The capital of the Province of Quebec,Quebec Cityis a well-established hub of world-class cuisine, North America’s first Renaissance festival, a leading medical research center and more. It is also a vibrant and exciting city with a leading economic, commercial and educational sector. Quebeckers know how to make things happen, and are renowned for their tireless work ethic and positive outlook.
My journey began at the Olympic Park in the west end of Montreal, at the Place d’Armes and at Province House in the east end of the city. I visited both locations on separate days with a companion. We arrived at the Province House early in the afternoon on March 26, familar with the typical scene of one of Montreal’s 10 statues dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the arrival of immigrants, mostly from the Western provinces.
We went up to the Capitol of Quebec, sat down and waited for the speeches to be given. Then we walked down to the front entrance of the building on rue de Rivière and got a very good view of one of Quebec’s most impressive buildings: the magnificent Basilica of Notre Dame, the patron saint of the Province. Quebec has a Historically founded, Roman Catholic, Province and today over 33,000 churches reflect the multi-faith nature of the Province.
The evening closed off nicely, we had a chance to explore a little more of the interesting areas around the Capitol, including a temporary remodeling of the Place d’Armes bridge, going up to Chapelle Montreal, Montreal’s most famous square. By 8:30 pm it was time to head back and catch our 45 minute bus back to place du Canada, where we were going to spend the rest of the night.
This time we had a private double-bedroom and a private washroom in a private washroom on the top floor, with a beautiful balcony overlooking kilometer number 4 (the 4th of July, the Equinox) and the majestic St. Lawrence River. We were going to extraordinary depths, literally… We were going to cruise the St. Lawrence River, above the highest part of Montreal.
Having cruised the river so many times before, I was going to enjoy another cruise. atmosphere but I was no more interested in a formal cruise as long as we didn’t have to cruise around the actual city. The organizer of this particular cruise wanted it to be a family outing. Indeed, a double-decker bus with 2 double beds was used to ferry 150 passengers from the downtown area to the sandy beach and there did not seem to be any passengers who had any difficulties with motion sickness. I thought the double-bedroom must have accommodations for my grandchildren, at least half of whom were unable to sleep, everyone was very comfortable and no one was in pain. When cruising the river I saw that the organizers had installed speakers so that people who were a little sick or a little more irritable than others might be able to communicate so that they could locate the comfortable resting places in the charter bus.
When we deplaned and the bus started its unloading, I was amazed that the bus did not tip over like most of them do, it was as solid as a rock. One of the bus drivers told us that they had been preparing for this hour long trip and admitted that they had not had a full tank of gas. All the buses that empties on the trip are replaced by diesel-electric ones, a cheaper and more energy-efficient way to travel.
Unlike other charter bus companies, Equinox actually offers seats that are equipped with associated items such as pillows, blankets and leg-pans. The comfort items serve these passengers so well that after a long day of riding they do not feel the need to ask their fellow passengers for directions. On a trip to Quebec City I noticed that there were a half dozen charter buses taking passengers to the Eastern, Heritage and Champlain parts of the city. Also on the list were several shuttles that were used to get from Toronto to Montreal. It seems that this company has plenty of experience in the bus field and they know exactly what to do to ensure that their customers have a great riding experience.
The price of a charter bus is considerably lower than that of a typical city bus, anywhere between $60 and $250 pesos including all fees. Although I was going to get rid of my bus pass before leaving I was not going to sell my bus card. Instead I was going to create another way of puckocking my existing bus pass. I got a good deal on my bus ticket one day and I was going to use it to pick up my new bus. Before leaving I wanted to ensure that I had put the yellow Rhodesia publishing mark down on my bus ticket. I had noticed that with my back to the board there is a big Queen street C and there were two Cs crossing the road, one on each side.