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Montreal, Quebec, Nova Scotia - 5 weeks - suggestions?


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#1 daja

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:51 AM

biggrin.gif We are planning a road trip from Lancaster PA to Eastern Canada mid August for approx. 5 weeks. YIPPIE! We will be stopping @ Lake George NY and then headed to Montreal, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Have picked up books/maps from AAA etc. Looking for anyone who has been there and any suggestions on what are MUST SEEs, good campgrounds etc. We also wanted to know if the propane tank connections are the same in CA as the USA. I've read that the electric connections are the same, but could not find anything about the propane tanks connections. Our return trip is through NE and NY, NJ back to PA.
Any and all help is greatly appreciated. We know we can get egg-c-lent advice rolleyes.gif thanks!

#2 Chris Z

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 05:24 AM

Been to Nova Scotia 3 times but prior to Casiota so I can't say about hook-ups but I'm very jealous. Nova Scotia has got to be one of the prettiest places to go. The southern part around Yarmouth and the other towns is neat if you like lighthouses and coastal scenery. I remember going to a maritime museum in the area that was neat. Peggy's cove is definitely gorgeous and not to miss. Highest tides in the world (as I remember) are at Trudo which makes some interesting things. The northern part - Cabot Trail is out of this world beautiful. We went back and forth up there - one way then the other. I know there are campgrounds in the area and perhaps you can drop off the trailer and just wonder around the coast for a few days at least.
We usually travelled from Bar Harbor ME on the bluenose ferry which was neat. Don't miss that area of the coast either - Acadia NP is definitely worth some time. White Mtns in NH - Kangamangus Hightway is good too.
Makes me drool to think about travelling up that way. Have fun.
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#3 daja

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:26 AM

Thanks for your suggestions, we added them all and added another week to our trip. Appreciate your help - I am SOOOOOOOOOO E X C I T E D !!! We leave in one day - YEAH

#4 G&S

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:46 AM

Nova Scotia is nice, it is like going back in time. Always reminded us of the 50's and 60's. The Bluenose ferry is no longer running. There is still the ferry from N.S. to Maine but a new one that is supposed to go a lot faster. Acadia N.P. is very nice. Wish I were going with you

#5 Larry Lecuyer

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:52 AM

QUOTE (daja @ Aug 8 2009, 09:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for your suggestions, we added them all and added another week to our trip. Appreciate your help - I am SOOOOOOOOOO E X C I T E D !!! We leave in one day - YEAH

Daja: I plan to visit the Eastern, Canada area in the spring of 2010. Specifically, the Gaspe Peninsula. Please share any information/experiences you develop as a result of your trip. ENJOY the freedom of travel and the comfort of the casita!! Safe travels. wink.gif

#6 daja

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:25 PM

Will be glad to share our adventure, provide suggestions and answer any questions upon our return. Thanks for the well wishes.

