Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 23 - Quebec City Tour

Just putting it out there that it is totally wrong that on a non bag pull day that we are still up at 6.30am for the 7.30am start!  Just wrong! I was really looking forward to today not only was I finally seeing Quebec, which my friends have been telling me all about since they heard I was going. it is chilly there was actually blue sky and limited chance of rain. Wooohooooo
Tres Chicing it up in French Canada 
Made the decision that since I was in Quebec – French Canada that I would tres chic it up today… so hair got totally re straightened and actually wore full make up for the day in well over a week. I have just been doing mascara, foundation and eye brow pencil… and not even that the day before...  
Our first site of the Château De Frontenac 
So on went the black jeans, and new DKNY shirt, thermal and the pink Ralph Lauren scarf,  finally cold enough to wear it wooohooo. Happy girl - this morning. 
Lower Town Quebec
Grabbed the backpack with a change of clothes for tonight’s dinner and the new zipper bag which would be the day bag. Stopped at the ice machine and filled up the drink bottle to last me for the morning because there is usually limited chance to buy refreshments on the city tours. 
Fall Decorations everywhere 
Walked on the bus with the sunglasses on to a volley of wolf whistles! That shocked me … I haven’t been wolf whistled at for years! Thanks everyone for making my day haha. Testament to how daggy I was the past 4 days.  So much for me being invisible!  Not quite working out to plan but hey I was really enjoying getting to know everyone.
The beautiful streets with the Château overlooking it 
We headed into Quebec along the St Laurence river with the fall colours in the trees on the left and beautiful sun lit river on our right – all in all a perfect Sunday morning.
Lower Town 
We picked up our city guide and we got taken off the bus in order to do a walking tour of the lower town along with the other 10 odd tourist groups. So along with the usual tourists there was over 250 tourists all following each other which made it challenging to hear what our lady was saying. Especially with all the French names which made it all very confusing because they all sounded the same.
Lower Town
Quebec is famous not only for the river but also for the summer and Winter festival – especially the Winter one.  With cobblestone streets lined with the beautiful French inspired stone homes and shops in lower/old town it is no wonder it is a UNESCO world heritage site.  With the city surrounded by so many firsts you realise the beauty of the city is how steeped in history it all is.  
The beautiful wall murals 
With the Eglise Notre Dame Des Victories as the first Catholic Church and oldest stone church in North America; one of our first stops of the morning and then you have the cubes which to do this day I still can’t explain why they are there so it was a beautiful area of constrasts.
The Cubes which I still can't explain why they are there
We walked around back to the bus and she told us to stop trying to capture the Château which is one of the most photographed hotels in the world because there would be a idea spot just around the corner and sure enough there it was. 
Chateau De Frontenac 
So the lovely David or Linda from the Welsh crew made sure I stood in one spot in front of the camera and got me. 
the Beautiful stone buildings in Lower Town
We all wandered back to the bus and I was standing outside snapping photos chatting to Christina on the best place to find a toilet and an ATM because I seriously needed some Canadian dollars. 
Overlooking the St Laurence River
Directly behind me is the Chateau
Started chatting with Steve and he was surprised to hear that I had already been travelling by myself for 3 weeks and still had another 4 weeks to go. 
The Citadel
Also the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend the look on his face was a bit priceless. As I said I wouldn’t be able to this travel and be so carefree if I was in a relationship – I loved the look I got with that one.  I think he was flirting with me … but never sure I am useless when it comes to that!
St Laurence with a bit of Hazey,
Honey child with a sprinkling of Hush 
We headed off on our city tour to the Citadel which is a diamond shaped fort at the Cap Diamant which overlooked the St Laurence river. With the sun shining down it was truly beautiful and even better a toilet stop!!!  Woohooo thank god.  I walked down a bit further along the fortress and it was so beautiful and nice to have the sun on ones face.
At Joan of Arc Park 
As we passed the Battlefields Park they obviously had a big concert or something there last night because they were cleaning it up. I can just imagine how many people were there … I wanted to go. just too bad we were so far out of the city and we could have gone last night.
A random coffin at Joan of Arc Park
We then went to the Joan of Arc Park which was fully decorated with Halloween statues, pumpkins, coffins etc and it was so cool. I am not sure of the name of the park really was. But it was beautiful with the stone steps and the river with the fall colours coming through all around the park. I loved it and the quirky fun it was in the middle of Quebec.
Joan of Arc 
As we drove out we saw these beautiful townhouses which overlooked the park and had the fall colours surrounding them. 
One of the decorations in the park 
As we drove back to the Quebec proper we learnt about how the English vs French language decision is made in each of the homes. It is the mother who decides what the native tongue will be and with most children not taking English lessons until they are about 8 years old. While most people in Quebec are multi lingual French is the language that dominates in most homes and schools.
The Fall colours from the Joan of Arc Park as we drove out
As we headed back to the city proper we saw a Breast cancer run that had blocked off most of the city and since it was officially the beginning of breast cancer month and why not enjoy such a beautiful day by doing something good.  

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