Joie de Canada

Often when I’m at sea – literally not emotionally – I am reminded that there was a time when we were not always so connected. Computers were for mad scientists bent on taking over the world, a hatch tag was used in composing music, a tweet was made by a bird and Facetime – well let’s not go there. It can be frustrating but it can also be liberating not to have that Internet tether to the rest of the world.

This past week on board Crystal Symphony has been one of those “disconnect” time. Up to now all the posts that have appeared this week were done before I left Montreal. On a cruise there are several things that make blogging difficult: finding the time can be a challenge – the on board programmes with Crystal are many and cover numerous interests. And finding an internet signal that is not going to cost the same as the cruise can be another. On the days when I have had my normal connection I’ve been out and about, occupied taking iMovie courses, having afternoon tea, eating or otherwise enjoying cruise ship life.

The marketing people at Crystal had entitled the cruise “Joie de Canada” and it has lived up to its name. I’ve seen parts of my home and native land that leave me astounded at the natural beauty, enthralled by its history and enchanted by its people. And I’ve experienced a corner of France that logically shouldn’t exist but does.

Once I get back to what will be I’m sure the jar of reality I hope I can put into word and pictures some of what I’ve experienced in the past week. In the meantime here are a few photo and brief captions to give a hint at the “joie” I’ve experienced.

The Saguenay River

Entering the mouth of the Saguenay River from the St. Laurent.
Green, ochre, grays and blue – the colours of the Saguenay.
Notre Dame de Saguenay has watched over the fjord for over 125 years – the 35 foot statue is carved of Douglas Fir and sheathed in lead to protect it from the elements.


Le Vieux Poste – The Old Trading Post – is a reconstruction on the site of the Hudson Bay Office in the 1800s when furs were the life-blood of the Innu and surrounding community.

The Postmaster’s office was the centre of trading for furs and goods.

This gentleman was one of the finest guides I’ve ever experience – his knowledge and presentation made the Post very much a piece of living history.
A visit to the Shaputuan Museum gave us the opportunity to listen to an Elder talk about the Innu and their way of life as well as ….

see stunning examples of work by modern Innu artists in bone and….
…fur and local woods.

Les Îles de la Madeleine

These incredible cliffs are almost in the centre of Cap-aux-Meules – the islands are joined by roads along the sand dunes on either side of the main islands.

We were told – and being tourists believed it – was that often the only paint available from the mainland were the colours that didn’t sell. Fishermen would buy them for their boats and use what was left on their houses.
Les îles are known for the beaches along the South Dune – the sand is as fine as sugar and sparkles with quartz.

Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

Île aux Marins has been uninhabited since 1965 but the church and houses sit waiting likes ghosts of the past.
Like the Madeleiners the people of Saint-Pierre are not afraid of colour.
There is no mistaking that this is very much a French Island .

We’re en route back to Canada today – sailing through the Cabot Straight to the Gulf of St Lawrence on our way to la Ville de Québec. It’s been wonderful to see a corner of my country that I have left undiscovered for too long.

On this day in 1790: Peking opera is born when the Four Great Anhui Troupes introduce Anhui opera to Beijing in honor of the Qianlong Emperor‘s eightieth birthday.

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

6 thoughts on “Joie de Canada”

    1. It’s been incredible – a bit cool at nights, it’s been as low as 3c but the days up to 20-23c with non stop sunshine.

  1. I am glad to see you are having a marvelous time
    I am seeing the wisdom of unplugging; last night’s play started with a young man arriving at a remote cabin only to find out there is no internet – gasp! the older ones found this a relief though, as they had their books.

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