Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quebec City - Day 3

Day 3 got off to a later start. We took some extra time getting ready, went back for an extra round of breakfast and were in less of a rush.

We planned on finishing the walking tour that we had abandoned the day before, and our fist stop was the farmer's market. Crystal loves the market. She mentioned a couple times how she'd loved to have a permanent market like this in Barrie, so she could grocery shop there. From fruit & veggies, to wine to fresh pasta, the market was well-stocked and active.

After touring the market we headed to the St Roch district. This previously run-down, crime filled portion of the city has been restored thanks to some funding from the government. As you walk under the freeway and enter St Roch you are greeted with colourful frescos on the previously cold, grey concrete pillars.
We toured around St Roch for an hour or so, making stops at St Roch church, St Roch's garden and Benjo (a massive toy store with a TON of toys). Once we had conquered St Roch we took the free (we love free) elevator back up to upper town.

It was lunch time, so we went on the hunt for some Quebec poutine. The concierge at our hotel had told us to go to Chez Ashton if we wanted poutine.

She was a bit disgusted when we said we wanted some real poutine, instead directing us to a fancy Quebecois restaurant before we assured her we wanted to eat junk for lunch.

Chez Ashton was a fast food restaurant, not really what I expected, but we wanted poutine. Crystal ordered a regular poutine and I elected to go with the sausage poutine. The sausage turned out to be a boiled hot dog, but it was still quite tasty.

After lunch we entered Old Quebec and continued to explore. There was a performance happening in the square by the Chateau, but the elderly clown was less than captivating so we continued to walk along the cliff overlooking the St Lawrence.

It's amazing the size of the ships coming down the river, and the fact they don't hit the tiny sailboats that seem to be buzzing around the waters.

We headed back towards the square, and this time found a gymnast who would walk on his hands almost more naturally than on his feet.
We planned on an early dinner because we had to be back in Old Quebec by 8:00 for our walking tour, so we started to head down the stairs into Petit Champlain and towards our hotel. We stopped a couple times along the way to check out potential stops for our meal, and settled on Bistro Sous Le Fort, a small restaurant at the bottom of the funiculaire. We made our reservation and headed to the hotel for a change of clothes.

Dinner was very good. Crystal had a chicken dish that she claimed was her favourite meal so far. I wanted to try some authentic Quebecois food, so I ordered an elk burger. Pretty tasty. Grainier than a normal burger, but still very good. We polished off the last of our meal and made our way towards the Morrin Centre for our ghost walking tour.
TripAdvisor (& Jeff Brodie) recommended the ghost walking tour, and I thought it sounded like a fun way to see the city and learn about some of its history, so I booked it for Saturday night. I got an email once we had arrived in Quebec that Saturday night was not going to work, they had booked that night for a kids with cancer group. So we had to reschedule for Sunday night.

The tour was ok, not really what I had expected or read about, but it was kind of fun. Turns out, after some additional online research, that there are 2 companies running ghost tours, and we picked the wrong one. (Oops) We should have gone with this one instead of the one from the tourism office. It sounds like it's better in the summer when there are more characters, and it's more interactive.

Once the ghost tour was complete we took another walk around and snapped some more pictures. Our feet were pretty tired from 2 days of walking so we decided to call it a night and head back to our hotel.
Day 3 complete... Our final day comes at you tomorrow!

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