Happy Trails!
DAJA

#7 daja

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 12:45 PM

We just returned from out Canada/NE trip and it was FABULOUS! We went to Montreal, Quebec City, NB, before heading off to Nova Scotia and then NE. WONDERFUL PEOPLE – BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY! We met awesome people at our campground in Montreal who insisted on taking us on a tour of the city. We already have plans to meet up with them in a few months. The Olympic Stadium was really beautiful at night. Old Montreal was wonderful, we did the carriage ride as we ate ice cream. The Montréal Botanical Garden looked amazing, we did not get to see since it since we went in the evening but drove around it, on our list for next time. Old Quebec...I forgot we were in Canada, thought we were in Paris. We stayed at the The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, which is about 15 miles from Old Quebec. They have a large grassy area and let you camp for free. At night, if you are at your campsite, then drop off an envelope and ask for a donation. If you go to the Basilica make sure you see the basement area - it is a must see. You will be very close to Montmorency Waterfall, which you pass when driving from Old Quebec to the Basilica and St Anne's Canyon. They have several suspension bridges and you walk over the falls. Also, St Anne’s canyon has zip lines, and rock climbing which is fun to watch if you don't want to partake in the activity. Also, in the summer , Old Quebec provides two free shows, one is a film shown on the sides of a group of silos near the water and a cirque du soleil performance. The visitor center can provide the locations. We watched the film, but it was regarding Canadian history, which we knew very little, so in the future I would opt for the cirque performance. Parking in Old Quebec can be a problem unless you have a small car. The streets are narrow and the parking garages have low clearance. We found an open parking lot near the fort at the top of the hill which was very reasonable.
A must is a stop @ the visitor's center in Old Quebec. They provided great information & maps of the city along with booklets for each region of the Gaspe Peninsula with suggested driving tours. The books were much better than the information in our AAA books. Depending on your interests, you can pick and choose your stops.
We did hit a lot of road construction on Rt 132 going North, but that should be completed by the time you go. We did not stop at Forillon National Park, but many campers were going there for repeated visits, saying how great it was. That will be on our list for next time. In Gaspe, we camped at Terrain de Camping, which was right on the water and just a few minutes from town. Our favorite stop was in Perce, we camped at the Cote Surprise which is within walking distance from town. (They only accept cash, about $30 night). We could see Perce Rock and Bonaventure Island from our campsite. I think I took 100 pictures from out site- lol. There was a whale, that would visit each day right below our campground, of course he would show up when we were away, but we saw the pictures of other campers. Take the boat tour, about $25 pp, to Bonaventure Island, it was beautiful, seals, birds, the views amazing & 25 minute hike to see the Gannets was worthy. We will never forget it!
Beautiful, amazing, wonderful Nova Scotia! We loved Cape Brenton, Cabot’s Trail, Peggy’s Cove, Bay of Fundy (it was crazy to walk on the ocean floor and then see it covered in water 6 hours later) and Halifax. We were hoping to do the southern half of Nova Scotia but had to save that for our next visit. We saw humpback whales on a cruise flapping their tails and playing in the water - amazing, many magnificent moose, eagles and nature at it’s best. St Johns, NB has a wonderful museum, which we really enjoyed.
Acadia NP was a treat – great hiking, we thought we would only spend 2 days and ended up staying a week. The Ranger programs were top notch, LL Bean outlet near by, Bar Harbor - hated to leave! We were a bit disappointed at Mt Washington, White Mountains in NH, we could not drive the steep mountain due to cloudy conditions. On a clear day you can see the Atlantic Ocean and several states! Hiking trails are endless. Vermont a must see is the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne. It has the most diverse collection we have ever seen, we esp. liked the Ticonderoga Steamboat tour. It is $20 for a 2 day pass and we didn’t get to see everything. We then went to the 400 year celebration of Champlain discoveries (Festival of Nations) at Chimney Point, VT & Crown Point, NY by the Champlain Bridge. The France Ambassador was there along with government officials from Vermont, NY, and Canada to dedicate the lighthouse/monument which holds a Rodin sculpture - it was great and very interesting!
This trip was one of our best! We have cherished memories that fill our hearts and make us better people. Let me end by saying the Canadian people are the some of the friendliest people we have ever met on our travels. Many spoke little English, but that did not stop them in trying to help us. People really went out of their way to show kindness in ways we never expected. We have made lasting friends and will always look at Canada and it’s people with a big smile! Wsihing you safe & happy travels!


