Quebec, Canada Travel Guide

Quebec is a Canadian province with over 500,000 residents. It is very close to the Arctic, so it has long, cold winters which make it the perfect destination for winter sports. The city bursts into action during the warmer months. Quebec City combines the familiarity of North America with the ‘couleur locale” of Europe. Its Parisian-style flair with charming cobblestone streets shows their love for fine cuisine and haute couture.

While discovering this city’s highlights, you will be zigzagging between the Lower Town and the walled Upper Town, so take the Breakneck Stairs or jump on the funicular. The Quebecois are very proud of their French roots and will always remember their history, just like their motto says. French is Quebec’s official language, French heroes statues still dot the squares, and you will still find croissants on the menu.

Quebec is a heritage city with its own mini version of the Notre Dame. This basilica stands at the Place Royale, the site where it all began. In 1608, Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain here. You will get to explore the past and you will also come face to face with some leading artists in Quebec on your way to North America’s oldest retail district. It is as if these horse-drawn carriages, food stalls, and sugar shacks have always been there. You will find another fresco just under the Breakneck Stairs. It depicts the waterfront neighborhood Cap-Blanc history.

The Old Port is a great place you can explore on a bicycle. Stop at the Musée de la civilization and take a journey through Quebec’s history right from the First Nations to its modern culture. Stroll past the cannons and fortifications on the Dufferin Terrace to continue your time travels.

Don’t miss the Chateau Frontenac which towers over the St. Lawrence River. This river plays a major part in the story of Quebec: it brought international trade, the first settlers, and the soldiers who fought for the Canadian territory. In 1759, the Plains of Abraham in Battlefields Park is where the British captured Quebec. Today, it is a peaceful city where you can admire modern art, fly a kite, and explore old defense towers.

Step through the gates of La Citadelle to watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. Shop in the oldest grocery store in North America to stock up on provisions or you can head out of the Old Town to experience some family attractions in Quebec. To the south is the Aquarium that introduces you to the marine mammals that live in the waters of the Arctic. The Montmorency Falls are to the north. Stand suspended in air, glide past, or witness the spectacle up close by climbing the observation platform.

At dusk, Quebec City transforms and it is a perfect time to explore Rue St. Paul’s sidewalk restaurants. Quebec is a truly unique Canadian city with the French elegance and a 400-year-old history.

How to Catch a Connecting Flight

This article will be about how to catch a connecting flight. This is a seriously big concern for first-time or novice travelers. It was for me when I went to Australia. I had never had to get a connection, and I was so scared of what I had to do at the airport, but it’s so simple.

The airline will print you separate flight tickets for each leg of your journey as soon as you check in at the original destination. Now know they normally tell you to double check with the ground staff whether your luggage will be taken from A to Z and not just A to B. Unless you have a self-transfer, normally your baggage is put in all the different connecting flights. So if you are going from the US to Singapore to England, you don’t have to worry and you don’t have to pick it up at Singapore if it is a whole flight.

Always check prior to your travel you do not need a transit visa for a connection. Some countries will require this if you are there for more than a certain amount of hours and your airline will not provide that for you. It is not as common as you may fear but always check if you have a long layover somewhere, whether that country requires you to have a transit visa.

Once you have disembarked the aircraft, just follow the signs for connections/departures. If you have been given all the tickets from your original destination for all your connecting flights, then normally that means you don’t have to recheck in. So just go straight to the departure lounge.

When you get off the plane, there is normally always a sign somewhere up above which tells you either that way to baggage claim and arrivals or that way to departures and connecting flights. Seriously, it’s normally so well signposted so you don’t have to freak out. If in doubt and you can’t find a sign which is unlikely to happen, then there are lots of ground staff everywhere just ask them. Tell them you got a connecting flight and which way you have to go.

If your original flight is delayed which makes you miss your connecting flight, generally, that is the airline’s problem and they will put you on the next available flight. So if you have booked all of them through Emirates and your first flight was delayed by 4 hours and you are there stressing, thinking you have now definitely missed the connecting flight. Don’t worry, that is Emirate’s fault that the first flight was delayed. Normally, when you get there, just go up to the customer service desk and they’ll give you a time for a new flight.

So seriously, it is very simple, very easy, to catch a connecting flight. It is always signposted. Wherever you are going, make sure you enjoy yourself. Let me know in the comments section if you have had any bad experiences transferring off flights.

Austin, Texas Travel Guide

Austin is the capital of Texas and it is located along the Colorado River. The prairies of the coastal plain and the ranches is Texas hill country meet here. Although it has crowds and skyscrapers, it isn’t Texas biggest city but has a unique bohemian feel. Its population is growing fast as the university in this city attracts the talented and the young. The locals here try to make this city keep its weirdness so as to keep the original “anything goes” and laid back spirit alive.

Austin has a strong cultural identity, and it is a place where art is all around you and the self-proclaimed world’s live music capital. Once you start exploring this city, you will discover the locals have an affinity for state history, guitars, quirky humor, festivals, stars, and self expression. On a recent visit to the Texas Capital, friends of mine who run a garbage bin rental company in Alberta, found some great places to see on your trip to Austin. Here are the must see attractions.

Ziker Botanical Garden
Austin was the first pioneers of Texas wilderness and was created around buffalo herders camp fires. Although this city has spread its wings, you can still catch a glimpse of the past here. When you visit this zoo, ensure you see the longhorns which is symbolic of Texas.

Blanton Museum of Art
Browse this museum if you are looking for a conventional take on the cattle history of Austin. Head to McKinney falls where you can cool off by the streams or clamber over rocks.

South Congress Avenue
On the South Congress Avenue you can explore the quirky shops. Be prepared to encounter carnivalesque zebras and uncommon objects while shopping for a pair of boots, designer shirts, and vintage clothes.

Food Trucks
Just like every other Texan city, there is no need to look far for lunch. There are food trucks on almost every street corner. You can choose from the German wurst, Indian dosa, or tex mex seafood.

Downtown Bistros
This is a great place for dinner. You can take a seat on the terrace for a meal or drinks even in winter.

Food and Music Festival
Austin is also widely known for its food and music festivals like ACL and South by Southwest. The limits festivals pay tribute to the country’s longest running music program. Nelson was the first ever guest on this TV show and he used to perform in the rustic local landmark, the broken space. Before you go to pay respect to Stevie Ray Vaughan, the guitar legend here, you can listen to up and coming bands.

Sixth Street
Head to the sixth street when night falls. It is a place for a wide variety of evening entertainment including a live band.

Catch a comedy show, watch a cult movie, have a cold beer, and listen to blues. Locals here say Austin had its own soundtrack; it is hard not to be taken.