Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hot in Kwebeck and back to Mo-n-re all

After I left Buffty at the airport I went back to the hotel and then into the Irish Pub to watch the Hockey. LA won tonight and in doing so won the Stanley Cup. It was good to see it being presented on TV, but I was knackered and headed for my bed.

The next morning, I was awake early and didn’t see any point hanging around, so after a quick wash and a tram ride I was at the Bus station by just after 8am and I took the 9am bus from Montreal to Quebec City.

It was yet another hot day and when I arrived I spent a few minutes cooling down by a big fountain just by the station. It looks like someone has dumped some large steel plates into a pond, but after a few minutes taking in the cool breeze around the fountain I appreciated it a lot more. I finally headed up the hill into the old town. The Hostel was easy to find and after booking in I found myself in a room on my own again. It only lasted till about 10pm, but I did manage to get a short afternoon kip while I was alone, which was nice. I’m currently sitting on the floor by a big open window and enjoying the cool air as it blows in. 

The steel fountain with the station behind.

Another Funicular

View over the old town

A tiring day

The afternoon was spent wandering around the walls of the city. All the guide books and internet sites remind you that this is the only walled City in North America that is North of Mexico. It’s a nice place and I enjoyed my hot wander around the walls, taking in the old buildings and good views. I don’t think I have ever seen so many ornamental cannons! The place feels a bit like Windsor, with its streets all leading up to a big building on top a hill, but mixed with a bit of old Europe – with turreted castle like roofs and strange art sneaking up at you from everywhere. The big building on top of the hill is the Fairmont Hotel and is what you see on most postcards from here. It’s a massive, stunning building, like something out of a fairytale. You could imagine damsels screaming for help from any of the rooms overlooking the cliffs below that lead down to the harbour.

I will have a longer look around tomorrow, but today got really really hot, so after completing the circuit around the walls I spent a while sitting in the shade enjoying a slush and trying to cool down. A lot of other people were doing the same! After getting back to the Hostel it started to rain – heavily, so I spent the evening sat by the window, watching movie and enjoying the cool air.

Laptop geek keeping cool

My way to keep cool

The harbour

After the rain last night, it is sunny again today, but a couple of degrees cooler, which make a pleasant difference. Today, I went down the steps that lead from the cliff top down to the old town and harbour below. I loved looking through the quaint old narrow streets with their weird shops and decorations. I noticed that the ferry across the river was due to leave soon and so I jumped aboard and took some photos of Quebec as we floated across the harbour straight. There isn’t much on the other side so after a quick wander around I headed back again.

The afternoon was spent walking around the old town and stopping every now and then when I noticed something worth looking at, like the strange little antique shops and a cool market by the station where they sold some really cool spices from a big wooden cupboard. It was an enjoyable afternoon, just aimlessly wandering around and I even found myself inside the really posh hotel on the hilltop. I rode my luck, took the lift and ended up on the top floor of the hotel in what was obviously the really posh area. It had carpet about a foot thick and views down over the town and harbour were great. I’m sure I shouldn’t have been able to get there so easily, but part of the fun of travelling is sneaking into places you aren’t supposed to go!
Weird but cool

A shop dummy with a difference


The toilets!! Nice sign

A really cool sundial

It was a much nicer evening than yesterday, so I went back down to the harbour and took a few photos of the hill, cliffs and lit up buildings at night. This is a much nicer place when it’s quiet. There are literally thousands of screaming school kids during the day, running amok climbing on statues and generally being loud. In the evening, when they are all somewhere else, it’s a gentler, quieter place, with much more of a romantic and pleasant feel to it. I like it a lot more at night.

Antique shop

The worlds biggest spice rack

A view from the posh parts of  really posh hotel

Sneaky sneaky

It was hot again the next morning but I was leaving Quebec after a flying visit. To be honest I have had a busy half day and a busy full day in Quebec and have seen most of the small city. It was nice to visit and see some of the sites, but I’m glad that I’m not staying any longer. It’s back to Montreal for one night before heading south and into the USA for a few days tomorrow.

So after a 3 hour drive back to Montreal I found the new hostel that I visited last week. It is stunning. A brand new place, which has been converted from a Hotel. The entrance features a huge white leather sofa that I am currently lounging on while chatting to the guy on reception, who is from Australia. There is a small, but modern kitchen and a big screen TV showing the football.


At night

Close up

and more

wide shot

Upstairs there is a lush deep pile carpet that is lovely to walk on barefoot and the room is of medium size, but has large comfortable beds, aircon and a TV on the wall, which is almost unheard of in a Hostel. The hostel is located a short 5 minute walk from the bus station and even less to the tube to get around town. Compared to the HI that I stayed in last week, which was a 15 minute tube ride and another short walk from the tube. The HI is also more expensive, so for me it’s a no brainer and I only wish I was staying here longer.

Anyway, after checking in, I took the tube and went back to the Grand Prix track. On the bus I had noticed people on the track and went for a look myself. It is now more of a cycle track than a race track, with bike everywhere and people riding in line skates too. I walked the entire track – taking an hour to walk what the Grand Prix drivers did in just over a minute. It’s a nice peaceful place when there are no race cars about and I enjoyed the walk a lot. Tonight, I’m going to mellow out in the hostel and maybe get some dinner before an early start tomorrow and a trip down to Burlington, where I am staying for two nights. Life is all good at the moment.

Where a few cars hit the barriers last week

Me on the pit straight

This is where we watched from last week, just by the white tents

Awesome hostel kitchen


 As normal there are miles more photos on picasa, just follow the links on the side of the blog!!

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