#8 Larry Lecuyer

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE (daja @ Sep 24 2009, 02:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We just returned from out Canada/NE trip and it was FABULOUS! We went to Montreal, Quebec City, NB, before heading off to Nova Scotia and then NE. WONDERFUL PEOPLE – BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY! We met awesome people at our campground in Montreal who insisted on taking us on a tour of the city. We already have plans to meet up with them in a few months. The Olympic Stadium was really beautiful at night. Old Montreal was wonderful, we did the carriage ride as we ate ice cream. The Montréal Botanical Garden looked amazing, we did not get to see since it since we went in the evening but drove around it, on our list for next time. Old Quebec...I forgot we were in Canada, thought we were in Paris. We stayed at the The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, which is about 15 miles from Old Quebec. They have a large grassy area and let you camp for free. At night, if you are at your campsite, then drop off an envelope and ask for a donation. If you go to the Basilica make sure you see the basement area - it is a must see. You will be very close to Montmorency Waterfall, which you pass when driving from Old Quebec to the Basilica and St Anne's Canyon. They have several suspension bridges and you walk over the falls. Also, St Anne’s canyon has zip lines, and rock climbing which is fun to watch if you don't want to partake in the activity. Also, in the summer , Old Quebec provides two free shows, one is a film shown on the sides of a group of silos near the water and a cirque du soleil performance. The visitor center can provide the locations. We watched the film, but it was regarding Canadian history, which we knew very little, so in the future I would opt for the cirque performance. Parking in Old Quebec can be a problem unless you have a small car. The streets are narrow and the parking garages have low clearance. We found an open parking lot near the fort at the top of the hill which was very reasonable.
A must is a stop @ the visitor's center in Old Quebec. They provided great information & maps of the city along with booklets for each region of the Gaspe Peninsula with suggested driving tours. The books were much better than the information in our AAA books. Depending on your interests, you can pick and choose your stops.
We did hit a lot of road construction on Rt 132 going North, but that should be completed by the time you go. We did not stop at Forillon National Park, but many campers were going there for repeated visits, saying how great it was. That will be on our list for next time. In Gaspe, we camped at Terrain de Camping, which was right on the water and just a few minutes from town. Our favorite stop was in Perce, we camped at the Cote Surprise which is within walking distance from town. (They only accept cash, about $30 night). We could see Perce Rock and Bonaventure Island from our campsite. I think I took 100 pictures from out site- lol. There was a whale, that would visit each day right below our campground, of course he would show up when we were away, but we saw the pictures of other campers. Take the boat tour, about $25 pp, to Bonaventure Island, it was beautiful, seals, birds, the views amazing & 25 minute hike to see the Gannets was worthy. We will never forget it!
Beautiful, amazing, wonderful Nova Scotia! We loved Cape Brenton, Cabot’s Trail, Peggy’s Cove, Bay of Fundy (it was crazy to walk on the ocean floor and then see it covered in water 6 hours later) and Halifax. We were hoping to do the southern half of Nova Scotia but had to save that for our next visit. We saw humpback whales on a cruise flapping their tails and playing in the water - amazing, many magnificent moose, eagles and nature at it’s best. St Johns, NB has a wonderful museum, which we really enjoyed.
Acadia NP was a treat – great hiking, we thought we would only spend 2 days and ended up staying a week. The Ranger programs were top notch, LL Bean outlet near by, Bar Harbor - hated to leave! We were a bit disappointed at Mt Washington, White Mountains in NH, we could not drive the steep mountain due to cloudy conditions. On a clear day you can see the Atlantic Ocean and several states! Hiking trails are endless. Vermont a must see is the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne. It has the most diverse collection we have ever seen, we esp. liked the Ticonderoga Steamboat tour. It is $20 for a 2 day pass and we didn’t get to see everything. We then went to the 400 year celebration of Champlain discoveries (Festival of Nations) at Chimney Point, VT & Crown Point, NY by the Champlain Bridge. The France Ambassador was there along with government officials from Vermont, NY, and Canada to dedicate the lighthouse/monument which holds a Rodin sculpture - it was great and very interesting!
This trip was one of our best! We have cherished memories that fill our hearts and make us better people. Let me end by saying the Canadian people are the some of the friendliest people we have ever met on our travels. Many spoke little English, but that did not stop them in trying to help us. People really went out of their way to show kindness in ways we never expected. We have made lasting friends and will always look at Canada and it’s people with a big smile! Wsihing you safe & happy travels!



Daja: Thank you for sharing your travels with us. I will be traveling to the Gaspe Peninsula, etc. in the spring. The information you provided will be of benefit. What is your opinion on converting American currency into Canadian currency? I have reviewed articles which suggest the cost of currency exchange, removed any potential savings. In general, what were your experiences in presenting American currency?

Thank you once again for all the information.

#9 daja

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 05:39 PM

We used our credit card when we could, only to find that Citibank Mastercard started charging a 3% surcharge fee on the total for all international charges. Citibank gave us a one time adjustment, after we called to complain. So check your credit card company to make sure they don't have that charge. Most places only take Visa so we used our Visa Card more than the MC and did not have that surcharge. We seemed to get a better exchange rate when we charged.

We did get some cash converted, the best rate we got was when our new Canadian friend took us to his bank - we got the best rate of $1.08 since he was a customer. Everyone is happy to take American $ but they don't give you the difference, you lose the difference. The exchange rate was anywhere from $1.04 to $1.08. We always used banks to exchange.

