Posts filed under ‘Notre-Dame-du-Portage’

the sun sets on quebec city

After our photo session with the “Grand Rassemblent” sculptures in Sainte-Flavie, we started to head back west.

Our last stop before Québec City was Notre-Dame-du-Portage, a small town on the St. Lawrence with a charming church. Jules and I had stopped here before, in 2010, and since then, we’ve fondly remembered the church as one of the loveliest that we’ve photographed. And we’ve photographed a lot of churches.

Notre-Dame-du-Portage is town of about 1200 people, about a 2-hour drive northeast from Quebec City. It’s just outside of Rivière-du-Loup, a city of about 20,000 people. The church was built in 1859 and is right on the seaway.

Cemetery next to the church, above, and view from the front steps, below.

Our final destination that evening was Lévis, the city across the St. Lawrence from Québec City. We decided to stay there so we could take advantage of cheaper accommodations and a picturesque ferry ride to the old city the next day. After checking into our hotel, we were delighted to find a St-Hubert just up the street, so we got in one more chicken-and-cole-slaw fix for this trip.

Afterwards, we ventured further into Lévis, following a couple of recommendations from a photographer friend of mine. Stéphane had told us about Les Chocolats Favoris, a terrific chocolate and ice cream shop, as well a great spot to watch the sun set, with views of the river and the old city.

The ice cream and sorbets were legendary, as were the views! From the ice cream shop, we walked a few blocks and found a lovely spot with benches facing the river. A few other people joined us, and once we finished our ice cream, I started setting up my tripod. The people were chuckling a little, and they finally told us that they thought I was unfolding a fishing rod and wanted to fish in the river (we were a couple of blocks inland, though it was still a clear view over the ferry building). We all laughed about that and they stayed a while longer. The girls and I were in it for the long haul, though, and my series of photos from that night is a little Monet variations-of-light-on-the-haystacks-esque. I’ll share a few of my favourites!

Photography is a fascinating medium…the two photos above were taken within minutes of each other, but the top photo is a single exposure, and the bottom, is a three-exposure HDR merge.

The Château Frontenac is allegedly the world’s most-photographed hotel!

After the sun sank behind the hills in the distance, the underside of the clouds lit up for a few minutes. Gorgeous!

Yes, I even brought a flash in anticipation of a tripod timer photo!

This is another HDR image. None of the single exposures were this blue, but when I merged the three together, all of this colour erupted!

It’s hard to show off a panorama in blog size, so click here to see it bigger.

By the end of the evening, I was up to 2.5-second exposures. Such a pretty city!

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May 30, 2014 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

Eastern Québec Road Trip

One of the reasons that I love traveling with my best friend so much is that our road trip styles are so compatible. With Jules, I’m not afraid to suggest that we turn around on a highway, just because I saw “something pretty” at the last exit and want to check it out, or that we take a little detour for something marginally interesting that I saw in a guidebook.

The day that we left Québec City, Jules and I had a long drive ahead of us, so we knew that we had to keep our end destination of Crystal’s house in Bathurst, NB, in our mind, but we also knew that a long drive is best broken up by short stops. So here’s a bit of what we found most interesting after we left Québec City.

We got up early to see Montmorency Falls, which were just 10 minutes or so east of where we stayed, on the east side of Québec City. The falls themselves were definitely impressive, and we could have spent longer there, if we’d had more time and money and weren’t so afraid of heights. We opted out of the gondola ride to the top. Instead, we just walked up the stairs as far as we could before we felt like we were going to pass out—maybe only a third of the way up or so!

Montmorency Falls
Impressive waterfall…but we were a little taken aback by the lack of landscaping! All around the Falls and the paths on the park grounds, it was just mud! A little strange, and very messy if you fell off the path. I can’t walk in a straight line, so I fell off the path.

Me at the Falls
We made it this high, snapped photos of each other, then headed back down to get on the road.

Foggy Day in Québec Town
It was a foggy, drizzly day, but on the way back down, I realized how lovely the foggy view of the St. Lawrence was!

La Pocatiere
La Pocatière, which was the town that I requested a detour to. After we passed the exit on the highway, we saw the town and this tower, halfway up a mountain. We kind of needed gas anyway, so I suggested that we turn around at the next exit and go back. Jules was game, and I thought it was worth it for a little stop. This gorgeous building is a school in the centre of town.

Notre-Dame-du-Portage
Another random stop: Notre-Dame-du-Portage. We stopped in Rivière-du-Loup because we were about to turn south, away from the St. Lawrence and toward New Brunswick. Since this was the part of our trip at the widest part of the seaway, we wanted to see it, so our search for the sea led us to a small town west of Rivière du Loup. Like many small towns in eastern Canada, Notre-Dame-du-Portage boasted a lovely (albeit disproportionately large) church.

Notre-Dame-du-Portage
A nice riverside walkway at Notre-Dame-du-Portage

The Mighty St. Lawrence
Looking west at the mighty St. Lawrence from Notre-Dame-du-Portage

We stopped again in Cabano before we crossed into New Brunswick, where we went on an epic search for Canada Dry. I think we had to stop in 3 stores, which included walking through the mall, before we finally found Jules’ ginger ale of choice. I didn’t take any photos because it was more of a pit stop than a scenic stop. Cabano appeared to be the destination of choice for Québeckers with boats and campers, a hub for outdoor summer fun. Besides Canada Dry for Jules, we also stopped in the grocery store for lunch. I can’t remember what Jules picked up, but I do know that I was determined to have my favourite French grocery store treat: a fresh baguette and a wheel of cheese. I picked up Vaudreuil camembert, which turned out to be quite tasty, and I was kind of starving, so I managed to eat about 2/3 of it! I was sad to pitch the rest, but didn’t want to risk keeping cheese in the car in a cooler with no ice!

With our snacks and drinks, we got back in the car and continued south. Province #7 was just ahead.

October 19, 2010 at 5:49 am 1 comment


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.

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