc910fbd2!8m2!3d44.8988287!4d-76.250517

Directions: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Cafe+Bean,+Sherbrooke+Street+East,+Perth,+ON/Stewart+Park+Festival,+Gore+Street+East,+Perth,+ON/@44.9014106,-76.2506273,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a68a8055c4f:0xffaacf4efb660bd6!2m2!1d-76.246822!2d44.903985!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a5d1804a2d3:0x41185e3fc910fbd2!2m2!1d-76.250517!2d44.8988287

  • In the afternoon, you may wish to return to the Perth Fairgrounds. Enjoy the Festival!

Day Three: Sunday, July 24

  • Check out
  • Travel home

Road Trip Itineraries in Maritime Quebec. Summer 2016 news

Road Trip Itineraries

The Gaspésie Tour is a legendary seaside drive that loops around the huge Gaspé Peninsula. Begin your journey in the region of Bas-Saint-Laurent. From the Kamouraska area, Route 132 will take you all the way to Gaspé, at the tip of the peninsula, via famous Percé Rock. Read more about this road trip itinerary.

This itinerary follows Route 138 from Tadoussac to Kegaska. From there, you can continue your journey aboard an authentic supply ship that will take you from village to village all the way to Blanc-Sablon. Out at sea and from the shore, you can observe up to 13 species of whales in this region, including blue whales, the largest animals on earth. Read more about this road trip itinerary.

In the maritime regions of Québec, ferries serve as an extension of the road network. In addition to allowing you to visit both shores of the St. Lawrence without retracing your steps, they are a novel way to travel and offer unique perspectives on the surrounding scenery and marine mammals. Read more about these road trip itineraries.

For a complete change of pace and scenery, nothing beats the Îles de la Madeleine. Whether you visit to enjoy the water and wind or to explore the rich culture of an island people surrounded by the sea, you will leave with wonderful memories and only one thought in mind: to come back for another visit! Read more about this road trip itinerary.

Exploring Sint Maarten with kids.

Traveling to Caribbean Sint Maarten, always was an expensive adventure, especially traveling with kids.

Calculating expenses, we found out that airflight takes half of budget.

Knowing that usually prices drop in October/November, then first week of January, and after April 15th, trips could become affordable with  Westjet, Sunwing, or Transat… We use mostly www.travelation.com or selloffvacations.com, or direct websites from airlines www.westjet.com, or aircanada.com, aa.com

Marigot Harbour in Saint Martin
Marigot Harbour Saint Martin

Last year our family stayed in villa on French side in Concordia district in Marigot.

Marigot
Marigot, Saint Martin , French West Indies

It was good immersion into local life, and good practice of French for kids.  We hiked on Fort Louis in Marigot, Tree Top Trekked at Loterie Farm, took windsurfing lessons on Galleon Beach (nearby is Butterfly Farm), fine dined in Grand Case, snorkelled and sun bathed on Friars Bay. The shopping we did in “U” supermarket, and fresh bread in local boulangeries. Few times we visited Grand Case for a nice evening stroll, beach comb and fancy dinner combination.

Saint Martin
Marketplace in Marigot, Saint Martin

From nearby Marigot Sea Port we took day trips to Anguilla and St.Barth. One day we spent in LoterieFarm. It’s a place to spend a whole day, first to go on Fly Zone (like Tree Top trek), and then soak and rest in the pool. We noticed many local families spent time on weekends here. I think our favourite beach in St.Martin is still on Happy Bay, and the runner up will be Friars Bay Beach.

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Philipsburg- the capital of Dutch side in Sint Maarten.

The choice and variety of hotels is also great in Dutch St.Maartten, from casino hotels, down to small boutique inns. We chose Joshua Rose guest house this time, cause of the good balance, price , location, and facilities.

Guest house located in the heart of Philipsburg, with easy access to transportation, beaches grocery stores and good restaurants. For dinner our favorite was “Green House” restaurant, with it’s great service, good variety and price combination. One evening we visited acclaimed “L’Escargot” with classy service and beautiful ambiance. Yes, it’s pricey, but you pay what you get, once for the trip is great. For lunch there are good places to eat like “GUSTO”, and few Chinese restaurants nearby.
I should mention the trip to “The Carousel” ice cream shop it’s well worth after lunch, and explore sophistication in ice cream variety. (Actually I tried once “Heineken Ice Cream”. It tasted good!). There are lots of photographs on display with famous people eating ice cream. Our kids, 8 and11, are too big for the Carousel to sit on, but they still enjoy the rides.

On the property of DIVI Resort, there are ruins of Fort Amsterdam, from there is a nice view of Philipsburg and Point Blanche Cruise Ship Terminal,. We spent hours there watching pelicans catch fish in blue waters down the cliff.

Sint Maarten
3D view of Maho Beach in Sint Maarten

Yes, we have to mention famous “Maho Beach”. The best time is after 1pm, when KLM / Airfrance jumbo jet is landing. It is really spectacular moment, quick and scary. Expect to see lots of tourists with cameras there.