Quebec — A Little Touch Of Le Paris

So, just this past weekend, it was the Canada Day long weekend, which means that my beloved Canada just turned 144 years old on Friday, July 1st! And, so, Abaseen and I were thinking about what to do for that long weekend, as it’s been a while since we’ve travelled out of town and all. And then, just a few days before the long weekend, Abaseen suddenly suggested that we go to Quebec, as I’ve never been there before. He’s been there twice now.

Of course, I was ecstatic, ‘cause Abaseen kept raving about how pretty the city is, and how much it looks different than the other cities in Canada; he’d said that it reminded him of Europe, hence being very unique. So, we began looking for hotel rooms and I couldn’t believe how crazy expensive some of the lower end hotels were! I mean, I know we live in a very capitalist society and all, but jacking up the price a couple hundred dollars or more JUST for the long weekend was absolutely ridiculous! I mean if we had to pay that much for a low end hotel, we might as well pay the SAME price and stay at a MUCH nicer hotel, you know what I mean? But, anyway, we got lucky (well, considering my exceptional research skills and all :: pops collar ::), we found this beautiful suite for like SO freaking cheap! I couldn’t believe our luck! And the best part was that it was very close to downtown and all the main attractions; probably about 10 minutes drive; and so I booked the room for two days. (Mind you, we drove to Quebec, and from where we live, it was a good nine to 10 hour drive, with of course a few stops in between for food and gas. I’d imagine a straight drive, without stopping, would be about seven or eight hours.)

Anyway, we left at 3 am in the morning on Friday (which was Canada Day), and because we knew it would be crazy traffic that day, as a lot of people would be travelling out of town, we decided to leave as early as we could, even though we only had a couple hours of sleep. We figured we could always catch up on some shut eye once we got to the hotel. So, we quickly got ready and I made sure I fed my Pinky and Gulabai (Pink Convict Cichlids) before we left, lest they starved! They’re like my little babies, you see? And then we were finally on our way! Now, I can’t recall how many stops we made, but I believe they were only about three to four; of course, mostly at Tim Hortons, ‘cause Abaseen and I LOVE their iced coffee. I am not a coffee drinker; like at all. But I love iced coffee; it’s trés yummy! Abaseen drinks more hot coffee though, so I can safely say that after this trip, I am a little sick of Timmy’s. (Though, this sickness won’t last too long, I assure you; I love my Timmy’s way too much!)

We got to the hotel around 12:30 pm, and even though the check-in time was 2 pm, the girl at the counter (who, btw, had the cutest French accent ever) told us that we could go in as the room was ready. We were exhausted by now, so checking in right as we got there was a sheer blessing! I was SO ready to konk out! And, yes, the hotel room was just as wonderful as I’d expected it to be. As soon as our heads touched the pillows, we were out.

We slept for about three hours or so, and around 5 pm, decided to go out and check out the city; well more like downtown Quebec, which is also known as “Old Quebec.” Luckily, Abaseen had visited the city twice before, so we didn’t waste much time trying to find places to visit, or asking around where so and so was. So, we were in Old Quebec city in less than 15 minutes.

Oh, and by the way, the ride to the city was beautiful on its own. Unlike the city in which I currently live, Quebec, I thought, was a LOT like Vancouver. (I visited Vancouver almost three years ago, and I was blown away by how breathtakingly beautiful it was!) However, Quebec wasn’t any less gorgeous either. All I saw were hills and lakes, and many houses built on high hills. It was such a beautiful sight! I used to believe that the city in which I live in was the most beautiful place ever, no really, I am totally and completely in love with where I currently reside, but Quebec City was a WHOLE different ball game! And when we finally reached downtown, I couldn’t believe my eyes! It literally felt like I was in Paris. (Mind you, I have yet to visit Paris, though I made Abaseen promise to take me there in the very, VERY near future; but considering that I LOVE France, and have seen many French movies, Quebec was almost a carbon copy! No kidding! And, yes, I certainly have pics to prove it, yo!)


The thing I noticed, however, is that unlike many of the metropolitan cities in Canada, Quebec was actually quite small. We walked around Old Quebec for about four hours, and I think we pretty much covered every nook and cranny! Oh, and the BEST part about the city is that every where I looked, I saw artwork! And these weren’t just ANY type of art, mind you, when I say art I mean those exceptionally talented individuals who’ve set up stalls outside and can draw real life portraits, while having you sit there in front of them, in under an hour! Now that’s what I call mad talent! (Heck, it takes me over an hour to draw something average, and hours and sometimes days, to draw something close to perfect; but these people were brilliant!) Seriously, I LOVED that about Quebec, and I am pretty sure that many cities in Europe are like that too; they have such a wonderful passion for the arts. And being an artist myself, I was literally in heaven!

Another wonderful thing about the city besides the beautiful artwork is the food and restaurants! There was literally a restaurant every two seconds. Well, some of them were more like cafes, but still, it’s food! It seems to me that the people there LOVE to eat, or perhaps they like the IDEA of it. Though, I have to say that I hardly saw any overweight or obese person there. Rather, they were all the opposite. The women and girls were absolutely beautiful, and the men were gorgeous! I remember a while back, one of my friends told me I looked French, and at that time I didn’t realize how beautiful French women were; well, until now, of course. Gosh, what a compliment to be called French, eh! Heh!

