First time for an Aussie to Canada

Jun 24th, 2005, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
>>>Another thing I would do if I were you is get back to Vancouver on Day 26. Spend your last night in Canada in Vancouver, so that you "only" have to fly from Vancouver to Australia rather than Toronto - Vancouver - Australia on Day 27.<<<

Hmmm, I've just noticed a flaw in that scheme. I visualized you flying from Quebec City to Vancouver. However, I've just remembered that you wanted to rent a car in Toronto and also drop it off in Toronto so as to avoid a one-way drop off fee, isn't that right? Quebec City to Toronto is an 8-1/2 hour drive, not counting stops, and then you'd still face a 5-hour or so flight from Toronto to Vancouver. That would make for quite an onerous day.

So, to avoid that problem, how about flying from Vancouver to Montreal, doing a clockwise or counter-clockwise circuit through Niagara, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and back to Montreal? If you did the clockwise version, it would mean that on Day 26 you would have a 3-hour drive from Quebec City to Montreal and a 5-1/2 hour flight from Montreal to Vancouver. That would still be a fairly full day, but quite feasible.

For what it's worth.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
Tinmanran: with all due respect to the foregoing, I suggest driving through the Rockies and paying the drop fee in Calgary. The drive through the Rockies is too good to miss. Personally, even though it’s off the major tourist track, I prefer the ‘Crowsnest Pass’ route, Highway 3, which is the southernmost. It passes through (or near) Penticton, Ossoyoos, Grand Forks, Christina Lake (would you believe an 85 degrees Fahrenheit lake amidst the Mountains), Trail, Castlegar, and Fernie. You can also take a short detour to Nelson, one of the prettiest towns in the Rockies. (Watch the Steve Martine / Darryl Hannah movie “Roxanne”, it was filmed in Nelson. Highway 3 is also closer to the more natural and less touristy hot springs. BUT, be forewarned, the last 3 hours to Calgary are pretty much prairie driving, not in the mountains.

OR fly into Calgary, and do a circle route – take the Trans-Canada (hwy 1) to Banff-Revelstoke-Kamloops-Vancouver, then return to Calgary via Highway 3.

But either way, Trans-Canada (hwy 1) or the Crowsnest, it’s a drive to remember. AND, when the warning sign says 50 km/h for a curve, DO 50!!! They do not exaggerate – the turns are tight and not forgiving to speeders.

I lived in both Edmonton (3 yrs) and Calgary (12 years), and I suggest you skip them both. There are both nice enough, but have grown so fast over the past 20-30 years that they lack a homey deep-rooted culture / aura / feeling. To me, Canada is wide open spaces and wilderness, not big cities. Having said that, Vancouver, Montreal, and Quebec City are all worth a go. Montreal and Quebec city primarily because they have parts that are 300-400 years old, not common in North America. To go even further, have you thought about flying into St. John’s Newfoundland? Now there’s a city with a unique culture. I just love it there, but it’s quite a way off. On the other hand, if you’re only going to Canada once, it would be a shame to forego St. John’s.

This is long enough, my wife wants the computer. I shall try to offer more random thoughts later.
CMark is offline  

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