Sunday, August 02, 2009

At Last, Quebec

Headed out to the Newark Airport early yesterday to check in with Air Canada. What a mess. At least three flights departing at about the same time and half the check-in counters were closed. And, of course, all of the kiosks were down.

After much confusion as to just what line I should be in (they were forming two to expedite the check-in for those leaving on the next departing flights) I finally presented myself. For some reason, and I was not even overly surprised by this, I was told Air Canada had no record of my being booked on their flight and the one that Continental said I was booked on was full. Luckily, it was not terribly over-booked so the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I were put on high priority standby.

We did get on the flight, although it was delayed so we missed our connection in Montreal. Luckily, again, they run flights from Montreal to Quebec all the time so within an hour we were on our way.

Now for the good news, I love Quebec already. We are staying in a lovely little hotel, L Hotel du Vieux Québec (note, I do not know how to put in an apostrophe with this keyboard but I got that neat little é figured out). It is right on Rue Saint Jean. This is a great location. Rue Saint Jean is lined with quaint old pubs and restaurants and is largely closed off to cars. A lot of sidewalk dining, live music in the pubs at night, and the requisite smattering of tourists traps where you can buy those tacky souveniers everyone just loves to get. Just perfect for the likes of Bar Man.

I have often said that my favorite neigborhood in Paris is Montmarte, and Rue Saint Jean captures that same ambience. I think I shall be very happy here.

We went to the first fireworks competition last night, Italy. Really nice and a huge crowd. The backdrop is a spectacular waterfalls. Despite the large crowd it was very well organized, and even getting back home afterwards was relatively easy. A bit of a wait for a bus, but not nearly what I would have expected.

Today the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I are off to do a bit of exploring. I did not bring my laptop but the hotel has a couple of PCs available for free. Tonight I am going to see if I can hook up my card-reader to upload pictures. If I can I will start posting them.

Oh, and despite the fact that the official language here is French, most people also speak English, so communication is no problem at all. And the people here are very friendly and helpful. Can you tell, I really like this place.