Friday, August 07, 2009

A Stormy Friday

Woke up this morning to thunder and lightening so I do not know if I will be getting out much today. I did manage to find out the name of my now favorite bar.


Got into a bit of a discussion about health care. At least in this bar everyone seemed pretty happy with what Canada has. Someone did ask me if it was true that in the United States there are actually television advertisements for hip replacement surgery. When I said yes everyone pretty much spit out their beer laughing. Even I could see the humor, although I am still waiting for Vince, the ShamWow guy, to offer a two for the price of one special if you call right now, because you know they cannot be doing this all day.

They have these neat little Ecolobuses here that have a route around the walled city and the area down by the river. They are free and, if you can get on, quite a nice deal. We were lucky the other day to get on one that took us down to the Museum of Civilization.

An Ecolobus

They started these little buses last year for the 400 year anniversary of Quebec City and they were such a hit they now run them year round.

We got off right in front of the museum and I bet you can almost guess what the featured exhibit was.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman And Her Momie

They did not allow you to take pictures inside the museum, but they had a nice little terraced garden and whimsical figures outside.

Without Further Ado

They had several interesting exhibits inside and I actually learned quite a bit about the history of Quebec and Quebec City. I will not bore you with that here, though.

Another very interesting exhibit was about extraterestrials. It had short clips from old science fiction movies, of course, but a lot more. There was a pretty interesting exhibit showing how certain attributes on earth have evolved independently in different species and under different conditions, eyes, for example. This lead to speculation that if there was life on other planets it may be that some of these same features may be a part of that life.

Then there was an exhibit of species that have recently been found that live under conditions that were once thought unable to sustain life. Organisms that live in highly acidic environments, or in extreme heat or cold. This, of course led to speculation that life may very well exist in places we do not think it is possible.

It was a very interesting exhibit. And, unlike the Museum of Civilizaton in Paris, all of the information was in both French and English.

We took a break half-way through our stroll through the museum and hit a very nice restaurant not too far away.

Le Lupin Saute

And I bet you can guess their featured dish.

It Is Not Duck

Despite my funny face, the wine was quite good.

Bar Man Being Funny

I started out with a nice little beet and greens salad.

Getting My Veggies

This was followed by my Cassolette de Fois et de Rognons de Lapin Sauce Moutarde.

Rabbit Livers And Kidneys With Mustard Sauce

Well, it was on the menu, and how often do you see something like this. Of course I had to order it. And, it was surprizingly good. The kidneys had a texture somewhat like chicken hearts, but a bit softer and the liver was like, well, liver. Not sure I would order it again, but I am glad I tried it.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman opted for something a bit more traditional, salmon on a plank.

Eat The Fish, Not The Plank

After finishing our tour of the museum we headed on home. As I have said, there is always something going on around here.

A Most Excellent Juggler

We headed home and took a bit of a nap before heading out to the fireworks.

More Ooze

And Oz

Yet another fun-filled day. This was Wednesday so I still have tomorrow to post about, although we did not do a whole lot. And with the rain today, I am not sure what we be doing. Luckily there is a very nice restaurant right next to the hotel. The same one we ate in the last time it rained. And we have a DVD player in the room and they have a large selection of DVDs to chose from.

And Lostradamus is not that far away.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Lazy Day

We did not do a whole lot on Tuesday, just kind of meandered around down by the river. As I have mentioned, this area is outside and below the walled part of Quebec City. For those not inclined to climb up and down you can pay to take the funicular.

The Lazy Way Out

Street entertainers abound in Quebec City, and this fellow did a most excellent job of playing those water-filled glasses. My niece would have liked this. I taught her how do totally disrupt a restaurant by making her water glass shriek. She loves her uncle, but her parents are not quite so sure about their feelings. This is the same neice that brought my book Walter The Farting Dog to school and got sent home with a note from her teacher.

Playing The Glasses

The little cafes on the landings of the stairs reminded me a bit of Hong Kong. There they have this huge series of escalators that go down the mountain in the morning and up at night. Every so often there is a landing where there are shops and cafes and bars. Of course the scale is much larger than here.

A Place To Rest

A Refreshing Break

We just walked around a bit and took a few shots of the scenery from up high.

