Quebec City - Day 4

Friday, July 16, 2010
Another fabulous day in Quebec City!

Today started with a lecture about living along the St. Lawrence river, and how the river has affected the culture, trade and lifestyle of the Quebecois. The weather here is really harsh in the winter, and all that water makes things a bit tough from an historical perspective. The St. Lawrence actually has tides, and also has a fairly large population of whales that live along the estuary. Of course, the whales (especially the toothed whales) are in trouble from an ecological point of view - they're having trouble with bio-magnification of contaminants in the food chain, similar to the trouble the Orcas are having in Puget Sound.

Next we took a bus tour of the National Battlefields Park, where the Battle of the Plains of Abraham was fought in 1759. We've been learning quite a bit about the military history of this area. I think I probably know more about the historical fights for this city than I know about the settling of the Colorado territory.

Following the tour of the Park, we visited the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec. I don't have a creative enough eye to really appreciate Art Museums, but I did enjoy the Inuit Art exhibit. The historic purpose of the original building (it was a prison) captured my interest far more than the artwork (with apologies to artists).


For lunch a bus took us out to the Ile d'Orleans. The island is kind of bucolic, and still provides plenty of fresh produce. It's something of a micro-climate, and apparently berries are one of their main crops. They also have these weird little shrines all over the island (pictures above). The religious influence here continues to surprise me.

We ate lunch at a small converted mill called the "Moulin de St. Laurent." I selected the vegetable quiche, and clearly, I had never had quiche before today. It was proceeded by cream of vegetable soup that was out of this world. If this is the kind of chow they eat on a regular basis, I think I can better understand the shrines.

After the divine lunch, we went out to the Montmorency Falls. They're over 33 meters higher than Niagara Falls, and were a sight to behold. I far prefer the (semi) natural wonders to the art museums.

After doing some work for a group project, I went shopping and ate dinner with a fellow student. I had some Italian sausage risotto that might be considered a religious experience. One thing I'll give Quebec City - the food may be expensive, but WOW, is it good.


Me, standing in front of Montmorency Falls, considering throwing another student over the edge for her constant complaining about the walking, the heat, the other students, the assignments, the program. Fortunately for her, I did not think I could get the Shovel of Doom™ past the TSA. 

Okay, I'm kidding. Sort of. Seriously, how can someone not think this experience is the cat's pajamas?

10 comments:

mom in northern said...

There is always at least one whiner in every group...you are lucky if this is ONLY one.

Eric said...

So... the Candians had a "Battle Of The Plains Of Abraham"?

That... that sounds so... so... badass.

I mean, like, did it have demon orcs and Satanic warriors and that thing that's on the covers of all those old Iron Maiden albums fighting an army of Jehovah's dragon-riding Terminators and Highlanders? It did, didn't it! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!

Even their history is cooler than ours. Stoopid Canadians. Grumble.

Nathan said...

I keep seeing your pictures and realizing that I've only seen those places in the Winter. Your views are way cool, but hiking up Montmorency Falls when they're frozen is pretty damned boss too. (Uh, by hiking, I mean walking up the trail and crossing the boardwalk bridges. I'm not one of those maniacs who climb the ice.)

楊儀卉 said...
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CkretsGalore said...

You are such a cool lady and I really enjoy reading about your adventures.

To think I came across your blog after googling, "Evil Machines."

CkretsGalore said...

PS....Eric..yeah we're so damn cool especially me. Well I try.

Janiece said...

*TONG*

Janiece said...

Eric, they did indeed have a Battle of the Plains of Abraham, and I'm quite sure their were orcs and such. As proof, allow me to point out that Iron Maiden is actually playing at the Quebec Music Festival (going on this week), on the actual Plains of Abraham themselves.

How's that for historical accuracy?

CkretsGalore, I appreciate the kind words - thanks.

Eric said...

As proof, allow me to point out that Iron Maiden is actually playing at the Quebec Music Festival (going on this week), on the actual Plains of Abraham themselves.

...and this time... it's personal!

Anne C. said...

"The historic purpose of the original building (it was a prison) captured my interest far more than the artwork"

And you claim to be uninterested in architecture. [ppppfffftttt]
Architecture's not just about pretty do-dads over the doors. It's about how people live and have lived.