Monday 7th October
We had a good flight to Los Angeles with an early arrival, Shuttle to the hotel and into our rooms to freshen up. Took a car to the famous Venice beach - Nothing too special, then on North following the shoreline to the Getty Villa, a reconsruction of a Roman theatre and home, an excellent museum with many unique artifacts, including a special display on the "Cyrus Cylinder" which is an ancient Iranian form of writing dispatches across their empire. Named after King Cyrus
Tuesday 8th October
An early flight with Air Canada to Toronto. An interesting drive through the suburbs to our downtown hotel, dinner then prepare for tommorrow .
Wednesday 9th October
We hired a Jeep - Cherokee. Really comfortable and a pleasure to drive. Tookoff on the highways to Niagara Falls driving mostly through metropolitan and industrial areas until we were close to theFalls area. As we approached the American Falls came into view and looked spectacular. Then as we arived at the parking area the mist from the Canadian Falls covered the car - where are the windscreen wipers.....the problem with a different car !! What a sight. We were all enthralled with the volume of water dropping over the falls. Walking under the Falls was quite an experience and taking the ":Maid of the Mist " cruise was great. After a day of great experinces we made our way back to Toronto and hit grid lock - two hours from the time we hit the edge of the city to get back tthe hotel.
Thursday 10 October
A day to wander Toronto. Beth and Geff enjoyed the hop on hop off bus including a cruise round the harbour. Carol and Norman walked the city, returned the car, went to the top of the Toronto Tower with some wonderful views all around the city. A good day enjoyed by all.
Chck out the chair display!! we found.
Friday 11 October
A taxi ride from the hotel took us to Union Station in Toronto ready for a full day train trip to Quebec, via Montreal. We arrived early so that we could get a good seat as there was no reserved seating on the first leg. A very comfortable train ride to Montreal with a food service available to keep us well fed. After five hours we arrived in Montreal and had a break for a couple of hours before alighting a flash train to Quebec. Scenery interesting with quite a variety of countryside, great Fall colours and many different buildings in the towns and country. Being October all the harvest had been taken so we observed much of the remains of the crops all along the way. An enjoyable train ride through rural Canada. Now ready for Quebec and our cruise.
Saturday 12 October
Our hotel in Quebec was out of town because there are three cruise ships in port, right near the main city, so all the main city hotels were full to overflowing - over 4,000 people arriving and another 4, 000 leaving.
Our taxi got us to the ship by 1230 and we soon checked in and made our way to our cabins which are quite large and very comfortable. Hungry, so we went to deck nine for a snack lunch before venturing into the old city of Quebec. First settled back in the 1600's there is a lot of history to catch up with. Carol and Norman wandered the old part of town, together with hundreds of others, and enjoyed the atmosphere. We saw snow, so we thought, but right next to the city ice skating rink so obviously the scrapings from the ice - Carol was very excited !!!! A most interesting city with so many photo opportunities. Back on board we explored some of the ship, had dinner and then enjoyed a musical program in the theatre. Having walked over 20,000 steps we were tired so had a good night's rest.
Sunday 13 October
A good breakfast then another wander round the city. Decided to walk the city wall. Quebec is the only walled city in North America and we found it very interesting. We were able to walk on top of the wall, with a steep stone wall dropping to the outside of the city. Gun emplacements all around the city so it would have been almost impregnable, with steep cliffs on the river side of the city as well. Above the river stands a majestic hotel, one of the Fairmont range, and probably the most photographed place in Quebec. Back to the ship for lunch and to get ready for our safety drill and departure at 4.00. More to come.
Monday 14 October
Smooth sailing overnight. Awoke to a dull and overcast day with light rain. In spite of the weather the ship had a great welcome from the locals. A host of local people in traditional costume were at the dock to welcome us. Fortunately the rain stopped and they presented a number of local dances. At 8 in the morning there were not many passengers there to see the welcome, but I am sure those on the dock side of the ship would have heard everything. After breakfast we ventured out into the local township. Nothing special really but it was good to see the variety of different houses and the great fall colours all around. Carol and Norman walked, and walked, al morning, meeting some of the locals at a market and in a coffee shop. Enjoyed lunch then relaxed on the top deck, preparing this note and the photos ready to put on the web site next time we are able to get on the Internet.
