Published: July 24th 2008July 18th 2008
The site from above
This is the view from the top of the waterfall
Quebec is one of those cities that impresses you from the time you arrive, which is a big call after a journey that's taken 27 hours door to door. Although our arrival in Toronto on the way is equally imprinted in my mind, but that was only because the pilot tried to leave a Zorro mark on the runway as he landed. There's nothing like a left turn, right turn, left turn as you touchdown! But the landing in Quebec was much less spooky.
Today was the first time that the rest of the crew got a look at the site out at Montmorency Falls. It was good to see them stand at the top with their mouths agape in amazement at both the beauty and challenge of the site. Having been here before I also had the joy of being the tour guide. Which given my complete lack of ability to head in the right direction as we wonder the streets of Quebec City I'm amazed. There's only two places in the world that manage to totally screw up my sense of direction, Quebec City and Adelaide. I just don't get the how's and whys this occurs but it
does. Although it does lead to a little too much wondering the streets in the complete opposite direction then is required.
But being the dodgey tour guide I did get to choose where we had dinner on our first night. Talk about a pasta to die for, the vino was a little off the pace but there were some other bonuses, like the view. Quebec is a very beautiful town in so many ways, including the table of six next to us.
Besides the old town, the citadel and the walled city Quebec City has one other notable feature that requires exploration, Dagobert. Dagobert is one of those nocturnal establishments that I stumbled upon on my last visit here. It was only fair that I share this experience with the crew since one of them had been on the receiving end of a text message last time. After a false start on the night we arrived a couple of us managed to end up there on Wednesday night. Fortunately or unfortunately Wednesday night was the night that the whole of Quebec Province decided that Dagobert was the place to be, probably aided by the no cover charge or
snobby dress code. It was so enjoyable that Giovanni and I managed to drag Jimmy, Meerkat to Dagobert on Friday night. Although being the responsible one, I imposed a 1 am curfew on them so that they would be at their peak performance come game day.
As for game day well all went relatively well if you don't count a few stoppages to allow the smoke to clear from the crowd. Apart from that little hiccup with the wind direction it was pretty impressive from where I was sitting. Although where I was sitting wasn't exactly prime seating. Being at the base of a waterfall I ended up in a microclimate all of my own. Monsoonal winds combined with a mist that ensure all the pores of my skin were spotless. Sitting there with a bunch of electronics wondering why I didn't get the toughbook laptop in my position. It was much better earlier though when there was a roof on the cabana, but come show time they decided to take it off!! They were worried about the wind (or as Charlie pronounced it "the wine" which took a little while to get my head around, because I can
assure you there was no wine). They weren't worried about me standing out in the open plugged into 110volts of the finest electricity that Hydro Quebec can produce while being bathed in a refreshing spritzer like spray. But at least they had put a pallet down so I was no longer standing in six inches of mud, this was the same six inches of mud that we worked in to setup the show.
The morning after saw all of us a little slow off the mark, but I managed to squeeze in an espresso at the fabbo gelato shop just down the road from the hotel before making the dash for the train station. One of my better decisions when planning the trip was to book a first class train ticket to Montreal. Ahhh sitting in the lap of luxury eating grilled salmon and drinking some not quite dodgey red watching the scenery buzz by was a pleasant way to pass the time and ponder should I have stayed to see Sir Paul. You see the evening of the day that we all left Quebec City, Sir Paul McCartney was giving a free concert in Quebec. to help them
celebrate their 400th birthday. They were expecting about 300 000 people to flood the Plains of Abraham and the town was absolutely buzzing as I left for the train station. Unfortunately re-jigging the travel plans was a little difficult, so I forwent seeing Sir Paul and continued onto New York as planned. Although it was very tempting as when I checked into the hotel it turned out that I had been booked to stay in Quebec until the 25th, one of those zag or zig moments so I zigged this time round.
There are more photos below