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Published: July 29th 2013
We have been traveling now for four weeks. This is when under normal circumstances our holidays would be over, and we would be heading back to work on Monday morning. Thinking about this makes it a bit more concrete exactly on how long a holiday we are. Even though I don't suppose we fully realize that even now.
So, we arrived in Quebec City after a long 10+ hour rideshare drive; it had been quite a hassle to get that arranged on the last minute, so we had simply booked ourselves a night at Holiday Inn using Leo's reward points. We only left the hotel (and the pool side) to have dinner at a nearby restaurant. Even so, it became immediately apparent that Quebec was totally different from probably whole rest of North America. It was a funny feeling sitting on the restaurant terrace in Canada, seeing every ad billboard, sign, menus etc in French, and hearing only French around us. We knew Quebec would be French area, but we didn't know it would be THAT French: for instance, it was a surprise that we encountered several locals who barely spoke few words of English.
Next day we arrived
at our actual accommodation at Linda's. She had a very stylish apartment in an old industrial hall, within walkable distance from the city center and old town. We are nowadays mostly staying at people's apartments, which we are booking using a website where people announce free rooms to rent for travelers. This has proven to have much better price-quality ratio than hostels.
Once we headed to the Old Town the city started to seem even more French. The architecture seemed to be directly taken out of an old French town. We spent three whole days walking around the city center and Old Town, and liked what we saw, even if it was rather crowded at times. But the houses were just cute, there were lots of art galleries and boutiques, the seaside was relaxing and weather was warm (apart from one day when it was only 17 degrees). There wasn't too many obvious sights that we would have to go and see; one evening we took the short ferry ride to the neighboring village Levís to see the sunset against Quebec skyline, but apart from that it was mostly just slow paced walking around and admiring the buildings and
street life. I had high hopes to find some nice clothes at the small boutiques, but that was not a success.
On the first evening there was Paul McCartney's concert in a park right in the city center, so we bought some picnic and headed behind the fence of the concert area. We got a pretty good concert for free, as we could not only hear the music perfectly, but we could also see the screen if we stood up and streched a bit. The next evening we saw a performance by Cirque de Soleil, which btw has a free performance every evening. This we learned by accident when we overheard a waiter giving the tip to a couple next to our table. Luckily we did, because the performance was quite amazing, and most incredible was that it was for free. I would have been willing to pay money to see it :-)
On our last day we were supposed to have a rideshare to Montreal in the afternoon, and thus went to spend time in a shopping mall next to the gas station where we were supposed to be picked up. Well, our ride never arrived. We
did have an email from the driver, which of course we didn't see until it was too late to arrange alternative ride. So, we ended up taking the bus. Not a big disaster, but some extra hassle, plus ticket cost more than twice as much as the rideshare would have cost. Let's hope we will be luckier when we move on to Toronto.
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