Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quebec City: Spring & Summer 2008

Spring: 14-16 May 2008

A restaurant at Old Quebec.
Leaves started to grow ...
Old Quebec is 400 years old in this year.

The main street of Old Quebec.
Le Miserable is in the town.

My boyfriend told me that this is a city hall ... :(
But in fact, this is the famous Le Chateau Frontenac.

St Lawrence river view from the hill.

Nearby this street is said to be the first settlement of Quebec City, 400 years ago.

They get 12 feet of snow for the winter.
The snow is obviously that thick that, it just takes forever to melt down totally.
So i got this last chunk of snow here.

Montmorency Chute.
It is not a wide waterfalls, but a rather tall one.
So the thundering sound effect is good.

Summer: 16-18 August 2008

A family picnics with Mathieu's mother side relatives.

The roof of Civilisation Musuem.
It is a green roof, the musuem grows vegetable here and donates the cultivation to charity.

One of the famous tourist landmarks.
(Don't remember the name ...)

In conjunction of Quebec City 400 year celebration, there was a huge street celebration.
When the wind blows, the blue things created a feel of sea wave.
There is a projector show, "Images of Time" at night.

One of the many First Nation reserves near to Quebec City.
This White staff from the reserve's musuem is actually a First Nation.
This tribe of First Nation has all their tribe members looked like White since hundred years ago. (In contra to the brown skin of most of the First Nation.)
This is due to the mix-marriages between the Huron women and the White men.
Many Huron men died in the war, so the Huron women started to marry White men.
This guide has 25% of Huron blood. If he married a White or non-First Nation, then his offspring will lose the First Nation status.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chapais, Quebec, Canada: 29June - 3July 2008

Chapais is Mathieu's hometown. He completed part of his education here and had his childhood here. It is a small town 8 hrs drives from Montreal. It is a town grown from mining and when the mining stopped, the town inevitable becomes quiet. Currently, it serves as a stop for the logging trucks between the Northen and Southern bigger city.
This place is so far-north-in-the-middle-of-no-way that, it gets really cold winter and even no maple trees can survive such a harsh weather. We see only small leaves trees, such as pine trees.

A small town near to Lac St Jean. (On the way to Chapais.)

One of the lake at Chapais.
When we were there, a waste dam used during the mining time was broken and some waste water polluted the lakes near by.

The place is pretty much wild that, there are quite many outdoor activities to do, such as, camping. Years ago, the people here can just roam around the wild and "choose" a piece of land to be registered with the government for rental and built their own camping hut.
This one that we went belong to Mathieu's father's friend.

Mathieu and his brother went fishing in a weather like that.
I didn't like this idea at all (i mean fishing), but i went with them.
Then i so called used my "mind power" and dowsing and whatever i can manage, to prevent them for getting the fish.
It ended up that, they got only two "victims" for the whole trip, at that so called best fishing spot.
But they released a few small fishes as well.
They said, never to go fishing with me again.

Cooking becomes a tricky thing when it rains!
So a small "tent" was setup so that we could cook the meal.
i feel the camping was "real" when we had to cook with lake water (no tap water).

Due to the rain, the lake areas were flooded.
So during the return trip, the truck had to cross almost 10 inches deep of water.

Before the White people came, the land around Chapais is occupied by the First Nation (like Malaysian, bumiputra or orang Asli).
The government bought or took over the land, built the First Nation a village called "reserve", so now most of them stay in the typical Canadian kind of house.
There was a "display" or musuem kind of facilities showing what a First Nation's house used to be.
There are still tensions between the First Nation and the other Canadian.
Some First Nation think they were driven out from their land and marginized, while other common Canadian think, no tax if the first nation is living in the reserve and no limit for the first nation to catch fish (eventhough they are living a modern life now) ... are kind of unfair.
Well, it is just a complicated issue.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: 5-6 September 2008

Some people i talked to has very strong feeling to Toronto: "i hate Toronto". i think it is bizzarre to use such a strong word on Toronto. It is a big big city, like any other metropolitan. It might not as cultural as New York or as vibrant as Montreal, but there is nothing hateful about Toronto that i can feel. May be i just haven't stay there long enough to know the place.

The famous Toronto CN tower.

Toronto have a very big Chinese community.
Like any other part of the world, the Chinatown is always in the city centre.

The stadium used to be called "sky dome".
The roof can be opened and it should be interesting to watch a baseball game here.
(The Olympic Stadium in Montreal only managed to open its roof for once. :P)

i knew Viet Ha when i was travelling in Vietnam. She was backed to Hanoi for her internship from British Columbia University in Vancouver at that time.
She is now working in Toronto.
It was really nice to see her again and i think i remember very much that, she said when she first came to Canada, it surprised her that, tap water is safe to drink directly.
She said "it is such a luxury".
While her friend, Nice from France said, he doesn't know that tap water might not be safe to drink directly until he first went to Dominican Republic.
In New York, i remember i saw quite many advertisements from the authority to encourage people to drink tap water instead of to buy bottle water.
While in Montreal, some people i met do not drink tap water because "the water is clean but the water pipe is dirty".
The tap water in Singapore is safe to drink directly but not many people i know would do so. Most of us still prefer to boil the water, likely to out from our old habit.
So it actually strikes me a little bit to "understand" that, we got a luxury that we never really appreciate or we are taking for granted.

The old town hall is a very beautiful historical building. It is now the court.

Like a friend said when she was in Singapore, there are so many construction and digging going on.
So as for Toronto.

Casa Loma, the mansion on the hill.