Weekend trip to Quebec City begins with a road trip
I have been promising my Mother that I would take her to Quebec City for the last 2 summers. Something always came up every time we made plans. Well finally we were able to make the trip. So leaving from her home in Rochester, New York, my Mother, cousin Cathy and I headed up to Quebec. Of course no road trip would be complete or feel rewarding without obtaining a speeding ticket. Yes, one hour into the drive and I get pulled over. I have to say he was a very nice police officer and reiterated how he just wanted us to be safe on the road. I felt like I just received a scolding from my Dad! Needless to say, I didn’t speed the rest of the trip 🙂
Are we there yet?
Being an 8 hour drive it was long, but we passed beautiful areas and interesting little towns. Especially, Thousand Islands. How have I never ventured here? Crossing the bridge into Canada I was surprised on the view but no safe place to pull over. No worries, I figure it out on the way home. We finally entered Canada driving up the ON-401 and noticed right away all the signs are now in French. There was a lot of construction on the road but it kept on moving. Soon we began to see the signs for Quebec City.
Quebec City is a very unique and different. You feel like you are in a village somewhere in France. The food, the people and the architecture are reminiscent of France. There is a lot of exploring to do in Quebec but if you only have a short weekend like we had, then you need to pack in the sights and quick.
Arriving not until 5:00 pm on Friday we didn’t have too much time or energy. So after we checked into our hotel, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, we headed outside to take in the views along the St. Lawrence river. A beautiful boardwalk that you can just stroll along and see the cruise ships, the St. Lawrence of course and below you is Old town Quebec. On the boardwalk you usually will find interesting street performers along the boardwalk in front of the Statue Samuel de Champlain. Also this weekend the hotel has viewing windows where they have chefs making an enormous cake for a special occasion.
We decided to look for a local restaurant and we found a nice one called D’Orsay (my favorite museum in Paris). The food, atmosphere and service was very good. French onion soup…yum!
The next day we have planned to drive out to Montmorency Falls and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. After our very filling breakfast buffet at the hotel we headed out. It took us approximately 20 minutes on a Saturday morning drive. Following Google maps it led us to the upper falls parking lot. You have to pay for parking but the park itself is free. It was around $11.00 for our car. We also purchased for $14.06 each a round trip cable car ride, that brings you to the bottom of the falls and back up. If you want, you can also Zipline across the falls for $25.00. After exiting our car we went straight to the pathway that leads to the falls. There is a restaurant here, The Manoir Montmorency, however this trip we unfortunately did not have the time to take a leisurely lunch.
The walk along the path to the falls is high up of course and looking down is not for anyone who has a fear of heights. There are great photo opportunities from all different angles! You will also see the cables for the daring ones who Zipline the falls and across the way you view the stairs that lead down the falls.
The first time I came to the falls, six year sago, I was too chicken to cross the suspension bridge. So it went on the bucketlist. I am happy to say I was able to make a nice big fat check mark on my bucketlist! I’m not a fan of heights but this time with more people around it did not seem so intimidating. Of course as usual my Mother did it without any hesitation.
Falls In Motion Falls Video videos of this spectacular falls! These are short videos because my legs were shaking and I couldn’t really concentrate on what I was doing! I felt like I accomplished enough as far as heights goes for the day, so the climb down the staircase on the other side, skipped it and I’m okay with that! Next we used our tickets to take the cable ride down to see the views from the front of the falls.
I love this photograph I took, it captures the rainbow affect the water has and you can see how magnificent the falls really are. Montmorency Falls are 272 feet tall and believe it or not that is one and half times taller than Niagara Falls! At the bottom of the falls you will find rest rooms, snack bar and additional parking. Next, we headed back up in the cable car to take one last photo op before our next stop.
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Next up, the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Pulling up by car you get this overwhelming feeling that is is a very special place. I could not wait to cross the courtyard area to photograph this architectural piece of art in full! The day was beautiful, sun shining and blue skies. The details are best told by going directly to the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré web site. Here you will read in detail the healings that have taken place, the meaning of all the details in the architecture exterior and interior. I hope you enjoy some of my photographs of this extraordinary and special Basilica.
Time to Shop in Old Quebec City
Last but certainly not least, is a visit below to Old Quebec City and we get to ride in the funicular! The funicular brings you from the boardwalk area outside the Fairmont down to Old Quebec City area. You can choose to take stairs but from the looks of people coming back up it’s quite a hike!
This is where you really get to see some old buildings that have been transformed into the most unique little shops. So much fun to take a peak and stroll through these shops. Fur, cooking items, toys, touristy items, clothes, hats, and pretty much anything else will be found here.
We decided to get up early Sunday morning and head back before the traffic gets heavy. We had a nice girls trip, lots of talks in the car, great food, beautiful views, spiritual moments and of course a speeding ticket….
P.S.: I did not forget to get my photograph of the Thousand Islands. It was a little more of a dangerous and scary photo to capture then I was anticipating, but I got it! Even with the 18 wheelers zooming by me on the bridge! It has been added to my bucket list for hopefully a get away next summer!
Additional photos in Gallery