On Sunday the 3 August, our afternoon flight from Charlottetown PEI, took us via Montreal to Quebec. Our taxi driver from the airport, insisted we speak french. He would reply and practise his english. He of course, was far more competent with his english, than we with our french. This was a pleasant welcome to Quebec. Contrary to the warnings we had received, his friendliness was repeated constantly throughout our visit.
We may not have been hiking in the bush, but our feet covered many, many kilometres in both Quebec and Montreal, as we explored both old and new cities.
Spotted in Quebec:-
Joan of Arc
Charles De Gaulle
Busy colourful streets
Hail filled darkening skies
Re-enactments and army barracks
Old town city wall
310 steps for view of the mighty St Lawrence River
Zinc rooftops, spires and domes
Traditional fire escapes
An hour long, local bus ride, took us to the top of the Montmorency Falls - 83 metres. There were trails along the upper reach and 487 steps down to the base and of course 487 back to the top. Well worth it.
On our last evening we were treated to a spectacular parade celebrating the early history of Quebec.
"This year, the New France Festival theme is “To our heroines,” honoring the women – mothers, nuns, natives, and merchants – who helped to form the new French colony"
Later in the evening, fireworks over the St Lawrence was another spectacular finale to our visit to Quebec.
The following morning, it was an early rise to catch the train for the 3 hour journey through maize fields, to Montreal.
Crossing the St Lawrence
1st on our list of things to do in Montreal, was to hike up to the Parc Du Mont Royal. This time 270 steps brought us to a 180 degree view of the city.
Late in the afternoon we walked through the Latin Quarter, Chinatown and on to the old city where we found an outdoor restaurant for our evening meal.
The Notre Dame Cathedral was stunning both at night and in daylight.
Behind the main alter was the Chapelle Sacre-Couer, with this altar displaying 32 bronze panels representing birth, life and death.
I found this statue in the square highly amusing.
Nelson's column was erected in 1809 at the Place Jacques-Cartier in Montreal and was dedicated to Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgur. Since the destruction of Dublin's Nelson Pillar [1808 - 1966], Montreal's stands as the oldest "Nelson's Column" in the world.
The impressive Marche Bonsecours [markets] was built in the mid 1800's as a Parliament and then it became a City Hall. Now this impressive building is popular for its restaurants, art galleries and high end, but affordable markets.
I had expected Quebec to be very Parisian and chic, but instead found it to be very historical with a country town feel along with its hordes of tourist. On the other hand, Montreal impressed me with its sophistication, even though the old town had a quite relaxed atmosphere.
Walking by the St Lawrence, it was difficult to imagine that it would be totally frozen over in winter. A tour cruise boat cut its motor for the tourists to experience the power of its current. We were stunned by how quickly the boat drifted sideways.
On our last night, we were relaxing with wine on a side walk cafe, when I spotted the full moon rising. Poor Frank suddenly found himself alone, as I headed off with my camera. An unexpected special finale to our Montreal stay.
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