Friday, July 14, 2017

The 'other' falls

The Montmorency Falls aren’t quite as impressive as Niagara but they are higher, not as crowded and a little bit easier to access (if you’re visiting Quebec City).

We opted to take the stairs (497 – 34 floors!) rather than the cable car and although my thighs are screaming tonight, I’m glad we did. It gave us the opportunity to see the falls from several angles and with all the rubbish we’ve been eating, the exercise is essential. So, we walked up, across the swing bridge suspended over the top of the falls – this caused minor vertigo, but hey, I’m on holidays, and back down again. Luckily the boys declined the opportunity to zipline across because as we were descending, someone in the queue slipped over the edge and a full scale rescue was in action!

View from the swing bridge

So many steps!

Some idiots in the spray space

From Montmorency it was a simple turn onto the bridge to Ile d’Orleans, a relatively large island in the middle of the St Lawrence. The island is wall to wall ‘forget me not’ cottages, accompanying boutique industries and agriculture. The single road around the island is pretty much bumper to bumper with tourists. We stopped at the Chocolaterie for a lunch consisting of smoked meat sandwiches, coffee and hot chocolate (made with milk and a full cup of melted Belgian dark chocolate). The people at the next table recognised Geoff’s Kiwi accent and got chatting because they’d been to NZ and loved it. We’ve met someone new every day on this trip- it’s definitely one of the bonuses of traveling. It’s fascinating to imagine all the different lives intertwining through their connections with different places.

We did almost a circuit of the island. There’s not many places to park and unfortunately road works prevented us from visiting the sugar shack – cabana sucre- that I’d had my eye on.

Taine hasn’t bought a new cap for at least 24 hours so our last stop of the day was a shopping mall, Galeries de la Capitale, an unusual mall in that it had a full scale amusement park inside it, complete with a roller coaster and ferris wheel. This provided momentary distraction before we found the ‘Lids’ shop to complete Taine’s set of Quebecois sporting memorabilia.

Not only is there an amusement park but also an ice skating rink in the mall and this kept us entertained through an early dinner from the food court.

Being a wine drinker in Quebec requires commitment and initiative. You can only buy decent alcohol through one outlet, the SAQ and these are few and far between. Using our offline we navigated to the closest one only to find them closed at 6pm. Our maps got us to Walmart which got us free wifi which then showed the closing times of all the SAQ outlets in the city. Luckily there was a late closer, (almost) on the way back to the hotel so we dropped in there and I used hand signals with the French speaking attendant to procure some Yellowtail and a rather interesting Californian red.

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