Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Quebec City

A funny thing happened on my way to Montreal. I kept going, right through to Quebec City. I love this city, it's ancient charm in the old quarter, the food, the river, the funicular. It is a city that reminds me tremendously of Europe. So when I got to Montreal and was having trouble finding a decent hotel room, I said "to hell with this nonsense", started the truck up and moved on east.

The drive along the St. Lawrence River valley is an easy one. Gentle slopes, long slow curves, good roads; all this keeps the driving easy. The scenery at this time of year is a variegated green, from fields of corn and grain to small bush lots, all bounded by neat fences. Small towns dot the landscape, mostly built around small industry, agriculture and tourism. It's simply a nice drive.

On leaving Montreal the skies darkened. The clouds had been behind me the whole way and they finally caught up with me. The heavens opened and the tears of a thousand angels descended upon me. The rain was torrential. Lightening flashed and thunder crashed. The highway was a sea of water waiting for my truck to surpass hydroplaning speed. I simply slowed. took it easy and enjoyed the light show.

The evening delay meant a late arrival in Quebec City. My entry route was unfamiliar to me; I've been here a few times by car but the gaps between are long enough that roads have changed, buildings have changed and the city has grown. Yet still, with all this, I found myself somehow right at the old city, looking up from the St. Lawrence at the familiar turrets and stone of the Chateau Frontenac. I took the river road to Battle Park, below the famous Plains of Abraham, went up the embankment road, the self-same route used by Colonel James Wolfe on 13 September 1759 and headed back to Vieux Quebec.

The Chateau Frontenac was full so I took a room in the Delta Hotel just outside the old city wall. Today I plan to change to the old hotel, that great dame of the CPR chain. That is, I plan to do so if the politicians and conference goers leave any rooms behind. This is a busy part of town, with the parliament buildings right here along with most government offices. And we all know how politicians like to live on the public purse. Wish me luck!


  1. Alas, no luck. But I did go for martinis in the lounge overlooking the boardwalk and the river. It was a wonderful afternoon.

  2. We went to Montreal a couple of years ago with my son while we were camping close to it in NY. We did like the European feeling of the town.

  3. You'll have to try again on your way back :)