Glad to help, let me know if you need anything else.

#10 Larry Lecuyer

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 07:07 PM

QUOTE (daja @ Sep 24 2009, 07:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We used our credit card when we could, only to find that Citibank Mastercard started charging a 3% surcharge fee on the total for all international charges. Citibank gave us a one time adjustment, after we called to complain. So check your credit card company to make sure they don't have that charge. Most places only take Visa so we used our Visa Card more than the MC and did not have that surcharge. We seemed to get a better exchange rate when we charged.

We did get some cash converted, the best rate we got was when our new Canadian friend took us to his bank - we got the best rate of $1.08 since he was a customer. Everyone is happy to take American $ but they don't give you the difference, you lose the difference. The exchange rate was anywhere from $1.04 to $1.08. We always used banks to exchange.

Glad to help, let me know if you need anything else.


Daja: Thank you for the information and response to my question. In regards to the credit card fee, they all charge this fee. B of A lists the fee as "foreign currency fee" and charges 3%. This will get very costly if you frequently utilize the charge card in a foreign country. I secured a reservation in Niagara Falls, Ontario and used a credit card. I got hit with the 3% which usually takes a couple of billing periods to appear on the statement. The card companies are not very compassionate when you call and complain. I paid the fee just to keep my record safe.

I have never heard of not receiving the difference in the American dollar versus the Canadian dollar. I appreciate this information. The RV park suggested I exchange money at several independent money exchanges just inside the border area of Niagara Falls, Ontario. I never did go on this trip and cancelled the RV reservation. I still had to pay the 3% fee.

In general, I was informed by the RV park representative, that their is minimal gain in the exchange and that American money can be spent and is well accepted throughout Canada.

I recall reading a posting, that someone exchanged several hundred American dollars to Canadian at a "flat" rate of exchange. This means each dollar is comparable in value and nothing is gained in the exchange. They then travelled in Canada and upon their return to the border, attempted to convert their Canadian money back to American. They found out that since the original date of conversion, the Canadian dollar had seriously devalued and they actually lost money in the final conversion.

I have attached a money conversion web site which has the current value of all world moneys. It is easy to use and can be of interest in this issue.

http://www.bankofcan...s/exchform.html

Another expense in Canada is cellular telephone service. I have AT&T. They offer a Canadian plan for $3.95 a month. This allows use of the cell phone in Canada at a reduced per minute rate. My faint recollection indicates they charge 19 cents a minute versus the Canadian phone company that transmits the call at, I believe, 59 cents per minute. This results from an agreement between the telephone companies. Just another potential expense.

I also checked with On-Star for my vehicle. They "claim" that their system will worked seamlessly in Canada and no additional fee's will incur in the use of the car phone. I am skeptical of this information and will not use my car phone in Canada.

I welcome any additional information on Canadian travel and expenses.

Edited by Larry Lecuyer, 24 September 2009 - 07:11 PM.


#11 Chris Z

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 04:40 AM

Sounds like a tremendous trip. Brought back some old memories. Been forever since we went around the Gaspe but many times in Acadia NP. I could go back right now listening to you if I could. Someday, I'd like to spend 3 or 4 weeks in Nove Scotia. Never seem to have enough time.

A note about the exchange; I called around before we left for an overseas trip that I just got back from. All my credit cards told me 3% but I have a VISA debit card from a bank and a MC debit card from my credit union. Both of those only charge 1%.
I also exchanged some money into Euros at the bank at the airport before we left. They charged us $5.00 no matter how much I wanted to exchange.
You may want to investigate.
Also, we have Verizon cell phone and they have a phone they willl rent to you for $9.99/mo. including shipping to you before you leave and a postage paid return envelope. You keep you same number. Only problem is that it costs/minute depending on what country and anyone can contact you dialing just as if you were at home.
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#12 daja

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:33 PM

QUOTE (Chris Z @ Sep 25 2009, 05:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sounds like a tremendous trip. Brought back some old memories. Been forever since we went around the Gaspe but many times in Acadia NP. I could go back right now listening to you if I could. Someday, I'd like to spend 3 or 4 weeks in Nove Scotia. Never seem to have enough time.

