Quebec City in March, 2018 – Day 1

Dropping here, and in following posts, some photos from a trip to Quebec City in March of 2018, for my own personal enjoyment and that of any others who might be curious!  Here we go.

Day 1 was short because it was basically a travel day.  Left East Lansing, Michigan early in the morning by bus (Michigan Flyer) to the Detroit airport.  I like to fly out of Lansing, but in this case we booked the tickets through Westjet and the flights had to start in Detroit.  Therefore, first flight of the day was a CRJ-700 from Detroit to Montreal.

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We sat in an exit row, and the window was exceedingly scratched.  Voila, made it to Montreal, made it through Canadian customs and then through security again!  Alas.  But got to explore the large International/Canada side of the Montreal airport which had some pretty parts, actually.  Flights to and from the US are in a disconnected area.

And then… a Westjet Dash-8 Q400 to Quebec.  Haven’t been on a prop plane in a long time.

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Big kick of acceleration on takeoff I thought.  For all the complaining people like to do about the Dash-8, it didn’t seem any louder or more uncomfortable than any regional jet.  There was more vibration, especially on the ground the plane seemed to manufacture its own light turbulence.  Just 22 people on this 78 passenger airplane… just wait until you see the return trip.

And then we were descending into Quebec…

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That is actually a snowmobile down there.  Thought that was neat, saw a few on the way in.  Then we landed, Uber to our hotel – my French was better than our driver’s English, which made me feel good, he was glad I spoke some French.  Checked in to the Hotel Champlain.  And then, the sun was setting, but we had to do at least a little exploring first day, so…

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Just a few blocks walk to check out the city wall – this is the St. John’s gate.  (I saw later the city sidewalk snow clearing equipment is actually narrow enough to make it through the arches at the sides.  I was also surprised to see them just using mini-plows, just like East Lansing does.  I thought a city with more pedestrian activity and more snow to clear would use the big brushes.)  Anyway…

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Quebec is often called the “only North American city north of Mexico” that still has intact city walls, and they do nearly completely encircle the old (higher ground) part of the city.  I was curious when they were erected, and that answer appeared to be hard to find, because they were built over a very long time and was a work of both the French and the British.  This particular gate was rebuilt in 1939.  I learned later that there was fighting at this location when an American force tried to take the city in 1775.

And then we walked through the gate…

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I am sure there are fewer tourists in the city in winter, but it is nice to see aspects of city life your typical tourist doesn’t see.  +10 pts for good placemaking.  Bec noticed that some of the kids (see one at right) were using what almost looked like walkers to keep them from falling as they were learning to skate.

And then we walked back through the gate…

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Over-exposed shot, but we had a nice dinner at the pizza place (D’Youville) to the left there.  End of day!

Additional comment – when it comes to speaking French, best as you can, you just have to be courageous and go for it and accept that you will mess things up.  I think we had a few conversations that started in French, and then as soon as the person you’re talking to realizes that you’re taking a little too long to process what they said, they switch to English.  Which is fine, even if you’d rather keep practicing the French.  Most people we encountered seemed to have no problem switching back and forth as needed even sentence by sentence.  And you do get better just being in the environment.