Category: Around the world

The ultimate guide to Québec’s national parks

Around the world Canada North America Québec

The ultimate guide to Québec’s national parks

* This article groups together the different parks described in the various articles on Quebec

Vastness territory where nature is omnipresent, Québec represents a world of discoveries. During our road trip in the province, we focused on this wild natural side of the region, which led us to explore several national parks.

Quebec national parks are grouped under the name “SEPAQ”, literally “Société des Établissements de Plein Air du Québec”, administered by the Quebec government, although some of these parks are part of the Canadian national parks network. Only three parks in Quebec are given the appellation of “Parks Canada”.

With over twenty destinations located throughout Quebec, according to the organisation’s official website, these parks list more than “6,995 km² of protected areas”.

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Québec guide: Gaspésie

Around the world Canada North America Québec

Québec guide: Gaspésie

The Gaspésie was my favourite stop on our Canadian road-trip! The Gaspésie is an encircled peninsula where ocean, mountains and wilderness come together. Indeed, it is this piece of land that looks like a small paw when you look at the map of Quebec. Its name comes from the Micmac “gespeg” which means “where the land ends”, and it is true that arriving at the extremity of this piece of land, I am surprised to think that indeed, facing the Atlantic Ocean, the impression of being at the end of the world is perceived.

We spent a few days discovering the Gaspesian land and its many assets that make it a popular destination for Quebecers and a destination that is as big as Belgium! As soon as we arrived in Matane with the ferry, we took route 132, which splits in two in the gaspésie to form an itinerant loop of about 885 kilometres. We decided to take the northern route of the island in order to arrive in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region while having seen the vast majority of the Gaspésie.

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Québec guide: from Fjord-du-Saguenay national park to the Côte-Nord

Around the world Canada North America Québec

Québec guide: from Fjord-du-Saguenay national park to the Côte-Nord

This is our third step of our road trip after having spent some days at Lac Saint-Jean, which is famous for its microbreweries (I wasn’t expected Canadians to be so good at making beers). We are quietly heading towards Saguenay, a region well known for its fjord and its beautiful national park. While spending a few days in Saguenay, we had the opportunity to visit two national parks and then gently make our way to Tadoussac, a famous place in Quebec for observing whales. We were also able to discover a bit of the Côte-Nord region before boarding a ferry to reach the Gaspésie peninsula.

GUIDE TO THESE DESTINATIONS IN QUEBEC

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Québec guide : A day in la Mauricie National Park

Around the world Canada North America Québec

Québec guide : A day in la Mauricie National Park

Vastness territory where nature is omnipresent, Québec represents a world of discoveries. During our road trip in the province, we focused on this wild natural side of the region, which led us to explore several national parks.

Quebec national parks are grouped under the name “SEPAQ”, literally “Société des Établissements de Plein Air du Québec”, administered by the Quebec government, although some of these parks are part of the Canadian national parks network. Only three parks in Quebec are given the appellation of “Parks Canada”.

With over twenty destinations located throughout Quebec, according to the organisation’s official website, these parks list more than “6,995 km² of protected areas”.

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Marvel at the Iguaçu/Iguazu falls

Argentina Brazil South America

Marvel at the Iguaçu/Iguazu falls

Exhilarated, this is the feeling I had when I arrived in Brazil and met up with my two friends.  Having arrived around noon in Foz do Iguaçu, I gently acclimated myself to this country and its atmosphere. The girls took me directly to eat the traditional feijoada: in Brazil, they are the guides!

We soak up the quiet city (although some 200’000 Brazilians live there) which doesn’t offer much interest but allows us to feel safe, to tame the Brazilian culture and to enjoy a bit of rest. And then, looking back in the evening on the rooftop of our hostel, how could I be more pleased than at that moment? I’m surrounded by Argentina and Paraguay and the next day, I’m finally going to discover the Iguaçu Falls, the ones I missed on my previous trip, the year before in Argentina and Chile.

Far away, Paraguay and Argentina
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Around the world Brazil History South America

Brazil’s history

*This article has been written in January 2019. Since that date, many things might have happened which is not mentioned there.

View from the Corcovado, taken on this website

Towards independence

Despite some independence movements, Brazil became ” popular ” when the Portuguese royal family arrived in the country in 1808. As a result of this and the economic boom, many foreigners, mainly Europeans, immigrated to what they called “the new world”. A year after the return of the royal court to the country, the king’s son proclaimed the country’s independence and was crowned emperor in 1822. Without bloodshed, the transfer of power was easy but left slavery behind, which was in contrast to the reputedly liberal regime of the time. Slavery was abolished definitively many years later in 1888.

Subsequently, the republic was proclaimed in 1889. From these years onwards, a great deal of political and cultural change followed (a period of industrialisation and nationalism, but also of foreign modernist movements), which reinforced social inequalities.

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Brazilian clichés: reality or fantasy ?

Brazil South America

Brazilian clichés: reality or fantasy ?

*this article was first published in French on the 3rd of January 2019

Being the subject of fantasies or apprehension, Brazil generates a lot of clichés that are a bit hard-skinned. But are they really accurate?

For example, to mention just a few negative comments about this country, I was asked why I ventured there, apart from waddling my booty on beaches with a caipirinha in my hand, or that it was too dangerous to be an unaccompanied girl (three in this case for this trip) of a man to avoid being bothered!

To sum up, although I was a little annoyed by these prejudices about a country that does indeed have stereotypes but like every country on the planet; I challenged myself to deconstruct them and make my own analysis. Because of course, I also have my own preconceptions and I often ask myself a lot of questions about what I am going to discover while travelling. It is precisely this curiosity that allows me to change my points of view or to strengthen them, to open my view of the world and particularly of our society today.

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