Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quebec City - Day 2

Day 2 started off with a free (we love free) breakfast at the hotel. Fresh croissants, yogurt, eggs and 5 different kinds of toast. (And some more lattes). Having done some research the night before, we planned on taking the self-guided walking tour and made our way to the tourism office to pick up the map.

There are companies that offer bus and walking tours, but we like to be independent. So off we went, with Crystal acting as the tour guide, reading the information for each stop.

We started off outside the walls of the old city, and made our way towards the Citadelle, an 18th century fort built by the British to keep the Americans out. It cost $10 to walk around the inside, so we walked along the top of the exterior walls.
It was a beautiful sunny day with temps near 20, I should have worn sunglasses. Instead I'm squinting like Mr Magoo.
Once we were back inside the walls the tour took us to Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica, but before we could get to the church we stumbled across a breakdancing crew in the park. These guys were funny, VERY personable and pretty talented. Nearly everyone who was watching ended up throwing some cash their way at the end of their performance.
After the breakdancing crew finished their show we walked across the street to Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica. Crystal informed me that it is the primate church of Canada and hosts the oldest parish in North America. I had no idea what that meant, but the inside was pretty spectacular. Crystal also said there are four bishops buried in the crypt, but we weren't allowed in there. (I felt awkward enough taking pictures while the woman beside me is weeping and praying.)
On the day we also visited another church (with some rather interesting stained glass), a chocolate museum, Artillery Park, the maple museum, a prison that is now a school, some more churches and the oldest grocery store in North America. It was a pretty solid day of walking.

We had dinner reservations so we cut the walking tour short, made it back to the hotel and got dressed up for our night out.

Finding a place to eat before arriving in Quebec was a difficult task. More places were a) too expensive, or b) only served pheasant, elk or some other exotic meat. I wanted something I knew Crystal would like, and elk is not a sure-fire hit.

I settled on Conti Caffé, just down the street from the Chateau. It had penne, risotto and chicken on the menu. I know Crystal likes those. So we made the hike back up the stairs to our dinner date.

We paid $4 to take the elevator up first thing in the morning. Not sure whose idea it was to take our one elevator trip up when our legs were fresh.

Crystal had the mushroom risotto, and I ordered the veal tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto and melted brie. Both were fantastic!

After dinner (meals seem to take longer in Quebec) we hiked back down the stairs and to our hotel. We were both exhausted, so another nighttime tour would have to wait.

Day #3 tomorrow!


  1. I did NOT say primate church of Quebec. There were no monkeys. You are crazy. Lol. Still a beautiful church, monkeys or not.

  2. Okay...apparently I did say that. And so does Wikipedia. So I stand corrected. The primate church it is. AJ was right...for once. ;0P