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Posts Tagged ‘Quebec City’

THURSDAY – But of course, it’s raining again

The weather did a 360 and went from sunshine to clouds with the threat of rain and the temperature dropped a bit.  Already totally acclimated as true Québécquois, we didn’t let a few clouds and raindrops deter us from our mission.  Today’s sojourn was to be a walking tour of the Upper City;  Quebec City consists of an Upper City and a Lower City.  Hardly surprising as I’ve tried to relate to you the many ups and downs of the town.  Armed with umbrellas we set off;

"Neither snow nor rain nor dark of night..."

“Neither snow nor rain nor dark of night…”

We headed straight to the Starbucks located on the Grande Allee for a shot of caffeine and warmth.  Note the girls are wearing gloves today!  The Upper City is outside the walls of Old Quebec and the size and magnitude of  the buildings was a far cry from the stone houses in Vieux Quebec.  Below is a photo of the street and doorway of our B & B.

Chez Marie-Claire 64 Rue Sainte Ursule

Chez Marie-Claire
64 Rue Sainte Ursule

The Ursuline nuns are a real presence in our neighborhood.  There is a museum devoted to their order, they run a school and there are several plaques in the area with historical information regarding their historical contribution to the town.

As I said, the Grande Allee is home to several government buildings, the largest being The Parliament (pictured below).

The Parliament of Quebec

The Parliament of Quebec

The ediface is adorned with multiple life-size bronze statues depicting the heroes, statesmen and other historic figures.  We went inside just to see the lobby and went through a security check just a shade less than an airport.  Built in the late 1800’s it’s 8 stories high and quite elegant inside.

From there we took a quick look at The Plains of Abraham which on this day looked rather dismal and empty and certainly it was windier there than on the streets where the large buildings buffered us from some of the wind gusts.  We passed a very large castle-like building which was the Mènage Militaire.  

Time to eat again (quell surprise)!  This afternoon we seem unable to make a unified decision as to where and what to eat!  Everyday, I say I don’t care because I don’t usually eat lunch, however in the end I try to find something on the lighter side.  Since we couldn’t agree on a restaurant or an ethnicity, we opted to go to Epicerie Europeenne, which was essentially a small market with a superb cheese and olive selection as well as pre-prepared sandwiches.  Good choice for all!  We decided to pick up some local cheese, a baguette, some olives and some gin and Bloody Ceasars for a pre-dinner at home cocktail hour. Another good choice!

Au Revoir!

All photos courtesy of Matt Weinstein

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“Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day...”  and we’re not in Oklahoma!  Wednesday has dawned sunny and bright and we  joined  Stacey and Matt for a delightful le petit dejeuner  of delicious French toast and fruit and fromagee et jambon and we were introduced to Maple Butter.  A basket of bread and toasts and about 8 different jams, jellies, butters and honey were on the table. Maple butter is yummy on toast or on your spoon!

Breakfast Is Served

Breakfast Is Served

Animated Conversation Between Brother and Sister

Animated Conversation Between Brother and Sister

Marjorie gives us some ideas as to where to go and what to see on this lovely day.  We are going to go to the Lower City and explore the many boutiques on Rue Petit Champlain and then walk to the street where there are many antique shops.  Quebec City is a multi-level town.  I think our hotel is somewhere in the middle and it’s a long way down!  I say let’s take the Funicular, if not for the ease then at least for the experience.  Of course it WAS an experience.  The four of us are in this rather small green metal and glass box 193 feet up and on our way down the track WHEN all of a sudden it lurches to a stop 2/3 of the way down. Oh boy!

193 Feet Up!

193 Feet Up!

Uh, We've STOPPED

Uh, We’ve STOPPED

Eventually it began again and we don’t know why it did or why it stopped and when we got to the bottom and saw the ticket-taker at the other end, he apologized to us that our car was suspended for 3-4 minutes!

Stacey and I discovered a fantastic kitchen supply store and saw so many gadgets that we had never seen in the USA.  We each bought a pair of scissors that will chiffonade herbs – I can’t wait to use them on basil to make a fabulous Sunday sauce.    We meandered our way through the oldest part of Vieux Quebec admiring the architecture and reading the numerous plaques provided by the government informing us of the historical significance of the buildings and places.

This is the Place Royale, the original centre of Vieux  Quebec

This is the Place Royale, the original centre of Vieux Quebec

Our foursome spends considerable amount of time discussing when they’re going to eat and where they’re going to eat and here we are in a Vietnamese restaurant – with me slurping up a delicious soup.

The hostess instructs me in the art of eating this soup.

The hostess instructs me in the art of eating this soup.

No trip to another country or state would be complete for us if we didn’t find the antique section or at least a flea market.  Stacey dons a hat and strikes a pose.

Combien ca coute?

Combien ca coute?

More walking and eventually we are looping back towards home and that means what goes down must now go up but we’re not near the funicular and I groan as I look up at the stairs and the elevation we need to reach to get back.  We walked through the ramparts amidst more cannons than I have ever seen before.  As we climbed higher and higher the views were amazing, and one of the most surprising would be below!

The Port of Quebec is FROZEN still!!!

The Port of Quebec is FROZEN still!!!

It was good to get home and sit down and curl up in my overstuffed armchair.

All photos courtesy of Matthew Weinstein

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