Day 113 Quebec, Quebec - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

August 21, 2011

Day 113 Quebec, Quebec

We did not wait around to see if the promised shuttle would be running, but rather took the challenge of going by bus. The girl at the campground office had explained it all in a barrage of rapid French and a lot of yellow highlighter on a bus schedule. I was daunted, but Dodie was not. We got on the #92 and watched out the window as it zipped around a myriad suburbs. At the end of the line we transferred to a similarly energetic bus. a man at the bus stop had told us we could not miss our stop because it was at the bottom of a big hill. This was confirmed by the bus driver and she did usher us off at the bottom of a hill. Nothing around looked like "Old Quebec" so I asked a man standing nearby. He said to go up the hill. Hmmmm.

and getting from our campground into the city was not simple. I would not have tried it on my own, but Dodie figured it out like a champ. She also chatted up one bus driver all the way down, in French!
Heart 0 Comment 0
When the bus dumped us out we were really disoriented, plus it was pouring rain. So we jumped into a restaurant and ordered these breakfasts. After a few crepes our minds cleared and we easily found the Old Town.
Heart 0 Comment 0

It turned out that what we were looking for was just around the corner, and in general you really could not miss it.

Our first look at old town Quebec.
Heart 0 Comment 0
We passed through this gate to get through the fortifications.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Some of the streets are closed to cars on the weekend, most are too narrow for motorists to bother with anyway.
Heart 0 Comment 0
There were hyper-quaint sights on every side
Heart 0 Comment 0

Maple syrup is a famously Canadian product and truly is woven into the fabric o life here. It's not just the sweet thing to put on your pancakes. Rather, it comes from the native maple tree (there are four syrup producing species of Maple)whose sap flows best in the part o Spring when it freezes at night and warms by day. So the image is trees and snow and going out in the snow to collect the sap - i.e. Canada! (at least Eastern Canada and oh yes, New England).

This store specializes in maple products
Heart 0 Comment 0
even maple tea.
Heart 0 Comment 0
At about $16 per litre this was only a minor ripoff. Most prices in town were pretty high. Dodie refused to pay $1 to $1.50 per small chocolate, for instance.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The maple store had a well done maple museum and display. Here are some old Citadel materials. We have known this brand since childhood.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Another great street
Heart 0 Comment 0
This lovely building housed a restaurant. Most buildings had souvenir stores, clothing stores, art, or restaurants.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The bread at Paillard was very good
Heart 0 Comment 0
But at $2.75 the brioches were pricey. They were still top grade, but there are better ones in Montreal for less.
Heart 0 Comment 0
I think I stayed at this hotel 25 years ago.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Caleches are a common sight
Heart 0 Comment 0
How about this row of houses
Heart 0 Comment 0
There are historic markets describing the evolution of this unique corner
Heart 0 Comment 0
Every street is a gem, without exception. The whole place was designated a UN world treasure.
Heart 0 Comment 0
You can actually rent an apartment in some of these
Heart 0 Comment 0
Bonnehomme Carnival is a Quebec icon
Heart 0 Comment 0
A backlit shot of Champlain's statue. Champlain founded the city. He then lived and died here.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The Price Building is the HQ of a pulp company. It was built early in the 20th century by the same architect that did the Empire State Building. This one is 1/5 the size, but still tall for old Quebec. Such tall buildings were then banned inside the walls.
Heart 0 Comment 0
I remembered the Crepe Breton restaurant from 25 years ago. There was a moderate lineup outside, maybe a good sign. Crepes Breton are large slightly crisp crepes that are folded around sweet or savoury fillings.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Only one person was making crepes and service was abysmally slow. The quality was good, though.
Heart 0 Comment 0
and the prices were refreshingly low.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Notre Dame de Quebec is the major cathedral here.
Heart 0 Comment 0
This seminary was the start of Laval University, now the fourth largest in the french speaking world.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Inside the cathedral, a typically grand interior design
Heart 0 Comment 0
...like overly grand
Heart 0 Comment 0
actually, over the top!
Heart 0 Comment 0
In this side area (one of several) Jesus and Pope Paul II hold court
Heart 0 Comment 0
There are several cannon emplacements around the upper fortifications. In principle they should have been able to nail the British in the ships on the river below. My guess, any expert marksmen were mostly sitting around with croissants and coffee. Ok, maybe there is a technical explanation. Does anyone know how the British managed to bombard the town with impunity?
Heart 0 Comment 0
The lower town viewed from the battlements
Heart 0 Comment 0
The ferry across to Levi with one of many spires at the side
Heart 0 Comment 0
A mural on a building in the lower town
Heart 0 Comment 0
The Levi ferries. Tomorrow we will be on one!
Heart 0 Comment 0
I think I could hit that ferry!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Chateau Frontenac viewed from way below
Heart 0 Comment 0
The streets of lower town got really crowded
Heart 0 Comment 0
50% of tourists seemed to be Asian.
Heart 0 Comment 0
What a place to live!
Heart 0 Comment 0
Another mural depicts colony life
Heart 0 Comment 0
We took the funicula (elevator) back to the upper town.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The lower town as viewed from the funicula
Heart 0 Comment 0
The back side of the Chateau Frontenac
Heart 0 Comment 0
Buildings near Dufferin Terrace, west of the Chateau Frontenac. You can walk a board walk for some distance this way, which is in the direction of the battle field where the British defeated the French. The British general, Wolfe, was killed on the field, while the French Montcalm was mortally wounded. We passed by the doctor's house where he was taken and subsequently died.
Heart 0 Comment 0
A ship enters the narrows
Heart 0 Comment 0
The provincial legislature is outside the walls. The front has many ledges or niches with statues.
Heart 0 Comment 0
The statues of Wolf and Montcalm stand side by side at the Legislature. There is also an obelisk nearby the Chateau with one name on either side. The two peoples lived side by side after the conquest, and still do.
Heart 0 Comment 0
We somehow made it by bus back to our campground. Tomorrow we will cover the same distance (though along the river) by bike, and pass again through the lower town.
Heart 0 Comment 0

And p.s. :

and p.s. we did not
Heart 0 Comment 0

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0