Archive for July, 2014

on roadtripping and québec city

The end of the road trip is always hard. I’m writing this post, about the final road trip day of the summer 2012 trip, on the day after my 2014 trip ended. So I’m feeling extra wistful about the peace that the road trip brings. Two years ago, just about to the day, I was heading home after a tour of the Gaspésie that included stops in Québec’s two major cities, Montréal and Québec City. On the final day of our trip (before the boring “get home as fast as possible” part), Christina, Jules, and I enjoyed a day in Québec City.

Québec City is the provincial capital, the heart of the proud québecois people and home to the most European part of all of North America. On the cobblestoned, winding streets in the old city, it’s easy to forget that I’m not actually thousands of miles across the Atlantic, eating croissants in a charming French town.

We started the day with a ferry ride across the St. Lawrence, from Lévis to Old Québec. It’s a nice way to avoid driving into the old city, especially when the bridge is under construction. It’s also a nice view!

We would spend most of the day wandering around the Château Frontenac, the old hotel and most recognizable landmark in the old city.

The old city is split into two parts, Lower Town and Upper Town. The Frontenac is in the Upper Town. It’s a bit of a hike, so we took the funicular up this time.

The hotel and surrounding area is a World Heritage Site!

Once we were in the Upper Town, we stayed there for the rest of the day, walking on picturesque streets, munching on French goodies, and taking a lot of photos.

From the research that Christina had done, we knew that we needed to eat lunch at Paillard. The lunches were exceptional, and the bread was out-of-this-world kinds of amazing. The bread was so good that we went back up to the counter and bought more bread when we were done. We were also so excited to buy a box of macarons, but we were so full of bread that we saved the macarons until later in the afternoon. When we took a break and found a shady spot to enjoy our macarons, we were dismayed to discover that they were pretty much terrible. The lemon one tasted like cleaning products smell, and we tossed it into a shrub. So don’t waste money on the macarons at Paillard, but absolutely buy a lot of bread.

After lunch, we climbed a little higher to walk on the walls. Old Québec was once a fortress, and most of the walls are still standing.

We were there during the Festival d’Été (Summer Festival), which meant that a good portion of the Plains of Abraham were blocked off for a concert. They were blocked off for an LMFAO concert, which meant that hordes of youths were running around the old city in the most ridiculous neon getups you can imagine. The whole thing felt a little wrong, so we vacated the wall and plains area after that and stuck to the old city.

We stopped at the provincial parliament building. The other side of the building was covered with scaffolding and a drapery, as opposed to when I last saw it two years earlier.

Parliament was much quieter, except for a couple of girls who were playing in the fountain, despite being much too old to play in a public fountain.

I decided to purchase this house. I think it’s a historical landmark, but whatevs.

We soon found ourselves back by the Frontenac for more photos and a break on the boardwalk.

An “entertainer” was doing some sort of act involving a bicycle and a Barbie doll. I think something was lost in translation.

After a nice time sitting outside the Frontenac, we decided to head back across the river a little early. We had greatly underestimated the amount of driving that would happen on this road trip, and as a result, we were pretty exhausted by the last day. And nothing sounded better to us than getting across the river before the LMFAO neon kids swarmed onto the boat, and while we still had enough time to go back to the ice cream place. Maybe we were starting to get old, but we were still making fantastic memories.

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July 7, 2014 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.

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