I had the incredible opportunity of visiting Quebec for the first time this summer, and it stole my heart away. I've seen many of the provinces and territories across Canada, but there's just something special about Quebec.
To me, Quebec is a province locked in time. Montreal is futuristic, with expansive bridges, modern art, postmodern architecture and has the title of being where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their "Bed In For Peace". Quebec City, on the other hand, is old fashioned, remarkably European with French styled architecture, has old cobblestone roads and a massive murals. The contrast between the two cities is so incredible that I actually considered splitting this article into two sections, one about Montreal and one about Quebec.
Quebec is unique to Canada as it's the only province where French is the native language. Canada is supposedly bilingual, but the only bilingual province is New Brunswick. Although Quebec is strictly French, I had no trouble getting around because everybody I met spoke fluent English.
Quebec has had it's challenges over the years, from struggling with the Aboriginals, to being bombed and destroyed by the British, by having a rebellion (or "Patriots' War", depending who you ask), by being plagued with extreme separatism and having to be invaded by the Canadian military, by having the Oka Crisis and finally by almost separating Canada with their famous 49-51% vote. Quebec is the province of Canada that is most proud of who they are and their heritage, and it is something uniquely refreshing about the province when you compare it to Western Canada which has a very recent history and whose heritage is lucky to go back more than a century, let alone almost four.
Being said, I would like to introduce you to "Instagramming Canada Quebec", and the 9th installment of my 13 part series about Canada. Hope you enjoy it!
Lakes and Rivers
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Are you looking to explore Ontario and Quebec? I recommend:
As this was my first time flying a kite, I'm proud to say I only crashed it about thirty times. Thankfully, my instructor said, the kite wasn't too expensive and was made for crash landings. After one particular sharp nose-dive, however, he came over to show me what I was doing wrong. After a few minor adjustments, I kicked the kite back into the air and managed to do my first loop.
The field we were in was empty that day. Within 24 hours, however, the field would be full of kite enthusiasts from across the world. Many of the kite flyers were from Canada and the United States, but some even came as far away as London, Germany and New Zealand. At only 13 years old, the SaskPower Windscape Kite Festival has become internationally renowned to kite flyers around the world.
When people think of kites, they might think of the classic diamond shaped kite of Charlie Brown. However, these days there are many different kinds of kites, and each with their own unique design and purpose.
A few months ago I entered a contest for a trip for two to visit Philadelphia on Two Bad Tourists. Normally contests like this are limited to United States residents so when I saw this one was open to Canadians I jumped at the chance. I've never won something like this before, so I actually forgot about it until I got the emailing saying I had won. Two Bad Tourists then worked alongside Visit Philly to organise the trip for me and my mother to explore Philadelphia for three days. Visit Philly paid for our flights, hotels and gave us a VIP Pass to experience the city to our heart's content. It is thanks to them that this trip is possible.
Several movies and television shows have tried to capture the essence of Philadelphia over the years – from the boxing Blockbuster Rocky, to the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense, to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and even Boy Meets World – but each described the city differently. There is no easy way to approach a city as dynamic as The City of Brotherly Love. With countless layers of art, history, religion and the paranormal, Philadelphia is a city unlike any other throughout the United States.
One thing that surprised me the most about Philadelphia was the history. The city was founded and designed by William Penn, who is also the state of Pennsylvania's namesake. Born in London, England in 1644 he lived through The Great Fire of 1666 and The Great Plague of London from 1665-1666. Both events shaped Penn's life so he designed the city to be strictly stone buildings (to stop fires from spreading) and to have plenty of space between the buildings (as to prevent illness from spreading). This led to the older areas of the city to have winding corridors between old stone walls.
Part 12 of my cross Canada series takes us to the smallest province in Canada, Prince Edward Island. However, don't let the name confuse you: PEI is actually 232 islands!
PEI also happens to have smallest population of any province in Canada, with only 146,300 people as of 2014. This means this province has less people than my hometown Regina!
Being so small, however, it was difficult to find images on Instagram. That isn't to say there's nothing there worth seeing! Quiet the quandary, actually. PEI has a few very unique locations that drive their tourism. One of them is the gorgeous themed village of Avonlea, named after the village in the hit novel "Anne of Green Gables" published in 1908. This story, and the subsequent stories, follows Anne, a red-haired "fiery" orphan who grows up on PEI. The story is an international bestseller, and is strangely very popular in Japan (or so I've been told)!