To a city dweller, QC may not seem like such a large urban centre, and in absolute terms, perhaps it truly isn’t. However, after nearly 6 weeks immersed in the peaceful tranquiltity of one of PEI’s more rural settings, Quebec City seemed like an almost impenetrable maze of noisy people, busy roads, and general hustle and bustle.
Happily, we soon found our hotel, Fairmont’s famous and historical Chateau Frontenac, and retreated into the relative serenity of our room for the evening.
During our stay, the boys enjoyed several visits to the hotel pool (which was conveniently located on the same floor as our room) and I enjoyed a visit to the spa!
We also visited our favourite Croissant shop in the upper town, before we set out for Montreal, a city which makes Quebec City look like a sleepy little village by comparison!
Stationed for the night in a converted horse stable in Old Montreal, we made like real tourists, and enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride and tour after dinner at on of the old city’s many restaurants.
The next morning, the boys were up bright and early, and we let Tats sleep in while we enjoyed a breakfast for fresh fruit and made-to-order omelets and french toast. Then it was off to the cathedral (Notre Dame) to light some candles for our many departed (the boys chose their great grandpa and Spencer to commemorate, and I lit a candle for my mother).
The now infamous “penis shop”, a Bali folk art store so named by Alex and Simon during previous trips to the Montreal Jazz Festival for the shop window's impressive display of wooden penises in an array of shapes and sizes, was still closed, so we went back to the hotel to chase our Tatsy out for breakfast.
After she had a relaxing tea and croissant, the good woman took the kids off to the Old Port to check out a maze which the Frommer’s Guide had promised was well worth the visit. (As it turned out, the Maze was not longer in operation, so they rented a quadracycle instead and toured Old Montreal instead!)
I, meanwhile, packed up our belongings which had in one short night become strewn far and wide across our room somehow, and checked out.
I suppose, though, that QC and Montreal provided a good “warm-up” for the insanity of Toronto, in which we’ll soon find ourselves re-engulfed!!!