Day 5

Montreal, QC to Quebec, QC

Route is in blue. There was one small change (in green).

The route I chose to take from Montreal to Quebec was awesome! Very relaxing, very scenic.

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When leaving Montreal, I expected to be taking a bridge to the south side of the river. Instead I went through a long tunnel. I do NOT like LONG tunnels! (Remind me not to try the Chunnel!) Once I was south of the St. Lawrence and making my way down the river roads, I soon forgot my "trauma" and enjoyed the neighbourhoods I found. This is Varennes.
A beautiful area with great views and lovely walking paths...
... and a magnificent church... Paroisse Ste-Anne de Varennes.
I'd forgotten it was Sunday. The man opening the church for Sunday service invited me in.
He gave me a brochure about the parrish he was obviously so proud to be a part of. The first church was built on the same site in 1692.
A second church was built in 1718 and a third in 1780.
This church was opened in 1888, the same year my grandfather was born! What an impressive structure it is, with a very proud history.
The lovely neighbourhood of Vercheres is not too far from Montreal and much of it is quite new. Nice houses with a great view of the St. Lawrence.
Another spire?
Nope! Probably a siting tower for the local firehall.
Not too far east of Vercheres, there were two houses on the river side of the road with OUTSTANDING gardens.
I'm SO ashamed of my flower bed of weeds! Look at all the work put into this... a fountain, the gnome, the selection of flowers!
And just across the road... an immaculate farm and farmhouse!
In Contrecoeur I stopped to admire this unusual metal sculpture of a mermaid.
Across the street where I parked, people were enjoying a Sunday brunch at a patio restaurant.
On the far side of town, there was a nice marina.
Small islands/strips of land separated the marina from the St. Lawrence.
At Sorel-Tracy, I boarded a ferry which took me from the south side of the St. Lawrence to the north side.
Driving onto the ferry was a bit confusing since the signs told you to go one way when it became evident you should do something completely different. Another rider who had witnessed my confusion started to commiserate with me in quick French. When I explained that I did not speak good French (in French), he and his biker friend quickly dismissed me and went to hang out with other biker friends. It was the ONLY time in my entire trip through Quebec that someone acted that way. I am SO glad most people are not like that.
Pulling out from the dock.
Some sort of coast guard vessel.
Hey look! According to the GPS, Thor is SWIMMING!!!
When I rode into Trois Rivieres, I could see this (one of two) spire and of course I had to go and investigate. When something "sticks up" into the air, it's not hard to get there.
There I met this family. They were absolutely lovely. Although the two children were a bit shy, I had a great talk with their father and he gave me some good suggestions on what to go and look at in his fine city.
I went to the city's harbour.
I'm not exactly sure what the lighthouse building was for. I think perhaps it was a tourist centre.
Across the street from it were these marvelous tiered gardens.
I took a ride around the streets of the downtown area.
The architecture in Trois Rivieres was very pleasing to the eye.
I especially admired the wonderful stone buildings...
... and strong details such as this pleasing bay window complete with gorgeous garden!
Beautiful red brick, cute little awnings, a columned entryway... cool!
This clock tower is every bit as nice as any I've seen.
Look at all the intricate details!
As I left Trois Rivieres, I saw this overgrown shed and stopped to take its pictures and pictures of its surroundings.
There's the bridge I would take to leave town.
And this, no doubt, is at least one of the "three rivers".
No matter which way I looked, the grass and shrubs were SO green!
The Shrine of Notre-Dame-Du-Cap was VERY impressive. The shrine is east of Trois Rivieres on the river road. It consists of the church (WOW!)...
... a rectory...
... a garden of bronze statues depicting important parts of the bible...
... and fountains, just to name a few things (there are more but these are the ones I went to look at).
Even a non-religious person could appreciate the artistry that was put into the dozens of bronze groupings.
The landscaping was top-notch.
Whoever designed the church is a very talented architect.
As I said before, VERY impressive.
I continued to Quebec City and arrived just after noon. I went straight to my hotel (this is at the front entrance to the Best Western) on the Rue de Couronne to check in. I parked my bike, dumped all my bags, got some advice on touring Old Quebec, and was soon on my way, walking to the old city's centre.
The area near my hotel seemed pretty commercial but the buildings were still pretty interesting looking.
I was walking towards the water, but I was going UPHILL, which seemed pretty strange. Along the Rue de Couronne was a pretty little concrete park with a nice fountain.
As I said, I continued to walk uphill. The street I'm standing on as I took this picture is directly below the one supported by the concrete beams.
To get up to that street, I had to walk up this set of stairs. Hard work for a flatlander! :D
