It's funny, back when I was a kid I made a deal with myself I'd see my own country before traveling off to see the rest of the world.
A sort of 'get a base-point' ideal that, well, unfortunately never quite happened.
(apparently a 2 week, all-inclusive trip to Cuba is cheaper than a week-long jaunt to the coast... sad).
That said I've always had this dream of seeing my country and I still have dreams about the 3 month road-trip that almost was -- driving from Saint John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, BC.
Anyways, all this to say that I found myself quite enamoured with my trip to Québec City and Montréal.
The drive there... not so much.
See, we figured out a wonderful way to save some money on the trip: We took the bus. And hell yeah, if you want cheap, it was real cheap (we grabbed the tickets during a Megabus sale, $60 total for both of us, return!) but I felt every minute of that 8-hour bus ride.
When we were planning things out we figured we'd just sleep on the bus since we were taking the overnight route... yeah, that didn't happen.
It's kind of funny 'cause I realize now just how much I'd romanticized this awesome road trip across Canada -- I found the 8-hour trip there long and (at times) frustrating... I can only imagine what it'd be like when I'm driving the Trans-Canada for hours at a stretch.
That said, at least in a car we'd be able to hop off the route and explore on our own.
But I digress...
In the end I actually ended up enjoying Québec City more than Montréal -- I think that may be because we walked pretty much everywhere and by the time 'party time' rolled around in Montréal we were ready for bed.
My feet are still sore, tho' I do feel like I've gotten a life-time's worth of Cardio.
People-wise, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Everyone we met seemed genuinely nice and friendly -- with the exception of one bus driver who gave me a curt 'I don't speak English' but softened the moment I apologized with 'I'm sorry, my French isn't that good' in French.
Yes, my language skills en Français are definitely far spottier than I remembered. I don't know if I was conversational or not when I was in school but man... yeah, let me just apologize here for butchering the language.
Also, Life lesson #679: If you ask someone a question in their native language, 9 times out of 10 they're going to answer you in that language. <-- this is a problem if you had a hard time asking the question in the first place and have no idea what the heck they're saying to you in response.
I DID try to keep up the French where I could but to say that I got my fair share of confused looks... well, yeah... often it ended up with me dropping back to English and saying what I really meant.
Most were pretty cool about it though, one even said I spoke without much of an accent... so hey, cool beans there.
Side note: Iced Cap = Cappuccino Glacé in French... just so you know.
Travel-wise I definitely want to make sure I hit the coasts even though, unfortunately, it looks like the road trip I had in mind isn't in the cards. Still, maybe we can find some cheap seats or something and do a pop-over for a week or so.