The beginning of the honeymoon: between good fortune and troubles from Paris to Québec City going through Alaska and Western Canada. We are taking some time to focus on our first month of travel.
An eventful start
We weren’t as prepared for the big travel on September 1st as we would have wanted. After all the emotions of our dream wedding Clémentine got ill for ten days before departure we were wondering if we would even be able to take off. Our bags were not as ready as expected (to know the content read our article: ultimate packing list) and the blog wasn’t progressing according to our plans.
We finally left for our long-awaited adventures with a light heart and a bag full of antibiotics. This lightness quickly disappeared at the airport when we were denied boarding due to lack of evidence of our exit from US territory within 3 months. We did not know it, and we hope this story will prevent you the same issue, but a New York City to Mexico City flight ticket is not a good enough proof because going to Mexico or Canada does not constitute an exit from the United States (logic eh?!). Same issue to board the plane in Frankfurt. Fortunately our German friend found a solution for us in a rush. However, once out of the Anchorage airport in Alaska, in the heart of the city surrounded by mountains, we quickly forget our miseries.
The adventure in Alaska
Part 1: the road trip
We could write you ten pages about Alaska, but we really want you to read this newsletter to the last word. If you want to read the details of our road-trip we invite you to click on this link. We (almost) mistook ourselves for real adventurers in this part of the world where so few men have settled. From Anchorage we rented an RV to drive north. There was no chance of getting lost, there is only one road to Denali Park. This national park impressed us, the weather was good and we were able to admire the highest mountain in North America (only 10% of visitors have this chance). We also met moose and caribou and ten grizzlies. Here too we were really lucky, the grizzlies kept us company while we were wandering with some park rangers and we were VERY relieved to not have had the necessity to use our “bear spray” when hiking alone. We doubt we would have been able to use it in case of need. We took advantage of an American-style RV (bigger than our studio in London…) and every night we stopped in picturesque locations.
Part 2: travel with the cruise
On September 7th we left for the second part of our Alaskan trip: the cruise! We really did not know what to expect, it was our first time cruising and we must admit we had some negative preconceptions. Despite the unexpected low price, quality and comfort were not lacking, not to mention the delicious meals (with plenty of lactose free options for Clémentine). Travelling by sea allowed us to visit every day some natural wonders and Alaskan cities not accessible by road. As we were descending toward the south the landscapes changed and we kept being blown away. Once again we were incredibly lucky and saw many whales and glaciers usually covered by mist. The most beautiful surprise was to make a great dream come true by observing northern lights.
Alaska is a destination we highly recommend. For nature lovers it’s obvious why. We were also impressed by the culture: the traditions and lifestyles of the native tribes (including the Inuits) and the contemporary history of Alaska, the Russian trappers and the fur trade as well as the Americans and the exploitation of gold and oil. Clémentine is fascinated by the Gold Rush. A perfect way to start the honeymoon travel!
Vancouver and surroundings
The reason we choose the cruise was also transportation. In fact, it allowed us to arrive in Vancouver on September 14th, the day before the wedding of our friends. Since we had little time in Vancouver, we asked Cléme’s cousin (Caro, who lived in Vancouver for a few months) to make an itinerary to visit the city in 48 hours. The program: Stanley Park, English Bay Beach, Granville Island and Gastown. After asking our way, we had the pleasant surprise of being offered boat tickets by someone who had heard our conversation (she even ran after us!). A great start for Nicolas’s first canadian experience.
Sonya and Simon’s wedding was magnificent! It was an honour to attend the wedding of two friends (they met in Clémentine’s master class at the University of London). Simon comes from Adelaide in Australia and Sonya from Saskatoon in Canada, getting married in Vancouver made travel easier for their families. Sonya has Indian origins and we were able to attend a beautiful Hindu celebration. Clementine even had her hand decorated with henna for the occasion.
After the wedding we travelled to Whistler with our group of friends from London. Whistler is a major Canadian ski resort that hosted the Winter Olympic Games once. There are lots of summer activities too. We enjoyed hiking in the mountains and going on cycle rides around beautiful lakes. Though we will not lie, we especially enjoyed the cottage (with the jacuzzi) and partying with our friends.
Rest in Québec
The trip from Whistler to Québec City was a long day. Morgan, Nicolas’s cousin, was waiting in Québec City to take us home to Lévis where we squat for two weeks. Unfortunately, Clémentine’s health has not been good since we arrived. In consequence we are resting and taking the opportunity to write our blog posts. This didn’t stop us from enjoying Québec where we met with French friends on holiday and visited a friend from Québec. On the program:
- Kayaking down the Jacques-Cartier river for Nico.
- Visiting the old Québec and tasting poutine (with fake melted cheese for Cléme) and beaver tails (true story!).
- Hiking on the Ile d’Orleans and at the Chaudière and Montmorency falls.
Our friend from Québec took us on a hike and we saw a moose and her baby eating a few meters away from us, incredibly lucky, it was the first time for our friend! The program of October is just as busy. Few days in Montreal, then heading to Vermont in the far north of the United States followed by a train ride to New York. Mid-October we are flying to Mexico! We hope you like reading our travel adventures.