Quebec- C’est Magnifique!- Day 1

Quebec- C’est Magnifique!
Quebec City, Canada- Day 1

Quebec City, Canada


June 22 2007- Vendredi

Bonjour!

Another girlfriend getaway- This time Deb and Dolores are off to Quebec on Flight 2599 from Newark, NJ. In a little over an hour, we will touch down and explore another wonderful city.

Our taxi driver speaks “pue”- a little- English and in twenty minutes we are at our Hotel Manoir De L’esplanade.

http://www.manoiresplanade.ca/en

The next few nights are spent exploring the cafes, restaurants, galleries, and the people. I will practice  my French! After 4 years of High School French thou, without much practice, I will probably not be too successful but I will try my best!

Vey nice decor, brick walls inside our room and everything we could want.
This hotel is near the St Louis gate inside the walled city- Old City, as it is called.

First agenda, of course is too look for a place to have a boussion (a drink!) It is getting late with not too many places open but we manage to get a “last call” at La Chateau Fronteanac.

https://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/

Of course, it is a huge gorgegous castle- like hotel with amazing views. We don’t fool around on vacation adventures.

Au revoir for today!

 

 

 

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It’s Party Time!- Saint Jean Baptiste Day! Day 2

It’s Party Time!- Saint Jean Baptiste Day!
Quebec City, Canada- Day 2

Quebec City, Canada


June 23, 2007 Samdi

Bonjour!

It’s not easy getting up at 7am when bedtime is 3am the night before! Je suis fatigue!. A tres bien buffet breakfast helps us get moving. After a two mile walk, we visit the oldest and most authentic Irish Pub in Quebec- Saint Patricks. Beers and burgers never tasted so good!

Next stop, the oldest grocery store in North America ( I told you we don’t fool around) J.A. Moison, (near the shops on Saint Jean Street. Chocolate stores, soap stores! ahhh…)

http://www.jamoisan.com/english_history%20.html

Never saw so much food in one place- heaven! After filling our shopping bags with cheese, tapenade, cranberries, olives and almonds, we head out to an outdoor art show on Rue de Tresour in front of the Hotel Chateau Frontenac. C’est Bien. St Jean Street is an array of shops and pubs- right up our alley..

We need to think so we head to” Sacrilege” and enjoy a happy hour special – a rasberry and lime for $3.75- which is a really good deal considering that a six pack of beer is about $12 here in Quebec.

Dinner down the street from our hotel at Cafe du Paris

http://www.cafedeparisvieuxquebec.com

We have the special of the day- 7 veggies, potoatoes, salad with garlic dressing, teas and 1/2 craft of red wine. A great dinner with music included!

Today is also Saint Jean Baptiste Day, held annually on June 23, 24th.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_H_oliday_(Quebec)

It is the feast day of St Jean the Baptiste, a Jewish preacher who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan.There will be festivals and fireworks!

We have no idea how big this event really is. Turns out we could never imagine how crazy and insane it gets…in a good way of course. A comparison would be Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

We walk over 10 miles throughout the city, through underground tunnels &  wet grassy hills stepping over beer cans along the way. (and all cleaned by 5 am) However it is an amazing night, filled with incredible music, great people and adventures that would not be had anywhere else.

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The Furnicular- Day 3

The Furnicular
Quebec City- , Canada- Day 3

Quebec City- , Canada


June 24 2006 Dimanche

After a full night’s sleep (finally) we breakfast in our lovely hotel and wander down very steep steps off to explore the lower city. A small treat along the way is a “belle gueule” (beer) and Dolores has snails. The “Breakneck steps” – the Funicular- is a method of transportation from the lower city to the upper city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Quebec_Funicular

Today we walk in Place Royal and Quater Petit Champlain. Painted wall murals are everywhere, art galleries, my favorite soaps, and handbags. With so much excitement we must stop at La Pope George Bistro for wine and delicious goat cheese stuffed with herbs cheese to calm down.

Hey, someone has to test these things out. After lunch, we walk along the river Vieux Port area and explore a huge outdoor food market. Later that evening after walking along the upper city, we catch another music festival by the painted wall.

All the music is in French- lovely!

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Open markets and breweries- Day 4

Open markets and breweries
Quebec City, Canada Day 4

Quebec City, Canada


June 25 2006 Lundi…

The open market- Le Marche du Vieux- Port (Old Port Farmers Market) is huge!…we buy veggies, ostrich oil (it has amazing healing properties we are told) hot dogs, asparagus soup, bread.

We sit by the St Lawrence river and sip biere. Hey, we are on vacation. Within two hours we have tasted ciders, jellies, rasberry tarts, strawberries, soup and samples of pork and ham. Gee, are we in Quebec or heaven?


The weather is perfect and there is so much to see, so little time but we manage to take our time and enjoy the moment also meeting lots of folks along the way.

A walk is in order now so art galleries, antique stores and soap shops are the way to go. One art gallery turns out to be the favorite of the day. A bottle filled with water and dozens barbie doll heads is an exceptional work of art! Who knew?

