Quebec City, Part Deux
On Canada Day, Saturday July 1, we got an early start. Before leaving Sainte-Marie we stopped at Tim Horton's for a light breakfast and coffee. Our drive into Quebec City was much easier because we took the Boulevard Champlain along the waterfront to avoid the downtown traffic to "our parking lot" near the Museum of Civilization. A short walk to the ticketing venue for the ligne rouge (Red Line) tour bus and we were on our way from the lower old city stop. This has turned out to be the most efficient way to get around and an excellent way to get an overview of the major cities we've visited this year. Letting a local, professional driver navigate the narrow, congested streets is so much more relaxing and certainly more convenient. It also makes better use of our limited time so we consider it money well spent. This particular tour bus line had the added benefit of personal earphones and an audio tour narrated in eight different languages.
One of our first stops was just outside the Parliament Building and the Fontaine de Tourny. We walked through the Saint-Louis Gate of the old city wall, which was about forty feet thick, on Rue Saint-Louis and up to the Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine. This park sits up on the perimeter of La Citadelle de Québec overlooking the St. Lawrence River. It was an incredible view of this massive waterway and the location of this strategic fortification.
This complex features a long-standing active fort, and a museum of the Royal 22nd Regiment. We were hoping to catch the changing of the guard but were treated to an even better ceremony below us. We discovered the regiment had marched out of the Citadel and down to the Dufferin Terrace just below us for their Canada Day celebration. So we hustled down the hill to take it all in.
Following the ceremony we walked into the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac to see inside the lobby. We considered going to the Starbucks but the line was too long. Instead, we continued walking to Rue des Jardins to Brasserie Les Mordus, another outdoor cafe, where we enjoyed brunch. I was hungry so I ordered their classic FISHING BOAT’S RETURN of 2 eggs, 3 meats (bacon, ham and sausage), potatoes, baked beans, greaves spread, country bread, crêpe, raspberry butter, and fruit salad! Karen had a lighter meal of a cup of corn chowder and a salad.
After brunch, it was back on the bus to continue our guided tour. Later in the afternoon, we got off the bus on the Avenue Cartier for ice cream at Chocolats Favoris and to walk this colorful shopping area. After this short excursion we picked up our third bus and rode back to our last stop of the day at Fort Street, across from the Château Frontenac.
We walked down to the Rue Notre-Dame to see the Quebec City Mural. Inaugurated in 1999, this mural tells the long story of Quebec City in an iconic location. From there it was a short walk to Place Royale, a picturesque cobblestoned square flanked by cafes, shops & a 17th-century stone church. We decided to enjoy a happy hour cocktail at the La Pizz Place Royale.
This charming pizzeria with a patio offering refined pizza pies & pasta dishes in a rustic-chic space, so we eventually ordered our dinner here. We shared a delicous Salade Caprèse and Pesto Linguine under a cafe umbrella in a light rain. The restaurant owner was hospitable and friendly; we had delightful conversation and he gave us helpful ideas for the next day of our adventure in Quebec City.
A very busy day of sightseeing completed, we walked back to the truck and returned to Sainte-Marie before dark...very satisfied but exhausted.