Saturday, July 27, 2013

St. Lawrence & Quebec City

After much discussion on timing our trip, we decided on a 1030 departure.  Traveling at 12 knots, we should arrive at Quebec City at 1700 which is slack tide.  Maurice came to the gas dock to tell us goodbye.  He mentioned a location on the river where a man watches each ship that passes by and plays their national anthem.  We did not observe this, however. 

beautiful churches

When we arrived at QC, we entered an inner harbor where we waited for the lock to open.  The tie up in this lock is a floating dock to which you tie fore and aft.  After being lifted up 14 feet to the marina, we docked and later dined at the marina. 

We walked to lower town in QC and toured a church and looked at the beautiful architecture and flowers.  The funicular took us up a very steep incline to the upper town.
funicular in background

 The Frontenac Hotel is an exquisite piece architecture built in the 1890's.

 Lunch was ok, but wouldn't recommend the restaurant to anyone.   Kenny scouted out things for us to do and he found a great restaurant for dinner not too far from the marina.  Afterwards, we watched the video on the side of the grain silos.  Norman McLaren was an animationist and the video told of his accomplishments.  By the time we rolled into tour berth, we were exhausted.

Kenny again served as  bicycle scout and searched the town for things to do.  We all took our bikes (via the bike path) to an area of lower town where were climbed to the funicular and headed for Citadel.  We climbed many many stairs and realized that we had taken the long route to get there.  Celine Dion is performing on the Plains of Abraham tonight, and many areas were roped off  near the Citadel.  We arrived just in time for the changing of the guard ($9.00 each).  The officers and enlisted men wear huge fuzzy black hats which cover their eyes.

 We're not sure how they see where they are going.  The ceremony also involves a goat which was presented to Quebec City by the Queen of England.

 Lunch was at Bella, an upscale Italian restaurant.  The food was ok and the waitress had an attitude, but the outdoor setting was very nice.  The bathroom was unique.  It had a central sink and unmarked stalls for either men or women. After washing hands, a very nice rolled individual hand towel was available and then discarded.
 We had purchased bus passes for today ($35 each) and were never able to catch a bus, because of the Celine concert.  We went back to the tourist information center and they changed our bus passes to Sunday.  Hopefully, tomorrow the buses will be on a better schedule. 
At 9:30 each night except Sunday and Monday, there is a free production of Cirque du Soleil.  We had heard about the lines that formed to get in, so we arrived at 7:15 and stood in line until 9:30.  However, we were the FIRST in line and got great seats.  This outdoor venue involved a large crane that brought performers in and out of the stage.  A large portion of the audience stood in front of the stage and became part of the production.  It is difficult to decribe, but the performance was astounding!

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