The view from the top of the stairs was great. BTW, the street on the left is Rue de Couronne.
I continued up what was now Sainte Claire (road) and passed many apartment or condo type residences. I liked what they'd done with this garage door!
On Rue Saint Jean there were many interesting things including this statue...
... and church.
My favourite part of the church was this set of yellow doors which, if you look carefully, are slightly rounded to fit onto the circular wall.
Just outside the Fortifications of Quebec, is the Hotel du Parlement...
No, not a hotel, Parliament Buildings.
A common sight on the streets of Vieux-Quebec (Old Quebec)... It's a good thing they travel the same roads over and over again so the horse knows its way because the drivers never seemed to be looking where they were going.
"Can I come in?"
Tourist information was available inside the "Plains of Abraham Interpretive Centre" but information about the Plains of Abraham? Couldn't see any.
The Plains of Abraham.
I suppose in comparison to the other terrain nearby, these are plains but a flatlander like me notices the bumps... BIG bumps!!
One corner of the Citadel.
A view across the St. Lawrence from the Citadel wall.
The area was beautifully maintained...
... to the smallest detail.
A view from a distance of the Citadel which is built into the ground.
I didn't know (but now do) that the Citadel is one of the official residences of the Governor General of Canada.
You were able to take a walk around the ramparts of the Citadel.
Now you see her...
... now you don't. It allows you to see just how thick and high the rampart walls are.
Down the street from the entrance to the Citadel.
I took a stroll inside the walls of the Citadel.
Until you're inside, you're not quite aware of just how much land the structure takes up.
I opted to skip the "inside tour" because there were still so many other things I wanted to visit.
As I walked from the west to the east side of the Citadel along its walls, I had this view through the trees.
From a vantage point nearby, I could also see the Hotel Frontenac in the distance.
The Edifice Price is one of the oldest "skyscrapers" in Canada, now 18 stories (but originally 16) stories high.
This picture is taken from the ramparts on the east side of the ramparts of the Citadel.
It would be fabulous to live in Quebec and live in one of these condos which border the east side of the Citadel.
Across from your condo, you could sit on this large expanse of green grass...
... have a bird's eye view of Old Quebec...
... of its harbour...
... and of the Citadel.
The Hotel Frontenac is huge. It dwarfs most buildings in the area.
I'm now walking down the footpath towards "my" condo. (I wish!)
As I descended, I could see the boardwalk which led towards the Hotel Frontenac. There were street buskers and vendors along its length. Music could be heard from blocks away.
I was too dumb to figure out (until the next day) that the boats alongside the Quebec docks were the ferries which shuttle people and vehicles across the river to Levis.
Street level: at the base of the Citadel.
As I said, what a wonderful place to "hang out"!
I followed the path from the Citadel...
... to the Boardwalk. Small hotels bordered the walk.
Eventually the walk led me to the Frontenac which truly is an architectural wonder.
Down the cliff face, more shops... but also a curiosity on just how I was supposed to get there.
One brother preparing to send the other into space!
At the base of the present Hotel Frontenac, they have uncovered ruins of Fort Saint-Louis (1692).
At the present time, this area is not accessible to the public. You can only see it from above. I wondered if it had previously been accessible and was now closed to the public OR whether it was only recently uncovered.
A statue of Samuel de Champlain, one of Canada's first explorers.
Jugglers were entertaining the crowd next to the statue.
How did I solve the problem of getting from "up here" to "down there"?
The Funiculaire!
Half way down...
... almost there!
Going up?
Could it be considered an oxymoron? Trendy businesses housed in old fashioned buildings?
Old fashioned, yes, but also beautiful and welcoming.
There were occupied apartments above the businesses.
I had a tasty dinner in a bistro down the street. I ate on the outdoor patio and watched all the shoppers go by.
The mural on the side of this shop was truly dimensional. When a mural (like this one) is painted so well, it is a highlight of an area.
Along the "pedestrian only" road, was a pretty little "mini-park".
This store was housed in the basement of the building. The high windows were open and you could "reach out and touch" the display. Neat.
The sun set quickly. I took a different route back to my hotel so I could take in more new sights.
The Hotel Frontenac looked good with spotlights illuminating its highlights.
Sidewalk artists were ready to paint either a true likeness...
... or a caricature of passer-bys.
This statue startled me as I walked down the dark street. It was tucked into an alleyway and the figure was quite life-like.
An impressive entranceway!
And an even more impressive exit from the Fortifications of Quebec.
I had a pleasant walk back to my hotel and I was asleep the moment my head touched the pillow.

Next Day

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