Tuesday 15th October
Arrived at Baie-Comeau at 8am to a beautiful morning. After breakfast in the dinning room we wandered off the ship and found a shuttle into town. After a quick look downtown we ventured into the suburbs and discovered a lovely wooded area with a lake-some geat reflections with the autum colours and squirels. Wandered through the forest for an hour and enjoyed the quiet, back to town then another shuttle to an outlying shopping mall-bad mistake as very little there and a long wait for the shuttle. Back to the ship to enjoy late lunch while watching a whale and dolphin in the harbour.
Wednesday 16th October
Thursday 17 October
Charlotte Town. Prince Edward Island
Another smooth night sailing after our day at sea, moving through the St Lawrence Gulf down to the picturesque Prince Edward Island. Very overcast with light rain welcomed us and after a few cold days it felt very warm.....at 16 that was warm after 6 - 8 and wind.
We explored the township of Charlotte which was one of the first settled areas back in the mid 1700's. in 1864 the confederation of Canadian States took place in Charlottetown and Government House was built soon after. Some beautifully older homes set amongst the fall colours made it very inviting for taking photographs - an artists paradise.
Prince Edward Island is most well known for the story based on the island - Anne of Green Gables. Although only a population of some 140,00 the Island has over a million visitors every year, primarily in the summer and the majority by cruise ships, with several arriving each week. Sun at last and it has reached 19 degrees so very pleasant now with everything looking its best....pity it was not clear in the morning when most people took tours. Off to Sydney overnight - that is Sydney, Nova Scotia
Friday 18 October
Today we arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Again we spent time in town visiting a few interesting buildings including a book shop where we found a book we have been looking for. We walked through a park area and found out that it had only just been opened and that it was originally a the site of an Indian encampment....there was a mound which we likened to an Aboriginal midden!! Outside of the city there are a few old walking trails such as the Cabot Trail, but no time to even cover a short distance on any of them. That is the problem with cruising - just not long enough in the places you visit. The area is famous, in Canada at least, for its music and the city has erected a giant violin to show every visitor their passion. - cost over $100,000 so they must think it is important. We were entertained on the ship by a group from the area who played traditional music.
Saturday 19 October
Halifax Nova Scotia. We were hoping to hire a Car so that we could explore some of the Island, but nothing available. So another walking tour, which turned out very well. Our first find was The Old Burying Ground..their version of a cemetery. Apparently there are thousands buried there but most are in unmarked graves. It was used from 1749 - 1844. We moved on throughout he suburbs and found a very large Baptist Church, but not open unfortunately. Further along were some magnificent Gardens which took much of our time and some good photos. Then we moved on to The Citadel which is the complete remains of a large fort built by the British to provide security in the region. We spent a couple of hours there with an excellent local guide providing a most interesting commentary. Halifax has an excellent harbour and was a major port providing support for the British during World War 11. A most interesting day finished with a walk along the foreshore back to the ship.
Beth and Geoff took a coach tour to Peggy's Cove and the Titanic Museum, which they enjoyed.
Sunday 20 October
A late arrival in St John, New Brunswick, and it was cold and rainy. Walked to town, which was not to too far, found an Internet connection at the town hall and then wandered through some shopping malls, out of the rain. Fortunately the rain came and went so we were able to see a little of the city, which is one of the largest in Eastern Canada, once you get beyond Quebec. Found some gardens again and of course photos were the order of the day....experimented with photos in the rain.
Monday 21st October
Bar Harbor, USA
arrived in the USA early this morning and after as mooth immigration processing took a tender tom shore. First time we have had to do this. This was the ideal place to visit with a picturesque shoreline and some interesting shops. we decided to domething different and took a Trolley Tour up into tne Arcadia National Park. Great scenery, especially with the Autumn colours. Rode to the highest mountain on the East Coast of the States and the view from the top was really good, but the wind was just so cold. Stopped at aew places for photos which was good for us phot buffs. Back in townwe nejoyed a coffee and blueberry pie before taking the tender back to the ship.
Tuesday 22nd October
Boston, Massachusettes. Docked just outside the city. Walked from the cruise ship along the main road into town and passed several ineresting spots before going to the top of an observation tower to look over the shoreline. Then into the business district and on into Boston Common, which did not come up to expectations. But the Boson Gardens were much more interesting. Walked along Commonealeth Avenuje which we enjoyed to the Prudential Centre shopping ma before catching a train and bus back to the shiop for a well dserved lunch.