The Hotel Chateau Laurier, Quebec - Room 538. The view from our room. This hotel has five floors and only two balconies at the front of the building and we have one.
Woke up to a drizzly morning. Met Lou and Judy in the lift on our way to breakfast and all arrived in the foyer, looking for the dining room. Just as well Deb was there as she walked us around to the restaurant. The corridor just went on and on and on, around corners, past the indoor swimming pool and then finally we arrived! It was pretty full so we went into another room which was very dimly lit. We settled in and then another table became available in the main room, so we moved. Judy and I asked the waiter for oatmeal and he said yes. So we waited and waited and waited some more, and then he delivered two jugs of warm milk. So we waited and waited and waited some more and asked him again for oatmeal. Yes, he said, it's up next to the cereals. Okay, so we go to the cereal table and can't see oatmeal anywhere. So we headed over to the hot food section as some hotels have a big container at the end of this section. No oatmeal! So we ask the waiter again. Oatmeal? Yes, he said, up next to cereal. We can't find it, we said. So he came with us and pointed to a brown paper sachet that was full of dry oats and a jug full of hot water. Oh, right, we finally got it! Can you just imagine what it tasted like? Raw dry oats, luke warm water and warm milk. It was yukky but we were running out of time by now so we had to eat it and suffer in silence! And all this before 8.30am!
It was just as dramatic trying to find our way back to the foyer to the lifts. Phil and I got lost twice. Judy went on her own, ended up in the kitchen, then out on the street, then couldn't find the front of the hotel so had to get back into the restaurant and negotiate her way back to the foyer! We must be getting tired or silly or something!
On the bus at 9.00am with our local guide for our tour of Quebec. We are so disappointed that it is drizzling because this is such a beautiful city, it would be so nice to photograph it in sunshine.
First stop Parliament House.
Some important dates for Quebec. 1608, Quebec founded by the French. 1759, the British took over Quebec after succeeding in battle after five tries! 1867, the Dominion of Canada was formed. Quebec has a population of 700,000. 95% of the population is French speaking. (As non French speakers or readers, don't we know it!) To be employed here, you have to be bi lingual. Quebec means 'where the river narrows'. They have a community pigeon house that is air conditioned in summer and heated in winter AND to control the pigeon population, they put contraceptives in their food!
We wandered around the old town. I took hundreds of photos and I am going to down load some.
It was such a shame that it was raining, as the buildings are lovely.
We called into the Christmas shop. Talk about glitter.
This is the oldest house in Quebec. It was built in 1600 and something.
This is a photo of a canon ball stuck in the base of a tree.
We had lunch in an Italian restaurant. I had soup and salad and Phil had a Calzone.
Tonight most of us attended an optional excursion to Ile d'Orleans. The Island of New Orleans is located a few miles east of downtown Quebec in the St Lawrence River and was one of the first areas occupied by early French colonists. The houses nestled among the trees are just so lovely. First we visited the Cassis Monna and Filles Winery where they have mastered the art transforming Black Currants harvested on the island into a variety of wines. We sat outside and listened to the story of how it all began. It was very interesting but the wind was freezing, so it was good to go inside for the tasting. It was very nice, especially the Sangria and the alcohol content got stronger with each tasting. I needed to be 'hands free' to take a photo!
We arrived at the Moulin St Laurent restaurant and went upstairs to our private dining room. We sat with Judy and Lou. We had a great night. The food was good but the entertainment but fabulous. Two guys, one playing a guitar and one playing a violin entertained us all night. We sang and danced and place the spoons and generally had a wonderful. We called into a waterfall on the way home for a photo opportunity and then sang on the bus all the way home. Then because it was Fathers' Day yesterday, Ben made all the guys get off the bus first, then closed the bus door and drove off with all the women. We only went around the block but by the time we got back, not one of them was out the front waiting for us! We all had a fun night and we only have three days left and we are going to be sad to say goodbye to everyone.