Ottawa to Montreal before flight to Denmark
Once Graeme and his brother, Alan, decided to fly to Denmark on a flight out of Montreal, the question then became how to get to Montreal from Ottawa. There are plenty of options. Although not always the case, from past experience the most expensive option is usually to get a connecting flight from Ottawa International Airport. Usually, the cost of this option is a determining factor but, since travelers need to be at the airport early to get through security screening, etc., time can also become a factor especially since airlines won’t book connecting flights unless there is adequate time (big buffer) at the Montreal end to transfer both luggage and passengers to the international flight.Winter weather also plays into the equation but in the summer is not normally a determining factor.
Since the drive to Montreal is only about two and half hours, traveling there by car or bus is also an option especially if flying by KLM or Air France which both have an express non-stop bus pick-up point at the Ottawa Train Station. For this trip though, Graeme had found better flight discounting through American Airlines so using the KLM or Air France bus was not an option. That left the choice of driving and parking the car in long term parking or getting someone else to drive. With nice weather forecast for driving, this latter option ended up being what happened. The Volvo C70 needed a bit of highway driving anyway :-). Since Adell was driving, that meant that I could have some fun photographing the scenery along the way.
The highway from Ottawa to Montreal is divided all of the way with a legal speed limit of 100km/hr most of the way. That part of the route is, therefore, fairly predictable. The least predictable part is the time that it might take to cross through city traffic on Hwy 417 from Kanata on Ottawa’s western edge to the Montreal route on the eastern side of the city. Today, that part only took half an hour but some days it might take twice that long. Once out of the city, traffic is soon up to full speed and we rarely encounter any significant traffic jams on the main part of the route.
The highway passes through some forested areas but for the most part is passing through mixed agriculture areas with corn being a common crop in the area.
As we drove along, the big white clouds were beginning to look a bit more ominous and before long we began to think that we might encounter some serious thunderstorms. As it turned out, we left Ottawa just in time to miss the storms and along the way received messages from friends in Ottawa updating us on the nastiness of the storm that we were missing.
As is normal for summertime driving, one must always factor in some delays, hopefully minor, to account for construction activities. This summer was no exception as construction work (travaux) on the highway was being carried out at various locations in both the Ontario and the Quebec sections. We were late enough arriving at the worst point after workers had left for the day so, aside from slowing down a bit to avoid hitting the forest of cones, the construction zones didn’t cause us any distress or delay.
Always a bit tricky when you are traveling along at the speed limit and flashing lights approach from behind from a right hand highway access lane.
Once we got closer to Montreal we had to chose whether to try the Hwy 40 route or the Hwy 20 route. We knew that there was some construction on both routes but decided that the Hwy 20 route would be the least congested. Sometime it is nice to make the right choice or at least hope that you have! (Hwy 20 route)
We are used to seeing unilingual traffic signs in Quebec but have heard from many travelers from the USA and other parts of Canada, that the unilingual French signs can be quite surprising when they first encounter them.
The destination for this leg of the trip was Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport and we got there with plenty of time to spare.
Next blog entry for this trip: Copenhagen, Denmark.