Day 52 – 30th August (Québec)

Cloudy and muggy start to the day, with the threat of thunderstorms. It had obviously been raining somewhat overnight.

The hotel swimming pool was on our floor, so Jean went for a dip. All pretty satisfactory, apparently.

Went down for breakfast, erm, latish, which they made a bit of a mess of, particularly for Jean. Her fruit and yoghurt and omelette turned up at the same time, so she had to explain patiently that she’d wanted them one after the other. That got sorted, but I had to wait for mine. It was delivered with apologies, and I got an extra pastry, which was the last thing I wanted. Oh, well…

Departed for our bus tour, which started right outside the hotel. Only eleven people on a full-size air-conditioned coach, driven by a French-Canadian named Yves, who was good value. Some terrible jokes and a bawdy sense of humour.

I wasn’t able to get that many pictures from inside the coach, but he stopped twice to allow us to take some photos.

Fountain in front of the Parliament building
Tower of our hotel
Parliament Building
Je me souviens (I remember) is the national slogan of the Province of Québec. It alludes to the need to keep in touch with your immediate and historic ancestors, including First Nation people. It appears on the numberplates of cars registered in the province of Québec
Gardens celebrating Joan of Arc as a symbol against oppression and a victory for those from humble origins
Nice houses in the area
Renovated old French barracks
And again – apologies for the reflection
St John’s Gate, part of the old walls fortifying the city
President Eisenhower on the left, Winston Churchill on the right. A memory of when they met in the Château Le Frontenac to discuss D-Day preparations

A most interesting and instructive tour.

However, we only got a flavour of the place, so we went walkabout to get more detail and inspiration. Oh, and also to find a bistro that the hotel concierge had recommended for tonight’s meal…

One of my most vivid memories of school history was the battle of the British against the French in 1759 which enabled the British to take control of Québec from the French. It was the nature of the assault that caught my imagination. The British scaled the steep walls on the west side underneath the citadel on top of the hill, which the French hadn’t bothered to defend because they regarded it as impossible to attack from there. The British surprised them on the Plains of Abraham (named after a farmer and Royal Navy pilot who had owned the land before the battle was fought) and defeated the French. Both General Wolfe and the French general, Montcalm, died in the battle. It is a seminal moment in Canadian history.

The reason I mention this is because there is a monument to both men right outside our room window. We took this in on our walkabout.

Notre Dame Basilica
Shop that sells Christmas stuff all year. There was one of these in Niagara
City Hall
Me neither
Our destination for dinner tonight
Nuff said
One of the city wall gates

Time for an ice cream (Jean) and a beer (me). Quite warm and humid now.

Jean did have a beer as well

Walked up after this most welcome stop to the Place d’Youville, a central bus terminus and, for some reason, four clocks which all told different times and none of them accurate. 🤷‍♂️

We continued our walk.

Some church or other
Remnants of French barracks
This is not very clear, but why this high-precision timepiece is here at all is a complete mystery
I posted this pic yesterday. I now have a clue who it is. It’s Samuel de Champlain, who founded Québec City in 1608
The hotel has a Blue Peter badge. This will only mean something to those of a certain age. It is in fact a Québec City flag

Back to our room to prepare for our dinner, a 10-minute walk away.

The concierge did us proud here. A fantastic meal. Small quantities of beautifully cooked food, which is how I prefer it. Jean had a lovely filet mignon, and I had smoked salmon ravioli.

Staggered back to the hotel, taking in some night shots of it and downtown Québec.

Another amazing and historic place, on a smaller scale than Montreal – the population is around 550,000 as opposed to Montreal’s 4 million – and I wish, as with Montreal, we had more time here. Can’t be helped – we move on tomorrow.

We now start our journey into north-east rural Canada. We don’t hit any major cities until we reach Boston in the USA in late September, so expect the unexpected to some extent. Hope you will join us for the next stage of this adventure.

3 responses to “Day 52 – 30th August (Québec)”

  1. at last Jean you have been elevated to saint status no wonder you decided to have a beer instead of icecream!
    fillet mignon sounds delicous
    the city looks amazing including your hotel and Jean you had a swim

    1. Jean had a beer AND an ice cream, Adele! And old Québec is lovely.

      1. my god a beer an icecream and a swim all in one day this is obviously the life of a saint!

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