Saturday, October 22, 2005

Quebéc City

Two weekends ago -- the Thanksgiving Weekend -- the family drove up to Quebéc City. It was probably an insane thing to do, as the amount of driving was just crazy -- but so is the VIA Rail prices, so I opted for driving. The entire weekend was overcast, with a little drizzle every now and again -- just to maintain the threat of down pour in case any hapless tourist got complacent. I was complacent. It was my trip to Quebéc City -- my first -- and I was going to be a tourist.

For my first time in the city, I thought it best that we paid for the overprice hotel to stay in the old city. We stayed at the Auberge Saint Pierre, which wasn't even a hop-skip-and-a-jump -- just a hop -- away from the Musée de la Civilisation (which btw, is not the same as the Canadian Museum of Civilization). We managed to avoid the museum. Staying in the old city however did afford us a chance to walk around the first night we were there. So we went up Côte de la Montagne and walked along rue Port-Dauphin, watching the sun disappear behind the clouds and down the horizon, and taking some sunset shots. That night, we had pizza for supper at a small restaurant not far from our hotel. It wasn't bad, and so Saturday ended.

The next day we did a big loop for the first half of the day -- first we went along rue du Petit-Champlain, looking at the shops, then ended up going absolutely nowhere along boulevard Champlain. Yes, we did see some plaque proclaiming that some soldiers stormed the cliff face to kick some French butts, but that was about it. So we doubled back and got some assistance scaling the cliff to some more history. We saw Porte Prescott, Le Château Frontenac, wandered along the Terrasse Dufferin, the along the Promenade des Gouverneurs and up to barely see the Citadelle. We didn't really go into the old fort. What's the point? That would need a half-day on its own. We then climbed up Porte Saint-Louis, looked at the Hôtel du Parlement from a distance, and wandered along rue Saint-Louis to find some place to eat. I really wanted poutine. What's the point of traveling all the way to Quebéc if I didn't have some poutine? Unfortunately, we ran into a "french" waiter who didn't see any point in serving anyone english. So we had subs instead.

In the afternoon on Sunday, we went driving. We went up to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré to see some Christian mythology. I saw figures of Christ being tortured by Romans. Catholics seem to have a sick fascination with seeing their God suffer. I don't get it. I'm sure Jesus had a good life up until the end. Let's face it, ending usually suck, and if you believe some of the stories that are being told, his ending really did suck. I'm surprised that the sheep didn't sack Rome. Instead, they allowed the wolves to blame the Jews and the wolves changed skin and became sheep dogs. Every now and again however, one of the wolves can't forgot their nature, and shed their skin, devouring a lamb or two. But I digress. We saw some Christian mythology, and I enjoyed the spectacle, especially to commerce.

On our way back to Quebéc City, we stopped off the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency to see what all the fuss was about. We risked life and limb to scale the "Panoramic Stairs" to get a few closer shots of the falls. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to go exploring. The suspension bridge over the falls, and the one that crossed the fault looked scary. I think we spent about an hour or so there, then went back to Quebéc City.

On Monday, we departed, but not before stopping under the 440 to take some pictures of some great art by the local graffiti artists. Yup, it was art, not illegible scribblings of the uneducated.

I've posted some of the pictures I took on Webshots. Click the photo below to be taken to the gallery.

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