Scenic View

This place caught my eye. What a neat place to live. I could smoke and grill whenever I wanted, local ordinances permitting, of course.

A Country Place In The City

We had a relatively early dinner back in our hotel with a fresh bottle of wine and the remains of what we had bought at the market the day before.

Just As Good The Second Day

Afterwards we went out to check on a large installation of images projected on the sides of a row of grain elevators across the river. We found out that there was no show on Tuesday nights so we headed back home. Luckily, all was not lost because I found my new favorite bar. It is just down the hill a bit from St. Patrick Pub. But it is on a side street and the tourists have not found it yet. Kind of funny, just twenty yards up the hill the St. Patrick Pub is packed and this place is almost empty. In fact it was just me, the Mysterious Chinese Woman, one other fellow, and the Bartender and owner of the place.

A Bar Man Kind Of Bar

Bar Man Quaffing A Local Brew

I went back the next day to get a better picture in the light and stopped in for another cold one. I also talked to the owner a bit, fellow named Bernard. Quite an interesting character. For some reason we got talking about the Bodies exhibit they have here, the same one that they have in New York. He had been quite fascinated by it but I cannot get the Mysterious Chinese Woman to go. Next time I stop in here I will have to write down the name of the place.

A Daytime Shot

We went to the fireworks last night. It was Spains (sorry, still do not know how to get that apostrophe in there on this keyboard) turn. But more on that in my next post. I did find out the name of the waterfall though, De La Chute - Montmorency, or Montmorency Falls. It is 83 meters tall, and that is 30 meters taller than Niagra.

De La Chute - Montmorency

Yesterday I had cassolette de fois et de rognons de lapin sauce moutarde for lunch. For those of you who do not know French, you will have to wait for my next post to find out what it was.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To Market We Did Go

Another day of hitting the streets and seeing the sights. Always something going on around here. We are kind of outside the city walls and down by the river here.

Street Action

As I said, this place is a great tune-up for Puerto Vallarta.

No Place For The Faint Of Heart

Yet Another Fun Filled Avenue

There is more of a story to the painting on the side of the building than I really know. Supposedly it depicts something of the history of Quebec City. And, amazingly, it is not covered in graffiti. That is something else you do not see much of here, graffiti. Oh, you see a bit, but only on newer structures in the warehouse district. Nobody seems to touch any of the historic stuff.

Nice Paint Job

This was a great little gellato, pastry and candy store. We were not really in the mood for anything this time, but there is a good chance we will stop by again.

Sweets For My Sweet

A Great Assortment Of Gellato

Pastries And Candies

And Even More

I thought this was a pretty clever sign for a public restroom.

Charming, If Not Charmin

A lot of the cannons that once guarded Quebec City are still in place along the city wall, and here some of the local school children are learning the fine art of, well, loading a cannon.

Kids, Do Not Do This At Home

We took a lunch break at a nice Italian restaurant just around the corner from our hotel.


They had really good thin-crust pizza. Every bit as good as what you get in New York, and I know it is kind of a sin to say such a thing. I also had a really delicious chicken breast and mozzarela sandwich on nice crispy bread. They really do a good job on bread here.

And, Of Course, Beer

We continued our wandering and stumbled upon a great farmers market down by the river. Apparently it has been here for a very long time. Back in the day the farmers would bring their produce here by boat and sell it to the city residents.

The Market

The market is quite large and they sold everything from produce to wine to cheese to sausages and fish here. Really an interesting place to just look around.

The Produce Section, One Of Many

Fresh Herbs

More Produce

All Kinds Of Spices

Smoked And Fresh Fish

Sausages And Pate

There is also a place where you can buy sandwiches and beer and then take them outside to eat overlooking the river.

The Garden Area

Bar Man Enjoying A Cold One

We bought a most delicious local white wine, some bread, cheese, smoked fish, and some dried beef and had a very enjoyable dinner in our hotel room.

Just Perfect

The market was a real hit and we had enough stuff left over for the next night as well. Except for the wine, that we will have to replenish.

I am still running a couple of days behind on my posts. We went to the market on Monday and it is now Wednesday. We are heading out to more fireworks tonight, but I forget which country is exhibiting. I will let you know tomorrow.