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Old 21 Apr 19, 10:57 AM  
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Join Date: Dec 13
Quebec City: Spring 2019 - Day 2 Saint Roch and Ilots des Palais

As I predicted, I first woke up at about 1:30 AM. This didn't really surprise me as I had fallen asleep at 8:30 PM. I think I managed to fall back to sleep about 3 AM and I slept through to 6AM. So not a bad night overall.

I made myself a coffee, and had two of my cinnamon bagels. As we can't buy cinnamon bagels in France, it's always a treat for me to have them.

As it was still very early, and raining, I watched a bit of French TV via YouTube. The one thing I do miss in the apartment, is while there is a TV, there is only streaming services available. I am not really a Netflix type of person. Plus I don't have our account details. I like having the noise of the TV on and usually find out programs to watch. Instead I've been catching up on things I watch in France.

I had a shower and slowly get ready to leave the apartment at about 9 AM.

As I went outside, I realized how cold it was. There was a wind which was bitter. And it was raining still. I still had another layer that I could put on in my rucksack.

I walked down St. Joseph E. St. and came across one of the many coffee houses. I decided a nice hot chocolate would be the way to warm myself up a little. I also picked up a local paper to read while drinking my coffee and was quite amused to find an article about Disney cruises. In fact, it was more to do with the influx of cruise visitors into Quebec city and how locals are finding on certain days there are too many visitors in the lower town.

The hot chocolate was lovely and did the job of warming me up a little.

Even though I don't often go to church in France, I do like looking in churches. I find them very restful and I'm always amazed at how they were built hundreds of years ago when they didn't have the equipment that we have nowadays.

The Eglise de Saint Roch was right in the middle of the high Street. From the outside it wasn't particularly attractive.

However, the inside was lovely. I particularly liked the ceilings. There was someone in there and he seemed to be getting the church ready for something. I read on the way out that the church was in fact going to be closed from mid day that day. I don't know if it was something to do with Easter.

I wandered in and out of the local shops. I also noted down when I saw things I might like to buy later on in the week. There was one of these Dollarama type shops which I love so quite a few things like muffin cases went on the list. I didn't want to buy anything today as I would have to carry it around all day. But I also know that often I forget where I have seen things so it is easy to just make a note in my notebook on the phone.

I also went into the metro supermarket to have a look around. One of the advantages of traveling alone is that I can spend time just looking at nothing in particular. Supermarkets fit into this brief. There were lots of things I would have loved to try but if I ate all that I wanted to try in a week I will probably have to be rolled down the plane. I didn't buy anything again on the basis that I didn't want to carry it around all day.

It was then about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the railway station. I had read that it was quite pretty inside and so as it was roughly on the route, I decided to go and have a look at it.

Again, the ceiling was very pretty.

I was quite surprised to see that there was virtually nobody there. In fact, there seemed to be only three trains, all to Montreal. It is surprising that for such a big city, there are not more trains.

One thing I had forgotten about Quebec city, is that it is built on a hill. That always seems to be a lot of uphill walking necessary.

My next destination was L'Ilot des Palais. This was in the local guide book as a museum where the whole history of New France was waiting to be discovered.

In reality, it was an overpriced couple of rooms. Firstly, I was not so impressed to be asked if I needed the seniors price. I'm 50 years old. The senior price is from 65 years old. I felt really insulted as although I don't kid myself that I look even 40 years old. I also don't look older than I am. And I certainly don't look as though I am 65 or older. It really did annoy me.

It was very expensive for what it was. It was just under C$10.

You can literally see from here from one end of the museum to the other. Was the information board with interesting. It took me no more than 20 minutes to read everything and to look at the artifacts. The actual vaulted rooms were very attractive, but it really wasn't worth the money nor the effort.

I then walked to the old market. Again, like supermarkets, I love visiting markets. I had visited here before on the previous occasions when we had been to Quebec city.

There were not as many stores as I had previously remembered. I don't know whether it was because of the fact it was the middle of winter weather it's just not as popular out of tourist season.

There were, however, lots of stores selling locally produced maple syrup products. I made a note of things I would like to buy to take home. I adore maple syrup. My only purchase was some maple syrup popcorn. I thought this could be a good item to take back to the office and so I bought a small packet to test it beforehand. In my office we have a bad reputation for bringing back inedible local items so I would like to break the habit this time!

I walked along the pedestrian path around the harbour. I was amazed to see that it was frozen over. When I booked the trip back in February, I didn't really appreciate that there would be snow still on the ground and that part of the river would be frozen.

It was still bitterly cold. I think it was more the wind than anything.

The path took me a long the Saint Lawrence river. The first time we came to Quebec city, we stayed in Levis across the river. I think I was the only person on the path. I guess most tourist have more sense when it is so cold. Certainly once I walked through the lower town, there were a lot more people.

I got my first glimpse of the famous Ch‚teau Frontenac. And another reminder that Quebec is built on the hill.

I walked through the lower town. Quite a few buses seemed to have arrived with tourists so it was very busy. By this stage it was about 1 PM and I was getting hungry so I decided to try to find somewhere to eat. Restaurants in a busy tourist area are not always the best thing as they can be expensive and not that great.

I decided I really wanted something with rice and in a backstreet came across an Asian restaurant that seemed quite busy but not overly so. I decided to try that.

Unfortunately, there was only one person serving and so it was quite slow. First of all I had a hot and sour soup. It was actually too spicy for me.

I had ordered stirfried vegetables with a portion of steamed rice. However I seemed to get fried vegetable rice. I didn't say anything as I didn't want to have to wait longer for what I actually had ordered and it was it looked OK.

In fact, it was very tasty. It was an enormous portion and I couldn't finish it.

However I then had to wait about 45 minutes to actually get the bill and pay. It came to C$20.

By the stage, tiredness had hit me. I decided to just walk back to the apartment which took about 30 minutes. Thankfully it was more downhill than uphill. I arrived back at about 4 PM.

I thought that I may fall sleep and so set my alarm but in fact I just watched some more videos on YouTube. It was nice to have a rest and as it was now raining quite heavily it was good to be in the dry.

I tried the maple syrup popcorn. It was really delicious. I am happy for my waistline that I only bought a small packet. I will get some more though to take back to the office as I'm sure it will be appreciated.

I wasn't really sure what I wanted for dinner as I was still quite full from the rice and the popcorn. I decided I would walk back to the supermarket to see if there was anything that I grabbed my attention.

In the supermarket, I just got some Coke zero, some chocolate and an apple pie. I decided I would have toast with cheese and then a slice of apple pie.

This is the outside of the apartment block where I am staying. I'm on the fourth floor right at the end of the building.

I watched some more videos and tried again not to fall asleep too early. I made it to about 9 PM!


Index of my trip reports
2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong
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