Friday, July 28, 2017

Quebec City

It was an easy 450km to make it pretty much 1100km traveled since leaving town.  Quebec City was our destination, but interestingly all the road signs into the province of Quebec just indicate the city as Quebec.  We knew what we were doing.  I figured though sometime later that Quebec City is an English term used by anglophones.

We arrived on Wednesday and after getting settled into our second Airbnb.  We walked around the Saint-Roch neighbour where we were staying.  Its liveability is incredible with every type of park, corner store, restaurant, confectionery, laundromat, and such all with a walkable approach.  The bike trail which outlines the perimeter of the city was only about 1km away too.  It was a good score.  Parking was good, although it is first come first served on a narrow street.

So yes, we walked the first half day in the city, and ventured by bike and infant carrier thereafter on Thursday and Friday.  I need a map wherever I go.  A physical hand held map I can touch, write on and turn upside down if necessary.  We did not have a camera on our person either day because it was forgotten.  However we set out for some adventure and saw lots of interesting things.

Thursday's efforts were concentrated on things around the bike path.  We hit up the market, marina area, and the lower and smaller quarters of the old Quebec area.  Having the double carrier to convert into a stroller is awesome, but in crowded areas and in hilly and tight confines, it is a bit of a liability. On one hand the kids are tucked away, but it is dam hard to meander in said locations.  Plus, every so often one of them wanted out to walk.  But even a walking two and a half year old is not ideal as they don't want to hold your hand from time to hand, stay on the side walk, or mind the etiquettes of all the passerbys.  Young kids, nor the stroller, makes entering shoppes easy especially in this place.

Friday was spent by first arguing in the morning....  A lot.  We brought kids.

Just kidding.

On Friday we started off up a super steep, Tortola steep, road called Salaberry to get to Battlefield Park.  How steep.  I don't know.  Dam steep.  But we made it to the crest and it was flat from there on.  I imagined this area to be plain, but it was very treed and it doesn't offer extensive views of the city or the river.  Nevertheless it is a wonderful place and we played on some equipment and biked around it.  We stopped at its Citadelle, checked out the English built Martello Towers, had a good look at the Joan of Arc tribute, and then made our way through the Saint Louis gate and into the Chateau Frontenac range.  We parked and locked up our bikes and would continue by foot to get some eats, and then take a guided handsome cab around.

The handsome cab was a driver named Stephanie and her Paint Belgian cross named Sabby.  For forty five minutes they gave us the narrated tour of the district and some of its influential buildings and dates.  Probably because of the kids going from shop to shop to see the knick knacks wasn't going to happen, but this tour gave us a reprieve from our own source of locomotion, and a history lesson all in one.  What surprised me the most was how much English influence Quebec City actually has.  Well, she said something like it was French from 1600 to 1750 roughly, and then English thereafter.  There were a great deal of catholic immigrants from Ireland whom settled in the area, thus  the continued strong lineage of religion based courtship with the French, but there wasn't much mixing and marrying between the groups of people whom did not share a traditional religious sameness.  It was interesting that there are a few dedicated blocks and churches that are Anglican and or Presbyterian.

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