Part 3 Canada: Quebecuois?
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
After a 16hr bus drive, we found ourselves in the station of Quebec city. Another bus took us near our Airbnb and we did the rest on foot (5 mins).
We could immediately tell that Quebec was not like the rest of Canada, but felt more like home. Not only were the houses ,mostly, made of stone and not wood, the air was much cleaner and the people acted somewhat less « American ».
Our Airbnb host was an older lady, who fashioned her basement (which undermined the whole house) into a living room, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. We shared the living area with a very nice couple from Mexico called Oliver and Paloma. The house looked a little bit worn and old fashioned, but it had everything we needed. And for a basement, everything stayed dark and cool, so no waking up in the morning with the sunrise.
Eventhough we were absolutely exhausted of our bus ride, we dragged ourselves to the nearest supermarket to buy some necessary groceries and a bus pass for 5 days.
We highly recommand bying a bus pas if you are staying somewhere for a week or more. They are a cheap way to get around .
Afterwards we took a 5 minute bus to Cartier (busstop), where we enjoyed our first poutine in a little restaurant called « frittes alors ». Saying they had Belgian fries we were quite sceptical I admit. We tried out 2 different kinds, Haythim chose the best one, and it was pretty good. We did have the feeling it didn’t reach its full potential here, and because there are so many kinds of poutine to try out, we set our minds to try other kinds in other places as well.
The next day we took off to old Quebec. The bus dropped us off at the old city walls and the exploring began! When you enter through the main entrance you’re immediately greeted by tiny restaurants, shops, and street artists going through their daily routine. The smell of food can give your tummy the rumblies, but I’d recommend always checking online reviews before choosing a spot. There are enough places that charge too much, have a shitty service, and still expect a tip at the end.
Eventhough the old part of Quebec, is built like it was old, and feels pitoresque, it still is nowhere near an old village from Europe. That realisation came to me when I set eyes on the château Frontenac. Though impressive in size, this castle was built to be luxurious and luxurious looking. It is called castle Frontenac, but from the very first stone it was meant to be a hotel for the rich, not so much a defendable castle.
So it has never quite seen battle or rebuilding due to bombs/wars/... It is pretty though. Not just big. It makes for excellent pictures at the setting sun. And walking the « dock » allongside it is just fun to do.
If you’d be interested in shopping for art, you can walk right in and turn right in the main lobby, where you’ll find a small gallery with some gorgeous works of Picasso, Dali and others (pics weren’t allowed). Next to the name and description, funnily enough, you’ll find the pricetag (yes they are for sale).
To stay on the route of poutine, we tried out a restaurant right next to the castle, called the « chic-shack » I can say with confidence that this was the best poutine restaurant we tried. So good, we ended up going there twice. Do try out their burgers as well! But my favourite dish was their signature french fries (more like Belgian fries) with parmesan cheese and truffle oil. Now that’s a combination made in heaven!
Definitely mentionworthy is this beautiful pitoresque Christmas shop just a street further. You can find decorations there beyond your wildest christmasdreams! The shop really makes you feel you just entered Santa’s lair. Weird, to see in the heat of summer though!
Next day was a long due chill day. We sent some stuff home by mail to lighten our backpacks, grabbed a macha latte and homemade lemonade at the local starbucks, did laundry, and took a swim in our Airbnb’s pool in the backgarden. We made a deal that starting from New York, we’d make more time to relax. Staying at a place for only a week can be nice, when on a citytrip. But transportation costs money, time and effort, we felt that it was becoming a little bothersome. We knew that travelling this extensive would take time to get used to/hang of it. And though our luggage is slowly starting to look more like a worldtraveler’s, our mindset still needed adjusting.
For only five days of Quebec, we did still squeeze a hike in there. Just 50 minutes on a bus, and 20 minute walk can take you to Montmorency Park. The park is located Northeast of Quebec, along the « coast » Famous for its waterfall, you have the option to take a lifttrain thingie upwards, or you can do it on foot, and brace at least a hundred stairs. Even from downstairs, you can take wonderful pictures of this intimidating waterfall. Down in the water, you can see fallen treelogs big and small, bumping and rubbing against each other until there so refined and smooth that you could just pick em up and take em home! Up on the cliff, you have the option to take a zipline that will slide you across the waterfall. Eventhough I value adventure, the price for a ride was just a little too... You can also opt for a great not too long hike through the forrest! The walk will take you along the river, to rocky riverbeds where people enjoy a dip, some sunbathing, and some people actually go fishing. We walked until we reached a dam and sat down for some chowtime. Homemade sandwiches taste soooo good after a long walk.
By the time we got back to the waterfall the the sun had already started to set slowly, and we went back down to take some last pictures before packing up. The waterfall drops in a very broad river. So broad, that at this point in summer, some places are so shallow, you can just walk on the water! I do recommend bringing some waterproof hiking boots for this. Don’t do it barefoot, the rocks are sharp as glass.
Thus we concluded our last event at Quebec, shooting some pictures next to a waterfall.
We made it a habit that our last day at our airbnb, we would just chill, pack our bags at ease, do some planning concerning our transport towards the next country/city/airbnb.
We were definitely not looking forward to taking an uber at 4 o’clock at night, waiting an hour at the airport, taking a two hour flight, staying put at the Toronto airport for 3 hours, and then take a 1,5 hour flight to Boston. After which we took a (30 minute) train towards our next stop... Salem.