So you're going to have to bear with me, there are a lot of photos in this post. I would say make yourself a cup of tea and snuggle down but I really don't think this is the kind of blog to keep audiences enthralled by the photos for the duration of an entire cuppa - unless you drink yours pretty fast?
In any case, I hope you enjoy having a flick through these pictures from Quebec and that they help you to get a feel for the place if you've never been. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the city (except for the impressive Chateau Frontenac which features quite heavily in these photos) so our time there was more of a pensive wandering rather than an organised march. We stumbled across some beautiful sights around the city though and particularly loved the walk around the old city wall.
In fact, I'd say that Quebec was one of my favourite parts of our Trek America Canadian Roadtrip (I know, I've said this - or at least thought it - a lot, namely about Jasper, Banff, the Athabasca Glacier and Toronto). It had a beautiful, old world charm that kept us enthralled throughout the day and bloomin' good food at Le Clocher Penche where we stopped for lunch (pretty much the only planned part of the day, of course it revolved around food).
Talking of how my life revolves around food, today I got the happy news that my MSc thesis study won't be a gigantic flop - the experiment involves getting kids to play a simple computer game (that may or may not encourage healthier eating, we shall see) followed by choosing from some snacks (if you're interested in finding out more about this research which I have described terribly here, check out this paper written by my supervisor). And today I got the go ahead from two schools - yippee! It probably doesn't sound like a big deal but after months of agonising over participant recruitment, I am finally on a roll. Touch wood.
Back to Canada and Quebec and Trek America and all that jazz.
We started out with a casual stroll near the hostel, passing Parliament Hill and heading up to visit J.A Moisan, one of the oldest grocery stores on the continent.
This brought us nicely to the neighbourhood where Le Cloche Penche can be found - we had their very decently priced lunch menu and for the life of me I cannot remember what we ate (I had given up writing a travel diary by then and this was August last year so I'm afraid your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what's in these pictures - bad blogger!) On the other hand, I remember that it was good and that we left very well fed and very happy and that's all that matters - you should go.
It was very chic and very French. Which reminds me - that's something I don't feel I was adequately prepared for when visiting Quebec. When people say they speak French in Canada, they ain't talking about second languages. No, no, no. We're talking full-on this-is-a-French-language-environment/you-may-as-well-be-in-France.
I do not speak French. I managed a few basic questions and stuff. Of course most people also speak English. But it was a big shock for a massively uneducated person like myself. Take a phrasebook.
We made our way back to the old walled city, conveniently passing a chocolaterie that sold icecream cookie sundae things, and climbed up onto the walls to take a stroll around towards Chateau Frontenac which we had seen glaring down at us from the river the night before.
We tried and failed to get a decent photo in front of the Chateau. This was the nicest one of us (below) but you can't really see the iconic structure too much so... we'll just roll with a combination of that pic and the others which actually show the hotel..
After that, we spent our last hour wandering slowly through the old city, looking at the streets we'd seen in the darkness during our ghost tour on the previous evening.
And then we sat on benches and watched the squirrels chasing each other around the trees, resting before going back to our hostel to get ready for dinner and preparing for the last full day of our Canadian Roadtrip adventure with Trek America!