Quebec City Spring 2013

 

Quebec City is a perfect example of a small European waterfront city as it is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. It has cobblestone streets, stone houses, churches and lots of statues. Stefi and I took 10 Champlain students to this fortified city for a weekend visit. What fun! After walking from the bus station and settling into our hostel, we walked over to the first restaurant on our list for dinner, a list provided from previous visits. Well, it no longer exists so we had to find another one. We had been looking forward to pizza so we chose another pizza place not too far from the original. The most exotic item on the menu: alligator pizza, which one of the students ordered. Apparently it tastes like fish and chicken, but not mixed together. We then bundled up for our nighttime Ghost Tour.

The night was cold, very cold, but our animated guide told us stories that chilled the chill out of us. We learned about past murders that happened in the streets, alleyways, in the Saint-Lawrence River and finally inside one of the oldest churches.

The next day we walked down to the civilization museum and explored a great exhibit on the Maori

tribes of New Zealand. We learned about how they tattoo their faces and bodies (looks painful!) and complemented the intricate designs of their wood carvings. Next, we had lunch at a French style cafe called Paillard’s. Although the place can seem hectic with 12 people and the tables are communal, we managed to seat everyone together and eat soup and sandwiches before heading to our next tour of the trip.

We met Harry, a friend of the History teacher Jim Manson, and he took us on a historic tour of Quebec Cities fortified walls. We met him at the Porte St-Jean, originally built in 1694, and he continued to show us such sites as Military park, the canon in a tree, and of course the Plains of Abraham where Canada was born and where the battles between the English and French took place.

After our tour with Harry, our heads and hands were cold from the blustery wind, so we decided to head to the rotating restaurant to get a hot chocolate and a view of the city. If you have never been in a rotating restaurant you should check it out because the views are spectacular and a city is not a city if it doesn’t have a rotating restaurant. After some free time, which some of us used to go shopping and others for a nap, we headed to Alexander’s Pub for some pub fare and a hockey game.

Our last day was snowing and not very pleasant for exploring so we went to Chateau Frontenac, the famous hotel, to see what was inside. The hotel used to offer tours but no longer does since it is under construction but we got a taste of it’s grandiose lobby, with giant chandeliers and gold trim, and then headed over to the train station to head back to Montreal and end this glorious trip.