Monday, September 26, 2011

Parlez vous francais?

Sept. 24-25, Quebec City, Que 
Quebec City far exceeded our expectations.  It was a little hard to find a place close to stay near the city, but finally settled on a place called Domaine de la Chute in St. Appolinaire, Quebec. This place stands out as the highlight of our travels and a big surprise as neither of us had heard much about it.  The main attraction is visiting the historic part of the city which is a walled village that is entirely quaint and more French feeling than many places we had been to in France itself.  The setting of the walled village is on the St. Lawrence Seaway adding to the incredible vistas.  This port is a major stop for cruise ships traveling on the Eastern seaboard north from South Florida or the Caribbean. Having learned from our Montreal walking fiasco, this time we checked in with the visitor center and followed a walking tour itinerary laid out for us by a guide.  Still hungry for my French bistro fare, we took a two hour walk and ended up in what looked like a French café, but their specialty was pizza.  It was tasty and I did get a bacon-wrapped brie salad to boost the French experience.   Highlights of the walking tour included amazing architecture everywhere, the cobblestone streets, an accordion player, and a woman singing French opera in a courtyard. 

The final pleasure was discovering a huge indoor farmer’s market that was intoxicating.  Like in Paris, it included cheese cases, olives, sausages, wines, seafood, and even a chocolateer.  We loaded up with some amazing vegetables for our residential refrigerator and couldn’t resist the croissants and baguettes.  If we hadn’t been walking (limited by what we could carry), we could have spent a small fortune here splurging on French delicacies.
Vic standing at the entry to old
Quebec City

Quebec City's Notre Dame
Our lunch spot at Portofinos

Street music in old Quebec City

The fabulous Old Port Farmer's Market in old Quebec City
Loved this sign for leashing dogs outside the market in QC

Cruise ship on St. Lawrence Seaway in Quebec City

Decision time: do we keep exploring Canada or drop down into Maine.  Maine is calling me but the idea of campgrounds closing soon persuaded us to save the trip further east into Canada for another time.  The route to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine is a fairly direct one heading south. Our plan is to spend a few weeks in Maine hoping to hit the peak of the color season while there.

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