by Eileen Schuelbe
Canada’s East is mostly referred to as the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. Each one has its special charm and is beautiful to visit, so what could be better than a road trip? The trip starts in Toronto, Ontario, the capital of this Province and also the biggest town in Canada. On highway 7 (more relaxing than taking highway 401), head East to Ottawa, Canada’s capital, but first make sure to make a side trip to Bon Echo Provincial Park for an unhurried walk. In Ottawa, go to Parliament Hill and participate in a free guided tour. Don’t forget to climb Peace Tower for a complete view over Ottawa.
After leaving Ottawa on Highway 417, you’re soon entering the mainly French speaking part of Canada, Quebec. Montreal is right behind the “border” and this is your first stop. Just enjoy the lively and vibrant city, which can be discovered best by bike. Best bread and croissants are to be found in Jean-Talon Market. Leaving Montreal won’t be easy, but next stop Quebec City just 260 km further down on more scenic highway 40 with its European charm hopefully takes away the pain – you’ll feel like taken back in time into the middle age!
After enjoying the big city’s life, prepare for a longer ride in your car on the Trans-Canada Highways. Quebec’s landscape is rural and rough with high mountains and woods and invites to short hiking tours. You’re now entering New Brunswick and also another time zone, Atlantic Standard Time (AST), which vast woodlands have their own appeal – especially for ATV fans, which can be rented on-
site. New Brunswick shares famous Bay of Fundy with Nova Scotia, both Provinces offering many activities and lookouts of this wonder of nature. Hopewell Rocks Park on route 114 (leave highway 2, also known as the Trans-Canada Highway, in Moncton) is an unique place to experience the highest tides in the world, even allowing you to walk in an area where shortly before you couldn’t see anything but water. Nova Scotia welcomes you with a great tourist info and just for the record, the washrooms there are open 24hrs/day. It is a peninsula with 7, 400 km of coastline, completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean: watersports, seal, whale and bird watching are just a few activities to savor here. But don’t come here too early in the year, large whales eg. appear only in August and then even swim close to the coast, completely absorbed in their hunt of fish. Capital is windy Halifax, with nice pubs and pier 21, the Canadian equivalent to Elli’s Island in New York, USA. Until 1971, every immigrant coming by ship to Canada arrived here. Now it’s an interesting museum you shouldn’t miss. Cape Breton, an island of Nova Scotia on the East side with famous Cabot Trail, also offers the opportunity to ferry to Newfoundland (from Sydney). It’s expensive but the beauty of Newfoundland is worth it. Just enjoy pure nature, watch icebergs passing by in the ocean and breath deeply. Back in Nova Scotia, you can now take the ferry to Prince Edward Island (PEI), where it’s just lovely. On the ferry watch out for whales and dolphins, you may be lucky! The capital is pictorial Charlottetown, where you can recover by going for short walks. PEI is very good for biking as the old railroad system was replaced with biking trails and the island also is very flat. From PEI take imposing Confederation Bridge back to New Brunswick, from where you could start your return journey. It’s up to you: where do you want to go next?