Tag Archives: Quebec City

Last day in Quebec City

Alan took this picture of me in the pool from our hotel room window..note the snow surround

Alan took this picture of me in the pool from our hotel room window..note the snow surround

First thing in the morning, as soon as the pool was open, I went for a swim. When I was looking up the Delta Quebec online before we left, I saw that it had an outdoor heated pool. I thought this meant in the summer and said to Alan…no swimming this weekend. I was wrong-they heat the outdoor pool to swimming temperature all winter. It is pretty bizarre and decadent. It reminded me of the hotel in Guilin, China that becomes a waterfall..I couldn’t find one of our own pictures, so I got this one from the web. I have to admit I am not a good enough person not to be impressed and enjoy these things…
Hotel in Guilin, China, the facade of which becomes a waterfall nightly

Hotel in Guilin, China, the facade of which becomes a waterfall nightly

We walked into the old city for breakfast and I had the best eggs Benedict ever. And I order them whenever a restaurant has them. They were served on what amounted to pulled ham, and good quality ham at that. I am not sure I can go back to ordinary ones now. So often they overcook the eggs and they usually put them on a nasty deli slice of ham.
Eggs Benny for breakfast...

Eggs Benny for breakfast…

We left the restaurant and took the funicular car down to the lower town.
Vertigo, anyone?

Vertigo, anyone?

After wandering around a bit, we took the ferry across the river to Levis and back. I am a sucker for ferries, Hong Kong ,Bangkok Italy to Athens and on to Crete, between the islands of New Zealand, etc. I once had a memorable crossing of the English channel as a teenager. The ferry passed the breakwater into heaving seas and soon the entire population was heaving along with the boat. When the kids were little we sometimes took the long way home from Toronto via Picton and took the little ferry that connects Prince Edward County with Kingston. It is a perfect ferry ride for small children. If it is not right there, you can watch it coming. You can see the far shore as soon as you embark…kids attention span stuff. All the bang and no fizzling out.
The ferry to Levis was great because if you stood at the bow, you could look down and watch it crash into the ice floes and bust them in pieces. We only discovered this on the return trip and I wanted to go do it again, but we refrained. Unfortunately, the ice floes only cover half the width of the river now. Two days ago they went pretty much all the way across. I guess we really hit a good day to get here so we could see that.
Heading back to Quebec City from Levis

Heading back to Quebec City from Levis

After the ferry we went and looked at the lobby of the Chateau Frontenac and had a coffee in the ubiquitous Starbucks, then returned to the hotel and out for supper. We are now back home. It was a great mini vacation. I don’t even mind that I have to postpone my trip to Peru till the fall…

Quebec City and surrounding area…the adventure continues

bridge to Ile d'Orleans

bridge to Ile d’Orleans

Yesterday (Saturday, our second full day here), we took a road trip out of the city to visit Montmerency Falls and the Ile d’Orleans, which sits in the middle of the St. Lawrence just east of Quebec city. It has a circumference of 75km according to Wikipedia and so the road that circumnavigates the island is probably a bit less than this. It was as picturesque as all get out. We saw at least three tiny little churches, probably only large enough to seat a family, as well as lots of full size ones. The river was as beautiful as you can imagine with the sun reflecting off the ice floes. The houses and farms seemed all well kept, at least so far as you can tell with snow covering everything. Because the deciduous trees had no leaves, there was little to encumber the views of the river.
Just over the bridge as you leave the island is Montmerency Falls.
Montmerency Falls

Montmerency Falls

If you look closely, you can see two climbers going up the dome that has been formed by the constant freezing of the spray at the bottom of the falls. Apparently these falls are 1 1/2 times as high as Niagara Falls, but lack the width.
closer to the falls

closer to the falls

I love waterfalls in the winter, they get such interesting ice buildup. We took a cable car up to the top of the falls, then walked around at the top and came back down on the cable car. We would have walked one way but the interesting looking staircase was closed for the winter still.
Coincidentally, just as we were leaving these falls, Heather texted me that she was just at Niagara Falls for the first time in her life on an impromptu trip–one failure of parenting–she texted OMG, WHY have I never been here before. Because your parents took you round the world instead of down the road, I guess. Sucks to be you.
St. Patrick's (belated) day parade Quebec City

St. Patrick’s (belated) day parade Quebec City

After we got back to town we went to see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade…but wait, wasn’t that two weeks ago, you ask? Why, yes, but according to our waitress the night before, if you want the good pipers, you have to get in line behind Boston, NYC and Montreal. These poor third tier towns.
After the parade, we just came back to the hotel and vegged, then went downstairs for supper. We are taking it easy this trip…not the power tourists we used to be back in our heydey.

Loving Quebec City…

We are in Quebec City because Alan won 4 nights in a Delta hotel. The hotel is great, quite close to the old city. It is way swankier than any accommodation I usually have. We have a love seat and a desk in the room, which makes it easy to spend time in. The hotel has a good restaurant if you don’t feel like venturing out for a meal, although the meals we have had out have been spectacular. Since we aren’t paying for accommodation, we have been paying a little more for food than we usually do also. Maybe we are just lucky, but the food seems better here than at home.
Even though we are only a little over 4 hours from home, it seems more exotic than that. And the weather is fantastic-hovering around 0 (32 in Fahrenheit) and sunny every day so far. After our long, cold winter it seems positively balmy. I love the fact that most of the conversation you hear around you is in French, so it makes you feel more like you are away. You hear French sometimes in Ottawa, but mostly English in our area.
We got here on Thursday late afternoon, taking it very slowly to get here. We will return even more slowly as we have a few stops planned.
On Friday we started with a bus tour of the city. I find these to be very helpful when travelling to orient yourself and give you an idea of what to visit later. In the afternoon we hung around the hotel, then I went across the street to an observation deck on the 31st floor of the tallest building in the city. It was OK until I hit the east side, then it was FABULOUS. The view over the old city and out over the St. Lawrence and Ile d’Orleans was one of those views I never want to leave. I think it may be amongst my top ten ever views. I stayed there for about an hour just watching the ferries and tug boats floating through the ice floes, making wakes behind them that stayed for ages before they filled back in, and looking at the old city I had been walking through in the morning with its ramparts.
Google decided on another photo array…so here it is