Monday, June 4, 2012

What a day!

Living it up at L'Hermitage in Quebec City

Quebec City Legislative Building

St Louis Gate - I stayed in the Old City within the gates.

Clip clopping past my hotel.
Well this morning I decided to just sleep until I woke up and get the bus then.  Awake at 5:45 as usual.  Sigh!!!  Anyway after a shower I decided to go and look for breakfast.  I originally had thought of the market again but decided I needed something a bit more substantial.  At 6:30 I wasn't holding much hope but I saw two that were open so opted for the second one I saw called the Green Spot.  I chuckled to myself as the Green Spot at home is my favourite coffee shop however this was your typical greasy spoon.  I ordered a feta and veggie omelette which was very good.  Back to the dorm to grab my stuff and off I went to the metro station.  Okay this is embarassing - obviously I needed more coffee.  First of all I had to buy a ticket as my weekend pass was over for obvious reasons.  Well it was differnet than a pass and as I was fumbling and figuring out where to put it it flew out of my hand and landed on the other side of the gate...luckily there was no one around and the gal at the ticket office buzzed me in.  But wait the best is yet to come...being as I had luggage and did not feel like doing escalators or stairs I opted for the elevator.  Had to use two different ones - first one fine and the second one oh a red button behind plastic interesting and without thinking I pulled it up and pushed it and all of a sudden it starts ringing.  Oh was the emergency button  when they answered I yelled sorry sorry but of course they were yelling at me in French.  I quickly located the correct button, got in and luckily a train was waiting.  Bet they followed me on the security camera.  Cringe.  I have no clue why I did that..honestly.  Rather scary actually - shades of dementia kicking in?

The bus to Quebec City was absolutely packed...three hours and fifteen minutes without a stop.  I could barely walk when I got up - my knees no likee.  Got a taxi to my hotel and am glad I did as I'd still be trying to find it.  I had to check into the hotel opposite as only ten rooms in here and the check in is at the Acadia hotel.  My room was the only one ready - boy was I lucky.  I stashed my stuff and changed, reorganized and off I went to find the start point for the 10 km walk.  I walked and walked and walked - the road I walked on turned out to be the last part of the walk so that worked for me.  The gal at the college was so friendly and helpful.  This was a special walk for me - my last walk in a capital in Canada.  I've walked in Quebec City before but for some insane reason did not do the proper capital walk.  However that trip to Quebec City in 2005 was for a walking conference just a few weeks after I had lost my beloved doggie and I was still in a state.  As I walk around now things are coming back but honestly that weekend was mostly a blur.

The walk took me  through the Plains of Abraham, along the river on the Governor Generals dedicated pathway and through areas of Quebec City I hadn't been so really enjoyed it. I was glad to see the end of it though which was half a block from my hotel.  Back here to freshen up and change to catch the early bird special at Aux Anciens Canadiens.  What a deal - for 18.95 I got a glass of wine, pea soup, tourtiere (pork pie) with green beans, mashed potatoes, chutney, mashed squash and Maple Syrup (or Sugar) pie for dessert.  I was there in 05 with some walking friends and had the exact same thing.  There are other options but I wanted something typically French Canadian.  
Maple Syrup or also what's known as Sugar pie - oh yes!
Tourtiere, mashed potaotes, mashed squash, relish.

   This was my celebration supper for achieving all my provincial & territorial capitals in Canada.  I headed for my hotel but then thought "I should check with the main desk and see if I can print my boarding passes" so I kept on the other side of the street.   I then realized I was following a familiar figure and yelled "OH MY GOD". 
Surprise!!!  Erin and Auntie Laurie
The person turned and there she was - my one and only niece and her boyfriend!!  What are the chances?  She had been in Montreal over the weekend with Mutek - an electronic music festival but due to her commitments we were unable to hook up. Neither of us had a clue the other would be in Quebec City.  What a wonderful surprise!  She lives in Toronto so we don't see each other too often.   I walked around with them for about 20 minutes chatting and we went up on the city wall for a view.  They needed to plug their car meter and then eat and were heading off again as they are on a three week holiday to Labrador, Newfoundland and the rest of the Maritimes.  They went off to have a quick meal and hit the road - I was so stuffed I could not even think of sitting and having a coffee with them. (walking was painful!)  So it was a quick hi and bye but so much fun. 

I then came back and finally printed my boarding passes at the front desk!!!

I had planned to do a 5 km walk tomorrow but I think I will just have the breakfast offered here and walk around the area taking photographs and exploring.  I will have to start heading for the airport about 2 or so.  I have to take a taxi which really pains me  - no airport shuttles here.  The public bus only goes in the morning and comes back in the evening for the workers. 

My hotel is lovely and the bed looks wonderful -  next bed will be my own!!!

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