Canada! The land of Beavers, Bieber and Brrrr

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Feb 20, 2014

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What I did
Snow, forts, gates

Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What a difference a few hrs makes in travel. I pretty much lost most of the day travelling from LA to Quebec City with actual travel and then a few hours time difference. The flights were not so great. I was in the middle seat with people either side and not feeling the best following my big night out in Hollywood. I had a couple hr stop over in Montreal where a raging headache set in and then strangely left on the 45 min flight to Quebec City on Air Canada where the announcements are in English and French. This was cool because it made me feel like I was truly going somewhere foreign. I think that is my issue with travelling to the USA – it doesn't feel like travel for me. In the taxi ride from the airport I could see snow on the sides of the highway in the midnight darkness and feel the instant chill in the air. Parts of me were dreading this winter freeze, and then another part of me was excited about the difference since I have not experienced snow or anything this cold since Thredbo in 2006. The reason I slotted Quebec City into this break was because I was looking for something to do between LA and Niagara Falls for Easter. I based the decision on a friend’s recommendation and a very brief Google Images review of some photos of the region. I am so glad that I came to QC for this break as it is beautiful and so different to anywhere I have been.

Waking up the next morning and looking out the window from my hotel was amazing to see such a different setting and feel like I was in France when I turned on the tv to French speaking talk shows. However, that Gotye song is on every 5 mins over here and in the US. Funny for me because I’ve never heard this song when played in Australia and yet I am being bombarded with it halfway across the globe where it is Top 5. The hotel is amazing! In the limited research I conducted on QC, I had seen this building and then found out that the Chateau was actually a hotel and I thought that it would be great to stay there but surely I couldn’t afford it for my 3 nights here. But my room is only $150/n and perfect. This hotel was where Churchill and Roosevelt met during World War 2 to nut out the D-day landings and general war strategy. Lots of history in a huge hotel.

Staying in the old town meant that everything was within easy walking distance and quite enjoyable to just wander the old streets that have a European feel. With my thermals, new jacket and gloves, I was warm enough and the sky was crystal clear the whole time I was in QC, which was fortunate because a blizzard had come through just last week and apparently the conditions were terrible. Daylight is also present until at least 7pm which is good for a tourist, except the sun seems never to be in a good position for my photos.

QC is the only intact fortified town in N America north of Mexico. I enjoyed the Citadel, which is a fort that was built largely by the British after they invaded and won the territory from the French in the early 1800’s. Very interesting for me and I did a tour of this, but found the guide a bit rushed and I would’ve liked to explore a bit more but you couldn’t do it on your own as it is still a working barracks and the secondary residence of the Canadian Governor General.

On my second day, I explored the lower part of town and some of the museums. A lot of museums are closed or restricted because it is low season, but this was ok by me because I didn’t really have any avid interest to see much here other than the buildings and wander the streets. However paying $14 for a museum where the main exhibits are closed is a bit steep – if the dollar wasn’t so strong, then this place would be ridiculously expensive. I also found the museums tough to navigate and this shits me about museums and galleries in general – why can’t there be arrows on the floor and all in a linear pattern so u don’t double back or cover ground u’ve already passed. I walked up to the Parliament square which is outside the city walls and in the new town. I didn’t stay long up here because it was all 20th century and didn’t interest me. I stumbled across a great cafe that had maple syrup in every product. Funny because I had never thought that maple was such a Canadian thing, but I suppose it is their flag symbol. I had a great 3 course meal in a French restaurant (including a nice hot soup!) before exploring the night views and returning to my Chateau (!) for my final sleep in this picturesque town.
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