 

After so much excitement we really need to taste samples at the microbrewery. Rousse Forte is my favorite. Of course, we indulge and eat many chips too!

In fact, it is so much fun that we stay there for four hours. Well, we really had no choice. Two very interesting Quebec gentlemen, Rodger, and the blonde blue eyed, Frederick have a way of mesmerizing us with their stories. Their English is tres bien.

We learn about canadian customs, tarot cards, and Fred’s career as an oceanographer. They don’t buy us any bieres which is fine with us- beer samples are cheap and conversation was much easier than sex-pectations. Bedtime is 2am…have to pack for the next days road trip!

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Road Trip on the St Lawrence River- Day 5

Road Trip!
Kamouraska Canada, Canada- Day 5

Kamouraska Canada, Canada


June 26 2006

Today we take the famous Navigators route along the St Lawrence- destination – Riminski.
The weather is once again Beau(good) and Hot (chaud). This route is a trip back in time as the St. Lawrence RIver is dated with some of the most beautiful villages in Quebec.

After another outstanding breakfast at our fab hotel we pick up our Hyundai Elantra at Enterprise. (well, actually they pick us up!) and we are off.

We cross the bridge to Levi’s and take Rt 20, then Rt 132 along the water. Our first stop along Rt 132- believe it or not- is Wal- Mart! Ha..We needed suntan lotion.

Much more interesting, of course is our next stop- a cider house, the Cidrerie La Pomme in Cap- Saint Ignace for a wine tasting. The shop owner speaks no English but she is lovely, so we taste and buy pate and wine for later.

Further north we visit the Musee Maritime Du Quebec.

http://www.mmq.qc.ca

Great history.

Got lots of photos of the large freighters. Antique stores are everywhere. One especially stands out- the outside wall has a huge tin hanging of a black cat- reminds me of my cat Sneakers.

A chocolate shop is always a good place to be- ice cream and cookies were delicious, expensive and homemade- worth every penny though.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g155033-d1188566-Reviews-Erico_Creative_Chocolate_Shop_and_Chocolate_Museum-Quebec_City_Quebec.html

Along the route are more antique shops, wine shops, strawberries to be eaten and of course, unbelievable views coast side.

We enter the town of Kamouraska and stop just about every half hour to take photos. It’s impossible not to! All the house roofs are painted red.

The most scenic area of the drive is La Bic Park. As the sun sets there are really no words to speak, a stillness lies within. There are no tall buildings and blacktop driveways to be seen.

As time is flying by, we realize we do need a place to sleep besides under the stars, so its onward to Rimuski- (a tip from Fredrick blue eyes!) Dinner is also in order as stomachs start to growl We find an auberge nearby for only $75 a night including breakfast.

Dinner at a Greek restaurant across the street filled us with delicious shrimp and salmon. Hits the spot. . Afterwards, an alternative rock bar in town calls our name- “Sans Unique”. Works for us. A little music and a beer. . How does 2PM come so fast? Apparently, late to bed is the norm.

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The Traverse- Day 6

The Traverse
Rimouski, Canada- Day 6

Rimouski, Canada


June 27 Wednesday Mercredi

In the early morning hours, our first stop is a visit to a spectacular lighthouse in Point au Pere. On a museum tour, we see a 3-D film on the Empress of Ireland and view artifacts and tons of information about the ship. It was a tragic story, as over 1000 died in 14 minutes. Unfortunately, much like the Titanic but on a smaller scale.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Empres_s_of_Ireland

Afterwards we have  lunch at a small gourmet shop and visit an art gallery near La Bic.

As I write now, we are on the ferry Traverse in Rimouski to Forestville. Expensive but worth it. Eighteen dollars each plus $38 cost to bring our little Hyundai Elantra to the other side of the St Lawrence River.

After a 2-3 hour trip, we arrive at 6:45PM in Forestville and start the drive on Route 138 to Tadoussac. As is the norm, sometimes the best things to see are unplanned. We stumble upon a suspension bridge and a waterfall. It’s so amazing, we must get out of the Hyundai and take a short hike.

The best things in life ARE free. Back in the car, we pass an Indian village and then realize it would have been the perfect stop for the night- a motel, a mexican reataurant, a grocery store (we have thing about grocery stores) but alas, we keep going in the pouring rain now and do find a great B & B for $110 a night:

http://lagalouine.com/?lang=en

Tres Bien! Time to lay down our weary heads.

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On the way to Beau Saint Paul- Day 7

On the way to Beau Saint Paul
Tadoussac, Canada- Day 7

Tadoussac, Canada


June 28 Jeudi

Ham, Cheese and Eggs on a toasted french croissant is not a bad way to start the day. At 10:30 AM we hit the road once again to the marche (grocery store) for ice, yogurt, and smoked salmon for our cooler. Hey, Jersey girls are known for this. Lunch stops are essential to our survival.

It is slightly cloudy and windy as we head out to explore the town of Tadoussac. We stop at a quaint fishing village and interpretation center and afterwards find the best park bench in Canada. We are mesmerized by mountains, spruce trees, robins and blue skies as they merge at the Estuary Fijord on the Saint Lawrence River.

