Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Shine And Rain

Ah, it started out to be another lovely sunny day here in Quebec City. We got up early and had our little picnic breakfast then headed out for a morning walk. We were greeted by the sight of the sidewalk cleaner tidying up.

What A Great Idea

Not that there was much to clean up. Bar Man is always impressed by how clean most cities are or, conversely, how dirty New York City is. I don't think anyone in Quebec City would even consider throwing anything on the sidewalk or in the street. What is it about people in New York who consider this to be perfectly acceptable behavior (can't find the question mark on this keyboard). Same with the buses here. They are immaculate. I would imagine that if they had a subway it would be immaculate as well. I can only wonder how people coming to New York from someplace like Quebec City must react to all of the garbage that they see, or to the people casually strewing it about.

Ah, one more bit of editorializing. The people here are laughing about the ad in the United States, the one about the Candian who goes to the United States and spends $100,000 for surgery that she would have to wait to get in Canada. They find it amusing that nothing is said about the thousands of Americans who come to Canada to get medical care that they can't afford to get in the United States. They also smugly point out that Canadians have a lower infant mortality rate and a longer life expectancy than the people in the United States.

I don't blame them. Who wants to turn on the television set and see an ad that basically uses your country as an example of something bad.

But on to sweeter thoughts. Not far from our hotel is this sweet-shop. I haven't bought anything there yet, but the Mysterious Chinese Woman salivates every time she passes by.

Even The Tricycle Is Candy

We climbed the steps to the wall that surrounds the older part of Quebec City and this is a shot of Rue Saint Jean from that vantage point.

Rue Saint Jean

You can see St. Patrick Pub at the end where the street branches off in two directions.

St. Patrick Pub

You can get a lot of nice views of the city and the surrounding area from the wall.

Scenic View

Another Scenic View

In one respect Quebec City is a lot like Puerto Vallarta: hills, steep hills. The older part of the city, where we are staying and inside the wall, is built on high ground. For defensive purposes, one would suppose. As a result you end up walking up and down a lot, both within the walled city and to get out of it.

A Cab Stand For Horses

All of Quebec City seems to be a bit like Central Park in Manhattan in terms of the horse drawn carriages. They offer tours of the city and these seem to be quite popular. At least with the tourists, if not with the horses. I suspect I will pass on this.

And To My Left...

This is a view from one part of the boardwalk that you can take around the walled city. It hooks up to the parts of the wall that you can actually walk along. As I mentioned, we did about two-thirds of the circuit this day, which was actually two days ago. We are planning on finishing it later today but it is sprinkling a bit right now.

A View From The Boardwalk

From the boardwalk you can get a nice view of the river.

A Ferry Going Somewhere

This is the one touristy thing we will be doing:

A River Cruise

There are some interesting "ruins" of some of the old buildings that were just outside the walls. This is what remains of an old chateau. They are excavating it now and I don't know if they are planning on reconstructing it, or just showcasing the ruins.

An Old Chateau

I was developing a bit of a thirst so figured stopping in here would be a good idea. I think the name means "Liver Nose" in English.

The Livernois

Bar Man Working On His Liver And Nose

After trucking around a bit we headed back to the hotel for a bit of a rest, but first, one last beer.

Home Again, Home Again

Checking The Offerings

I Had The One With The Yellow Handle

We decided to take a bit of a walk before dinner and popped into this old pub just a couple of blocks up Rue Saint Jean. I have to admit, I took these pictures today. As you will see, while we were here it started to rain and I wasn't able to get any pictures as we left.

Le Bistro

The Mysterious Chinese Woman Fruited Her Beer

Bar Man And His Beer And Pernod

It really started to come down while we were enjoying our drinks.

By The Bucket

Luckily, Just A Short Run Home

We made it to the restaurant adjacent to our hotel, the one where I had the drink earlier, a bit soggy, but not too badly soaked.

Like Two Drowned Rats

We had a very nice meal here, starting off with smoked duck in a wine reduction for an appetizer.

Very Tasty

They had duck confit on the menu so my choice was an easy one. I order this so often that one day I might be able to pronounce it correctly. But, then again, probably not.

My Duck Confit

The Mysterious Chinese Woman had some kind of a lamb dish and it was quite delicious as well. Although I only got one duck leg, pretty standard, the lamb dish was a very generous portion.

Let Them Eat Lamb

A very nice meal with a friendly and attentive staff. With a nice bottle of wine it was the perfect end to a bit of a damp day. There is a very good chance that we will be eating here again before our stay is over. They have a cheese plate that I really want to try.

Yesterday we did more exploring and found another neat neighborhood down by the river. We also stumbled upon a great marketplace. I will post about that either later today or, more probably tomorrow moring. We haven't really done anything yet today, so no sneak previews.