A note about the exchange; I called around before we left for an overseas trip that I just got back from. All my credit cards told me 3% but I have a VISA debit card from a bank and a MC debit card from my credit union. Both of those only charge 1%.
I also exchanged some money into Euros at the bank at the airport before we left. They charged us $5.00 no matter how much I wanted to exchange.
You may want to investigate.
Also, we have Verizon cell phone and they have a phone they willl rent to you for $9.99/mo. including shipping to you before you leave and a postage paid return envelope. You keep you same number. Only problem is that it costs/minute depending on what country and anyone can contact you dialing just as if you were at home.




#13 daja

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:39 PM

QUOTE (Larry Lecuyer @ Sep 24 2009, 08:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (daja @ Sep 24 2009, 07:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We used our credit card when we could, only to find that Citibank Mastercard started charging a 3% surcharge fee on the total for all international charges. Citibank gave us a one time adjustment, after we called to complain. So check your credit card company to make sure they don't have that charge. Most places only take Visa so we used our Visa Card more than the MC and did not have that surcharge. We seemed to get a better exchange rate when we charged.

We did get some cash converted, the best rate we got was when our new Canadian friend took us to his bank - we got the best rate of $1.08 since he was a customer. Everyone is happy to take American $ but they don't give you the difference, you lose the difference. The exchange rate was anywhere from $1.04 to $1.08. We always used banks to exchange.

Glad to help, let me know if you need anything else.


Daja: Thank you for the information and response to my question. In regards to the credit card fee, they all charge this fee. B of A lists the fee as "foreign currency fee" and charges 3%. This will get very costly if you frequently utilize the charge card in a foreign country. I secured a reservation in Niagara Falls, Ontario and used a credit card. I got hit with the 3% which usually takes a couple of billing periods to appear on the statement. The card companies are not very compassionate when you call and complain. I paid the fee just to keep my record safe.

I have never heard of not receiving the difference in the American dollar versus the Canadian dollar. I appreciate this information. The RV park suggested I exchange money at several independent money exchanges just inside the border area of Niagara Falls, Ontario. I never did go on this trip and cancelled the RV reservation. I still had to pay the 3% fee.

In general, I was informed by the RV park representative, that their is minimal gain in the exchange and that American money can be spent and is well accepted throughout Canada.

I recall reading a posting, that someone exchanged several hundred American dollars to Canadian at a "flat" rate of exchange. This means each dollar is comparable in value and nothing is gained in the exchange. They then travelled in Canada and upon their return to the border, attempted to convert their Canadian money back to American. They found out that since the original date of conversion, the Canadian dollar had seriously devalued and they actually lost money in the final conversion.

I have attached a money conversion web site which has the current value of all world moneys. It is easy to use and can be of interest in this issue.

http://www.bankofcan...s/exchform.html

Another expense in Canada is cellular telephone service. I have AT&T. They offer a Canadian plan for $3.95 a month. This allows use of the cell phone in Canada at a reduced per minute rate. My faint recollection indicates they charge 19 cents a minute versus the Canadian phone company that transmits the call at, I believe, 59 cents per minute. This results from an agreement between the telephone companies. Just another potential expense.

I also checked with On-Star for my vehicle. They "claim" that their system will worked seamlessly in Canada and no additional fee's will incur in the use of the car phone. I am skeptical of this information and will not use my car phone in Canada.

I welcome any additional information on Canadian travel and expenses.

Thanks, I will check into the credit card stuff before we use our cards for international purchases again. We use Verizon for our cell service and we have the unlimited national calling plan, I added Canada to that plan for an extra $20 month. It worked on both my phone and my husband's, since our accounts are billed together. It gave us an extra 1000 minutes/month and any calls on our family / friends or VZ users came out of our minutes. We made many calls to each other, to other Canada numbers, and received many calls from the USA and we didn't pay anything additional. It really worked out well for us cause the calling rate was something like 70 cents a minute without the plan. I was worried we would end up with a huge phone bill, but was pleasantly surprised when I got our wireless bill and everything was included in the plan. I dropped Canada from our plan upon our return, then pro rated the charge and we are all good!

We miss traveling and are already discussing where we want to go next. Enjoy and thanks again for the information.