A Day in Quebec City


Once we were settled into our suite in Levis, Quebec, we drove to the Ferry Terminal, parked the car, and did a walk-on sail across the St. Lawrence River to Old Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Leaving Levis for Quebec City

We’d both been there before, once together when we did this trip on our motorcycle, but it’s always interesting. Like many tourists destination, it has become more commercialized and, being a long provincial weekend, it was crowded on that very hot day. It’s situated on the side of a hill, overlooking the river, meaning a challenging number of stone steps to climb if you wish to walk All the way to the top. This time, we took the cable car to the top and walked back down when we were done exploring.

The first time I journeyed to Quebec City was as a chaperone when my daughter, Ann’s grade seven (or maybe eight) class went on a bus as their special end of year field trip. That one was very different from this trip. That time we spent the night in a beautiful historical home that had been converted to a Bed and Breakfast, and we toured historical buildings, and the Plains of Abraham, where the British Army and Royal Navy battled the French Army during the Seven Year War. It was the pivotal battle that saw the British claim the land known then as New France, which later influenced the creation of Canada.

I don’t recall any major shopping trips or crowds of people that time, but we did visit a few little gift shops.

This trip, like the last one, was mostly to enjoy the atmosphere of the French culture that now dominates the Province of Quebec.

There are many levels to this interesting city. When we disembarked from the ferry, we walked up one block where there were a number of restaurants with outdoor patios. But it seemed we weren’t the only ones hungry for lunch. We had a shorter wait on Petit-Champlain, a pedestrian street hosting many local shops and bistros. It’s also a great place to people watch and enjoy the music provided by a few buskers.

When we’d finished our fish and chips, we caught the cable car that took us up to another level and a wide, wooden board-walk, offering an interesting stroll. Looking up, we admired the colourfully painted wooden homes, or hotels on the next level, and the quaint stone buildings further up.

Chateau Frontenac, the most famous landmark, which has been completely renovated since our last visit, majestically overlooks the boardwalk. This stone hotel is a beautiful place to stay, if you can afford it. We didn’t even step inside, but watched some more buskers perform in the courtyard outside. The view down and across the river is also incredible.

It was a long day. We’d heard there might be fireworks somewhere that evening, but the people at the information kiosk new nothing about it. We were tired anyway. We took the ferry back to Levis, found a place for dinner and returned to our hotel room. We would be on the road again early the next morning.

Exploring Canada’s East Coast by Motorcycle


We’ve been sticking pretty close to home since our return from Arizona, but plans are in the works. We will be leaving to return there earlier this year, in September, to include a trip across Central and Western Canada, before crossing into the U.S. on the west coast.

Before that decision was made, I had hoped that we could accept an invitation from friends to visit them at their cottage on Prince Edward Island, on the east coast of Canada, but we can’t do it all at once. We did that trip in 2007, before I started this blog and before we started RVing. That trip was done on our Yamaha Venture, pulling a small cargo trailer containing tent, sleeping bags and all necessary gear for a month long journey.  We were a few years younger then!

This week I thought I’d share that adventure.

July 21, 2007

After stopping for the night in Brockville to spend some time with family, and having a late, leisurely breakfast, we finally got on our way around 11:00 this morning. Jim’s nephew, Dave, joined us on his 650cc V-Star with all his gear strapped to the back. The rain from the day before had cleared and the weather was perfect for riding.

I’d promised my former mother-in-law that we would stop in to see her on our way through Quebec, but my estimated time of arrival was way off. I felt badly when we arrived at 1:45 in the afternoon to find that she’d been saving a big lunch for us since noon. It was 3:00 pm before we felt it appropriate to leave.

Three and a half hours later, we rounded a corner in search of our pre-booked campground near St. Nicolas Quebec and were shocked to see a giant Santa Claus and Snowman bobbing in the wind at the entrance! While we checked in at the office we heard French Christmas Carols blasting from a loud speaker.

Campground Greeters

Campground Greeters

Along the path to our campsite we passed more Christmas decorations, including a miniature Christmas Village and what appeared to be another Santa, sleeping it off in a pup-tent, empty beer cans strewn around him. Apparently the Canadian Snow Birds who summer here celebrate Christmas in July.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

IMG_1849We set up our tents before riding further down the road to catch the ferry at Levis, which took us into romantic Old Quebec City.

Two Bikers

Dave and Jim with bikes, on the Ferry

Ferry boat at sunset, Quebec City

Ferry boat at sunset, Quebec City

There we enjoyed some French Cuisine on a patio, and admired the artwork of the street vendors, before heading back to the Christmas celebrations at St. Nicolas. We even joined in on some of the dancing while a family band performed country and folk music. Since no one spoke English, we didn’t get to know anyone. The party lasted until 1:00 am. It was a very long day!