Bienvenue! This month we are on a two-week vacation in Quebec. On Monday, after dropping a very unimpressed Marilyn off at the kennel, we boarded a plane for Quebec City. Soon after, we arrived at the bed and breakfast where we would spend an amazing six days. It’s called the Chateau des Tourelles, located just a few blocks from the walls of Old Quebec. It’s in a very old building with great Paris-style rooms and a beautiful view. It’s located on a main road called Rue St-Jean, filled with perfect little boutiques and cafes. At night, Rue St-Jean is closed to traffic and it becomes a pedestrian area.
On Tuesday, we walked down Rue St-Jean into Old Quebec for the first time. The whole area is surrounded by huge stone walls which date back to the 1600’s when Quebec was founded as a fortified city. We saw the Artillary Park with lots of old military buildings. Sam made sure to get a glamour shot with the Starbucks sign. The road goes all the way to a boardwalk along the shore of the St. Lawrence river.
At the other end of the boardwalk, we found La Citadelle de Quebec. It’s a huge fortification built on a hill, originally by the French and then expanded by the British in 1820.* Today, it’s an active military base. We took a tour around the citadel with a tour guide and got to see a few museums built inside the old buildings. There was also a Vimy Ridge memorial site and a lot of neat military artifacts.
On Wednesday, we return to Old Quebec for our first crepe! We had lunch at a little restaurant called Crepe Breton. It is a very popular place in Quebec, serving both dessert crepes as well as savory crepes. It was a very authentic crepe experience!
After lunch, we went to the Musée de la civilisation. They had exhibitions on the history of Quebec, the Maori tribe, and the history of video games. We took a walk around the area and found Quartier Petit Champlain, a historic square with Notre Dame du Quebec – possibly the oldest church in North America. Around the square are some shops. We went into a gem shop and Sam fell in love with many things. For dinner we met up with Michelle and had delicious tapas at Cafe Sirocco.
Thursday was Sam’s conference day! We attended CPA and she did an excellent symposium talk about mindfulness. Four grad students presented in total and the symposium had a very good turnout. My Best Friend Natalie and I provided moral support. Sam and I celebrated the successful talk with beer at a patio nearby.
In the afternoon, we boarded the bus and went to visit Laval University campus. It is the oldest University in Canada and the campus is wide open and very green. There we made friends with a little marmot which we named Madame Marmalade.
After dinner we went to the CPA student social with Natalie and made some new friends. The event took place in an interesting bar called St. Patrick’s Pub in Old Quebec.
On Friday we boarded the bus once again and went to the Quebec City Aquarium! It had lots of interesting sea creatures including mon animal préféré, the chambered nautilus! They had a whole other display with all kinds of sea horses, and an outside area with polar bears and sea lions.
After the aquarium, we went to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. They had some neat exhibitions including one of Sam’s favorite artist, Marcelle Ferron.
Saturday was our last full day in Quebec City. We started at the Observatoire de la capitale, a lookout point on the top floor of Quebec’s tallest building. Back on the ground, we got a coffee and ran into the Tour de Beauce, a bike race which was taking place in downtown Quebec. We watched the bikes take off and went for lunch at a cafe in Old Quebec.
That evening, we had dinner at Cochon Dingue (Crazy Pig), an excellent restaurant which Sophie recommended. I had a delicious crab burger and Sam had seafood alfredo. After dinner we met Natalie and went on a ghost tour! Our tour guide was a man named Michael, who came highly recommended by the internet. We had a great time and made our way all over Old Quebec, hearing ghost stories along the way. Michael is a great actor.
On Sunday we hopped on a train for part two of our vacation – Montreal! Sam will be posting about Montreal soon!
Jordan. Excellent graphic design skills: Sam.
* My Best Friend Natalie The Fact Checker