Thursday, August 8, 2013

Quebec City

We spent three nights in Quebec City, a perfectly charming place. The  lower city is modern and bustling and the old town at the top of the hills is delightful  We did a lot of walking up and down hills,  I had to give up my comfortable and stylish sandals for my ugly walking sneakers, but at least my feet stopped hurting.

The famous Chateau Frontenac, now a part of the Fairmont chain, is most impressive.  It's been there forever (well a very long time) and is very pricey.  We didn't stay there but walked thru the lobby and shops.

The streets in the old town are narrow and twisty and full of boutiques and restaurants.  We did our best to help out with the Canadian economy. The exchange was almost even with a 3 cents advantage for the USA, but some stores still charged a small fee for using US dollars.  Some did not.  You always got change in Canadian money, so we made sure that we spent it all.  Serious purchases were charged.

As I said about Montreal, flowers and gardens were everywhere.  This park was across from the train station. See the picture below.

And this is the train station.  There is only one train that runs there now,  It is mostly restaurants and shops. This was about halfway between upper town and lower town.

We spent our last full day on the Isle of Orleans, a small island right outside the city in the St. Lawrence River.  It was charming personified.  Most of the houses had these bright red painted tin roofs, and had sumptuous gardens and decorations. Many of them were stone, as this one was.

Lots of gingerbread, and hanging baskets,

We were told not to miss the strawberries and we found out why.  There were fields and fields of them all over the island, one half of it mostly devoted to agriculture.  We bought a basket to eat in the car and they were among the best I've ever had.  So sweet and bright red all the way thru, not like the supermarket varieties we usually get hat home.

There were many wineries and we stopped at a couple to sample their wares and we each bought some to take home.  The views were quite impressive, too.

We had lunch here on the island and it was only one of the many fabulous meals we had on the trip.

Right off the island, on the way back to Quebec City, we stopped at these falls.  They say they are higher than Niagara Falls.

This was the only glitch in the whole trip.  We had an hour and a half wait to get to customs at the US border. We had seen signs (in French, of course) about a "Attente de duex heures" and thought that we must have misinterpreted it.  Nope, they were right, but at least it wasn't the declared two hour wait.
Once thru that it was a spectacular ride thru the green green state of Vermont, then on to Mass and finally home to CT, but it was a long day, mostly in  the car.

So I'm home for awhile, trying to get some studio time in.  Come back to see what I've been up to.

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