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Published: December 6th 2019
We had a full day of sightseeing yesterday and it was glorious! I was wearing my new boots which are super cute (that's mandatory, right?) and comfortable too but after nearly 9,000 steps and walking up and down hills all day, my poor feet were warm but tired by the time we finally came back to the hotel room around 10:30pm last night. First, we returned to see the Christmas Markets at night. We walked through every area of the markets we could find. The Christmas Markets are in association with the Bavarian region of Germany and they have 80 to 90 vendors from Germany selling various items - hats, gloves, soaps, ornaments, hot chocolate, nougats, jewelry, etc. I've purchased two ornaments so far but their really hasn't been anything stand out to us as something we want to take home. We walked through every booth tonight. It was much colder and it was windy outside. We found a restaurant setup in the middle of the markets so we dipped inside and shared a plate of German sausage, sauerkraut (maybe? it was purple), all in a spicy mustard sauce. The sausage was a bit sweet and then the mustard sauce was
the opposite. I had a couple of bites. Kamie liked it more than myself. Kamie had also ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows and it was warm and good to share. We continued through the market stalls and I took my time petting everyone's dogs as lots of locals bring their dogs to the markets. We found an area of funhouse mirrors and took a selfie. We found more fondue booths - it's basically a hot sourdough bread they put on a hot metal pole to make a small hole in the middle and then they fill the hot bread with hot melted swiss cheese. Kamie loves the tangy cheese and I love the bread. Tonight, there was a booth offering the fondues with hot bratwurst-type sausages in the middle. We did not try that. We did try a German beer. It was a pilsner and we did not drink but a couple of drinks. We found the WonderBar again. I ordered a hot cider.... ohhhhh… sooo good..... I could have taken a giant mug of that please! However, they serve you a $4 (Canadian) drink in these tiny shot glasses! Everyone. Every drink you order is only a shot!
Must be some sort of Canadian liquor regulation or something because in Germany, you get a giant mug of whatever you want. So, I had a hot cider and Kamie had a Jagermiester shot. Then we sat inside a warming booth - they have these booths laced throughout the markets with lights and pillows and cushions and you can sit inside them to get warm. We met a lovely Vancouver couple that was wonderful to talk too. We listened and talked and we had a great conversation. We also drank so much with them we were all a little tipsy prior to leaving as we were just outside the wonder bar. Her name was Mona and his name was Don. They had lost their Collie dog of 14.5 years just this month and were very sad about it. We could relate. On Monday, his mom had unexpectedly passed in her sleep at the age of 78 years old. They were grieving the loss of his mom and their dog and again, we could relate... with losing Keith and Simon this year. We all had a nice tear together and then some more shots. Kamie got some gluewheine for me to
try (the hot, spicy wine the markets in Germany are so famous for) but I did not like it completely - it had a bitter almost licorice taste to me. Mona was drinking a hot walnut wine which she said was much smoother and shared with me... and it burned all the way down! No wonder Mona was saying her vision was blurry! HA HA After a good visit, we parted ways and we continued to walk around the markets and look at the socks made from sheep's fur and the spoons made from olive wood and etc. It was cold and we wanted to come back to the hotel to warm-up as I could barely feel my legs at this point. We walked up the hill to the hotel and came inside for about 90 minutes trying to defrost.
When we left the hotel again around 8:00pm.... I FORGOT MY CAMERA!! I could kick myself when I do dumb things like that especially considering we will not return to the new places we visited! We took an $8 taxi ride from our hotel to an outdoor ice skating rink about 15-20 minutes walk away (supposedly). It was beautiful.
It is in front of a large bank (I think it's a bank) decorated with these red and gold glistening lights and a giant wreath. There are some fabulous ice skaters here in Quebec. We did not ice skate, we just listened to the Christmas music and watched. We walked around a few stores in the area and then slowly had to make our way back uphill to the area where we hoped our hotel was located. Our hotel is at the top of a hill (you will see in today's pictures) and everything in Quebec is up and down and up and down. We walked up this long, long hill and it was at that point that we wondered if we should not have taxied back to the hotel but we continued on and a local told us we were about 10 or so minutes from our hotel. We were at least on the correct path. As we came wondering into the path toward our hotel things looked familiar so we looked for a place to stop and have dinner. Last night we noticed a rather curious looking restaurant with an interesting menu - bison, elk, deer, etc. As
we were walking by tonight, a tour bus of older people were leaving while we were viewing the menu outside and this lady stopped us and told us we had to eat there. She said it was one of the oldest establishments in Quebec, it was a former house, and it is famous for it's delicious food. We decided to try it. For the record, we knew it was expensive so I am not going to complain too much but dayummm that was the most expensive meal we have ever ate! I cringe thinking about it. We had a five-course meal. We both had an aperitif. My appetizer was a bison/elk/deer pate with a carrot thing on the side. It was terrible. LOL I do not like pates. I didn't realize I was getting a pate. (Everything is French here in Quebec - all the people speak French and most of the menus are in French.) Kamie liked my pate. Kamie started with escargot and I had a bite and it was wonderful. He had a thick cheesy lobster bisque and I had the soup of the day which was chicken soup. I don't like lobster. He said his bisque
was good. The chicken soup was warm but a bit salty. My main dish was Beef Wellington, medium, with a mushroom sauce and a carrot puree. The little baby carrot they put on top of the carrot puree was the best thing I ate the entire evening (Ha The food was good, overall). Kamie's main dish was a trio of steak-type cuts of bison, elk, and deer with scalloped potatoes and a carrot puree. He loved it. Dessert was a cheesecake and apple pie combo for me which was a sugar cookie crust with an apple pie filing (too sweet), and a baked cheesecake top. Interesting but only worthy of a couple of bites. Kamie had a chocolate fudge pie. He didn't like the crust. I don't know why I went into detail with this menu but it is interesting that this is apparently billed as one of the top restaurants here in Quebec, the service was fantastic, and yet it was just "okay" food with a huge price tag. I do not think it is my palate. I believe if you have a mom who raised you making slow-cooked roasts with carrots and potatoes, you appreciate food on a
different level. Also, don't puree my carrots! Anyway, we had a nice meal, it didn't take too long, we had a good conversation, and we finished our walk back to our hotel. I kidd you not when I say the walk back was a total minimum of 30 minutes. It's the hills. They will kill ya. LOL Overall, It was a good day in Quebec. Tomorrow, I believe we will explore lower town old Quebec (you'll see what I mean) and I'll take the night camera back out and we'll mosey around and get more night pics of the views around this place and I'll get the info on that restaurant we visited, too.
By the way, the Canadian dollar is not as valuable as the US dollar. Spending $4 in Canada is like spending $3 in the US. Prior to leaving for this trip, I purchased $300 in Canadian money. It didn't even cost me $225. Everything in Canada, overall, is the same price as the US so we are basically get a good deal on items purchased. The only exception is the restaurants located around our hotel. They are all expensive. We paid $46 Canadian dollars (so
$35 US) for some spaghetti alfredo and a small pizza the first night we were here. Alas, we are not here for long and there is always Starbucks for breakfast!
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