Anyway, on the second day, we decided to check out the Montmorency Falls and the Ste. Anne Canyon. (See pics below.)

Yes, those are the flight of stairs we took to reach to the very top of the hill. Brutal, I tell ya!

We woke up very early the next day (7 am), and luckily the hotel we stayed at provided us with a complimentary free breakfast. And it wasn’t half bad. Rather, it was quite delish! We left the hotel around 9 am, and got to the Falls around 9:20ish. And I have to say it was quite a sight! We also climbed a set of stairs so that we could go on top of the hill and get a better view of the Falls. Oh, and just so that my reader knows, those stairs weren’t just a few; there were millions of them! I thought they would NEVER end! And, yes, I did take a pic of the stairs we climbed from the wooden bridge that was right on top of the falls. I still can’t believe we climbed that! My legs hurt afterwards, but hey, it was SO worth it!

After we saw the beautiful Falls, we decided to check out the Ste. Anne Canyon. And, oh em gee, the canyon was freakin’ magnificient! Here is a pic for your viewing pleasure. (By the way, because it was such a beautiful HOT summer day that day — I believe it was around 31 Celsius — there were rainbows everywhere near the water. It was way too pretty for words!)

Apparently, the canyon is higher than Niagara Falls itself! I couldn’t believe it! There was also a chance for us to zip line across the water, but because we didn’t have the proper gear, we didn’t end up doing it. Gosh, what a loss! If we knew about it, I know we would have DEFINITELY tried it out. And because we are both not afraid of heights, I know it would have been SO much fun! Oh well, no biggie. At least we got to enjoy the gorgeous view. And, boy, what a view it was! It’s like literally ingrained in my brain! Wowzers, indeed!

Oh, I almost forgot to add, after we saw the falls and the great canyon, we then decided to check out this incredibly BEAUTIFUL shrine! I believe it was called Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. The architecture of that monument was just absolutely spectacular! And, yes, I did go crazy with my camera again, so here are some more pics for your viewing pleasure.

The coolest part was that during the time we went to visit the shrine; there was an actual wedding taking place in there! Abaseen and I watched as the priest started singing some passages from the Bible (and he had the most beautiful singing voice; I was truly impressed). Unfortunately, because a wedding was taking place, we weren’t allowed to take as many pics as we wanted to inside, so I managed to sneak in a few. What? It was pic-worthy, alright? Who knows when I’ll ever visit such a beautiful church again…er, unless, I go to Italy (in the very, very near future of course), and check out the Sistine Chapel. I absolutely love, love, LOVE the artwork that’s done inside! Talk about being crazy talented, eh.

Later that night, we decided to go downtown again for dinner. Abaseen and I went to this French restaurant to try their food. I, of course, got the seafood crepe and Abaseen got the chicken shish kabab. I’d told him to try the crepe, but I guess he was in the mood for chicken. :: shrugs :: Anyway, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of our food; yes, I can be a little weird like that :: blushes :: The food, I have to say, was absolutely DELICIOUS! Though, I noticed that the portion there is MUCH smaller than the portions we get in my home city. Plus, it was much more expensive too. Nevertheless, we still VERY thoroughly enjoyed our food. Later, for dessert, we got a strawberry and banana crepe with vanilla ice cream. It was too yummy! We, of course, shared it, as I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish one on my own, but boy was it good! I have to say, I probably packed on like eight pounds on this trip! No kidding! But, yes, it was soooo worth it!

My uber delectable seafood crepe

Abaseen's shish kabab -- of course, this wasn't enough food for the poor lad. He was still hungry afterwards. Ah, my foodie hubby!

On the third day, which was Sunday and the day that we were supposed to head back home (as I had work on the Monday, booo!), we decided to stop in Montreal. (Btw, the French pronounce Montreal as “Mo-re-aal” — it does sound cooler, I admit!.) But, anyway, since it was on the way, Abaseen felt that it would be a good idea to stop there as well, and check out some of the great monuments and cathedrals.  I have to say, though, that Montreal is not as lovely as Quebec. It lacks the charm that Quebec has. I also felt it was too much like the city I was currently living in. There was no uniqueness to it. I mean, I know it’s a very old city that indeed has a lot of history to it, but I guess it just lacked the romantic-ness that Quebec had, I suppose. But, anyway, it was still a very nice city. We didn’t stay there too long, though, as we knew it would take us at least nine hours to get back, considering the traffic and all. But we did check out the historical museum there. It was SO cool! Here are some pics below.

Montreal!

a Native Indian woman holding cigars

Old school glasses -- I think these are from the 1800s

One of the FIRST cars in Quebec -- dayum, imagine having to drive that thing, eh?

Tricycle from the 1800s -- too cool! I'd SO love to learn how to ride that thing!

A typical French home from the 1800s

So, yeah, that was our trip! Gosh, it was SO much fun! And my Abaseen was such a wonderful tour guide! Our next plan is to go camping! :: squee :: I can’t wait!

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