Oh the joys of travelling to new places…
My boyfriend and I just arrived home from a fantastic vacation to the amazingly beautiful Quebec City and Mont Saint Anne (in Saint Anne de Beaupré) in the province of, you guessed it, Quebec!
And when we travel, we immerse ourselves in the culture. We eat the local food, explore the local attractions and try to speak with the locals themselves.
We arrived late on Saturday evening to Quebec City. After a painfully slow and blizzard-filled start on the 401 from our home in Guelph, Ontario , we enjoyed a bluebird sky and bright sunny weather from Oshawa, Ontario all the way through.
That first sight of Quebec City really is breathtaking. When we arrived in what I thought was our destination, I was in awe of the older buildings and the bright, twinkling lights. And then we drove underneath the Porte Saint-Jean and my jaw dropped even further.
Old Quebec City, within the walls, is like a tiny little European town which contains the perfect mixture of modern and antique. Our hotel, Hotel du Vieux Quebec, was an amazing little boutique hotel with little added touches, such as free DVD rentals and fresh fruit, that you just don’t see in the chain hotels of today. I must admit that neither of us had prepared for the extremely cold weather that greeted us and we very quickly ‘took in’ the sights on the way to find warmth and solace in a local restaurant.
The next day, we were determined to partake in the fun and frivolity of Carnivale, Quebec’s infamous winter festival. I was very excited that our entrance tokens included a little figurine ‘Bonhomme de Carnivale’
and a pin (to place proudly on my map when we arrived home again). The first Carnivale-esqe activity we engaged in was eating ‘le tire sur la neige’ which is boiled maple syrop poured onto snow and then rolled up onto a stick and eaten! These French Canadians know where it’s at! We were also entertained by a live marching band on our way to see the ‘ice castle’ (not to be confused with the ice hotel, which is a different attraction entirely lol). On our way to the castle, we happened upon a vendor selling ‘hot fondue’. What IS hot fondue, one might ask? Hot fondue is a fresh baguette, about the size of a jumbo hot dog bun, which is hollowed out and filled with cheese fondue and then topped off with pickles and olives on a toothpick. You are given this handful of heaven and you eat it like a hot dog. Thank you Quebec!!! And they were only $5.00 each!
The ice castle was a Russian-inspired castle made entirely of ice. Quite impressive! We also had some fun dancing to the MC’s dance moves on the ice stage in front of the castle.
We walked around the Quartier Petit Champlain (after a quick ride on the Funicular, since the ‘breakneck’ staircase had already been attempted by us the night before lol). This is the most beautiful little part of Old Quebec City!
The church from ‘Catch Me if You Can’ is there in the centre as well. It’s like being inside of a little Christmas village set!
Also, I’m not sure if you’ve ever had an Oreo/Icing beavertail…or a Skor Cheesecake beavertail. If you haven’t, then you need to get to Quebec City as fast as you can and order one (or five lol). They are not to be missed! Soooooo good!
Before we left Quebec City for the next leg of our journey we stopped to enjoy the amazingness that is Chez Ashton. This is a must-have for Québec City – and it is the best poutine (other than Poutineville in Montreal) EVER! It’s reasonably priced, delicious and unique to Quebec!
The moral of this leg of the journey: you don’t look cool if you aren’t dressed for the sub-zero arctic-like weather. You just freeze your buns off lol! Don’t worry, though, you can warm up in Simons like we did!
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Krystal Moore, Sales Representative
Royal Lepage Royal City Realty,
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214 Speedvale Ave.
Guelph, ON N1H 1C4
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