We hike along the Point de L’llet in Parc du Saquennay. If this is what heaven looks like, then I want to go. (not right now however, but maybe at 97 when hiking is ******* the knees). The trail overlooks the Fiord ( a river between mountains) Crazy beautiful!

Another ferry, the Fjord Saguenary (free this time) crosses us from Manicouagan to the Charlevoix region. We reach the ferry docks off Baie- Sainte Catherine from Tadoussac.

3pm- A stop for a picnic lunch is in order. Although its windy, we make due finding a table in the back of a church in Cap-a-largile. (maybe St Peters on the Rock in Malbale? I don’t recall)
We share smoked salmon, rouge fort cheese, olives, bread and beer!

After lunch, we drive further along the coast, stopping constantly for photo ops in the small towns and the visitor center -Saint Irene.

There are lots of artist studios along the Route de Fleuve (River Road) One, owned by artist, Raymond Leclere (which is also his home), is quite interesting. Not only is the artwork very surreal but so are his politics. Turns out he is an extreme Bush hater! He heatedly screams at us “BUSH OUT”. I agreed but Dolores was reluctant, afraid that she may get hit with a broom or worse!

Bye bye! and we are off again exploring the coastline with each town we enter being more beautiful than the last.

Within a half an hour, we are in Beau Saint Paul where we will spend the night. We decide upon the Coeur de Loup at $100 a night. Jackpot! It’s amazing! Two large rooms with a hot tub!

A small TV, couch and a balcony overlooking the town. After unpacking, we head out to dinner in our hotel at L’Orange. A huge bowl of fresh mussels in white wine sauce for me ($12) and tender pork chops for Dolores. Wine, of course- what’s not to like? Delish!

After dinner, we check out the Microbrewery in town but decide against going in. We are approached by two loud truckers outside the door telling us jokes and asking us to play pool with them. We recall the Jodie Foster movie- “The Accused” This might not be a good idea.
Au Revoir!

Back out the hotel, we enjoy adult beverages from our cooler, watch French MTV and French commercials. We search for the Jodie Foster movie with no success but find another equally disturbing. I doubt I will have sweet dreams tonight. Goodnight at 2am!

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Baie- Saint Paul- Day 8

Baie- Saint Paul
Baie-Saint-Paul, Canada- Day 8

Baie-Saint-Paul, Canada


June 29 2007 Vendredi…

Breakfast on our terrace- strawberries, yogurt, homemade bread, tea and coffee.
Today will be a long walking day along St Jean- Baptiste. Dolores buys up the town and I purchase of few soaps for my sons. We have thin sliced pizza at a cafe in town and we are off to explore the countryside of Baie- Saint Paul.

We first spot an odd character wandering the streets in a red cape and tights! Who is this guy? We assume he is in costume for some event, we name him the “Canadian Superman” and move on.
(we will later learn more about CS) But, I regress.

A lucky right hand turn takes us to one of the few covered bridges in the country. 1926 Saint- Placide-de Charlevoix.
It’s about 8K into the woods but so worth the trip!

Back on the highway, (the Route de la Nouvelle – France) we are in search of a winery and do find it but alas, it is closed. This route, however, is spectacular and a treat awaits us.

I am not even sure what they are called but we name them “hobbit houses”. They are really root cellar houses from the 1600’s. Many photos of old coke signs, farms and dogs enter my cameras memory card.
And, of course, more art galleries! Spectacular!

Next stop along the way brings us to the Basillica of Sainte Anne de Beaupre. Dolores had been here as a child, but for me its awe inspiring. Inside Dolores takes photos of crutches that hang on a pole. Supposedly, people were cured of their aliments years back.

The town is known for selling all kinds of crosses and Jesus status, of course. I have seen enough to last a lifetime! There are three churches here all in the same area. I must say though, it is quite a site to see- with a backdrop of dramatic clouds. You can almost hear the angels singing!

Now that we are quite holy, we need to find a place to sleep for the night and it won’t be in a manger. A Motel Six on the highway for $59 is way too shady looking (reminds us of Route 1 in Elizabeth, New Jersey) so we decide to pass and go back to Quebec City.

It’s not that far and we get lucky with a nice hotel for $69. Of course, we must drag our luggage up a flight of stairs, but its clean with plenty of room, a tiny shower, and a weird window that opens to a balcony. We do have to be careful not to bang out heads. We are sure the floor is slanted, but hey its got character! A small TV and refrigerator complete the picture.
A night of strange eateries follows and we pack up for the following morning and finally hit the sack at 1:30 AM.

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Last day in paradise! Quebec city – Day 9

Last day in paradise!
Quebec City, Canada Day 9

Quebec City, Canada


June 30, 2007 Samde

Up early at 7 AM. After good directions from our hotel host, we are off in our rental car back to the Quebec City airport. Our flight is at 11:55 AM and its a short one. Home in an hour or so.
C’est Magnifique! Beautiful people, landscapes, things to do and see. A great walking city!
I will miss Quebec and cannot wait to return!

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