Goodbye Quebec City
Friday, August 31, 2018
The last day of August has arrived. Where did the Summer go? Gone too quickly if you ask me… I was too exhausted yesterday night to write anything coherent… forgive this mishap.
We said a long goodbye to Quebec City yesterday, with a delicious brunch on a terrace, and some shopping.
We also lingered in the “Artists Alley” and bought two beautiful engraved/embossed rendering of Old Quebec City, signed and well packaged. And who could have resisted a little “Quebec béret”? Hum, not me!
A special moment for me was attending the noon mass at the Notre-Dame de Québec basilica-cathedral, and partaking in communion. Dating back to 1647, the cathedral was destroyed by fire over the centuries, but in 1989, it was designated a Canada National Historic Site because of its historical and architectural value. Listening to French liturgy took me go back to the seventies…
I left Quebec City with mixed feelings. Despite the fact that the “Old Quarters” have not lost their charm, the overall flair has really changed. It now caters to a new generation of tourists. Merchants — especially restaurateurs — now cater to new waves of North American, Asian and Middle-East visitors. In restaurants, French music has been replaced by English pop hits, and even McDonald has carved its place on Rue Saint-Jean. Waiters address you in English first, apologize when you respond in French, then forget you are a French-speaking customer and do it over again. Funny… I must be getting old…
Still no blood pudding…
We started our route to the Gaspé peninsula with a one-night stop at Rimouski. What a long stretch it was! A 319 km on the 20E that took almost 5 hours. The highway turns into a long two-lane stretch where you cannot pick up speed because of construction and the local traffic. The scenery is pretty, though, with green hills and some vistas on the magnificent Saint Lawrence River.
Note to travellers:
- We stayed at the Hôtel des gouverneurs, just across the river. The hotel has that “old” feeling, but not in a good way. It needs a major “refreshing” of the carpets, furniture and restaurant decor. I would not recommend it.
- If you decide to stay, breakfast is not included, but parking is free.
Dinner at the hotel, with a lovely carrot-zucchini velouté.