Quebec City Visit Fall 2012

 

Hello, readers. For this week’s blog I’ll be talking about part of our first group trip outside of Montreal. From October 5thto the 7th, we went to the capital of Quebec, Quebec City. I won’t cover much of Friday’s events because I my co-blogger Evan is going to cover that date. But suffice to say, we arrived in Quebec City with no problems; the Greyhound bus we took to get there was comfortable and the ride wasn’t very long, two hours at the most. After some events that afternoon, we arrived at the hostel where we would be staying. The hostel itself was quite the experience for me. I’ve never stayed at one before and the idea of a safe (and relatively cheap) haven for travelers was an amazing thought.

The lobby was quaint, with a long counter and event boards hung up around the walls. There was a lounge room, coffee, soda, and snack machines, and an outdoor patio. Our rooms were similar to that of the freshman year dorms. The beds were bunked with pillows and bedsheets supplied by the hostel. It was small, but cozy. Definitely enough for a traveler in a new place looking for somewhere to sleep.

 

After Friday’s events, Saturday started out somewhat gloomy. There was light rain in the city, delaying a bit of our plans for the Musee de la Civilisation. Our group made it there, though, just in time to see an amazing exhibit.

The main exhibit for the Museum featured armor, weapons, and clothing used by samurai during the feudal era in Japan. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed in the museum. But, the museum has videos based on the exhibit on their site. This can be found here.

Other exhibits in the museum featured pieces from Canadian history and beautiful Japanese kimonos. The most fun part of the museum, though, was the children’s science museum on the lower floors of the museum. This section was very hands on, exploring different scientific topics. While it was catered more toward the younger crowd, it was still fun to stand in a small mockup room and experience a ‘simulated earthquake’. I enjoyed getting a small taste of what the museums in Quebec were like, and I look forward to exploring more of them.

Lunch that day was at Palliard’s. Arranged like a cafeteria, the room featured several long wooden tables where strangers would sit together to eat. We got into the bakery/restaurant around noon so it was bustling with the lunch time rush. Everyone managed to find seats, however, and we enjoyed our sandwiches and conversation. It was pretty nice; the setting and mood of the restaurant took me back to  my high school and middle school cafeteria lunches. While the food might not have been that good back then, the sandwiches at Palliard’s were great. I had the smoked meat sandwich, but I heard from my friends that their turkey BLT was good, too.

Toward the front of the restaurant was a small bakery that was part of Palliard’s. After some deliberation, I chose something with an appropriate theme for this month. It was funny seeing the reaction of the woman behind the counter when I specifically chose that desert over another of the same kind that was less… decorated. Halloween themes are always fun, if maybe a bit morbid. The desert itself was a fluffy chocolate mousse with a thin layer of caramel at the bottom. A nice, light, end to the meal.

Once everyone finished their lunch, we were directed to a place where we would meet a man for a guided tour around Quebec City. The tour was one based mostly in history. We walked through the city for a good 2 or 3 hours, stopping along the walls that surrounded the city and other landmarks.  An interesting bit of information that we found out was that most of the buildings in upper Quebec City are older than the ones in the lower town. Most of the buildings in the lower city were kept with their cobblestone-like appearance to give them a more distinct look. It was believed that tourists wouldn’t think it looked authentically old if the buildings had a white concrete covering. And I will say, I agree. Most of the lower city buildings had what I imagined to be a European flair. Coupled with the fact that the streets are narrow and the buildings very close together, it painted a very fairytale picture for me.

We had dinner at a restaurant located near the waterfront. Their main draw was, surprise! Smoked meat sandwiches. I have to say, they almost rivaled the sandwiches at Schwartz’s. A lot of the meals we had on the trip were delicious. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have more time in Quebec City since there seemed to be a lot of popular places to eat.

Our last day in Quebec City we were given a lot of time to explore on our own before we left. A small group of my friends and I walked along the main street near the hostel and found a very cool store selling medieval style clothing. While most of the items were a bit out of my price range, they did have things other than clothing. Other than clothes, they also had suits of armor, swords, masks, and writing utensils. I bought myself a blue feathered quill and some ink.

We had to return to the hostel shortly after to pack for our departure. The bus ride back to Montreal was a bit calmer than our ride into Quebec City; everyone was pretty tired from all of the walking that weekend. Not to mention the killer staircases in the city. Since most of it is located on a hill, a majority of our walks were either up steep hills (that I do not want to imagine in the deep Winter, covered in ice) or up several flights of stairs. But it was still quite the experience. The city was beautiful and it was nice to see a vastly different part of Canada.

 

 

– Blog post by Liznel, Montreal Blogger, Game Art and Animation major