"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruise Journal: Quebec City

Friday, October 14, 2022

Cruise Journal: Quebec City

Do you know that sinking feeling either half way to your destination or at least at the point of no return when you realize you've forgotten to pack something? The first day of our cruise as we finished unpacking it hit me. I'd left the folder with our walking tour of Quebec and Halifax at home. All that work! 

The calmer spouse said I should try to download it again from the computer and see if we could print it out at the computer ccnter. When I looked it up again, I remembered there was an app I could put on my phone, GPS My City. It would mean using roaming data which we usually turn off on a trip but Bob was good with that so I downloaded the app and found the tour that I wanted for Quebec. Relief!

We were not scheduled to dock until noon and were surprised with an invitation as a Captain's Club member with elite tier status to watch our entry into Quebec's harbor from the helipad at the front of the ship. Camera in hand, we made it to the front and joined a crowd of others shifting in and out of spots for a good view and camera shots. 

The sun was shining! It was a great start to the day.

As we got closer, I could see the hotel Le Chateau Fontenac majestically marking the city and the historical section that we would spend the most time in. As we neared the dock, we hurried to the lunch buffet to catch a bite before the ship would be cleared through immigration. Was I excited? You bet!

Once we were off the gangway and through the terminal, I pulled out my phone and clicked on the app's map for the first stop on our walk. It mapped our way from where we stood in front of the Museum of Civilization (actually the first stop on the map right at the end of the dock) to a Quebec City mural. the voice on the app quietly guided us as well, much like the Google map does.

At the mural, I read to Bob the history of it that the app provided. Begun in 1999, it depicts 16 prominent Quebecois, historical figures as well as cultural icons. On to the next site. I tapped the numbered spot. Presto! The route was right there. I was loving this.

Along the way, we passed several beautiful Autumn displays and one wonderful character that was set up to play his accordion. He asked if we might take a picture of him with his phone, I'm guessing it was for his portfolio or marketing or, who knows, Facebook and Bob obliged. I figured it gave me license to take a picture as well.

The restaurant, Le Sapin Laute, was on our route as well, I recognized it immediately from the pictures I'd seen online. It truly was quaint and I was sorry we would not get to enjoy their brunch since they were now closed until four and we already had other reservations for dinner. It didn't stop us from peeking in the windows and hoping to return someday to try it out.

Before long we were in front of the entrance to the funicular that would take us to the top of the hill and the hotel. It was a welcome sight. Quebec is just as hilly as promised and there was no way I wanted to climb up hundreds of steps or lots of hilly streets. The ride cost $4 whether you paid Canadian or USD and was cash only. It was a fun ride up that ended on the huge terrace that is in front of the hotel.

Unfortunately the skies were getting a little cloudy and looking like maybe some rain. 

We walked about on the terrace a bit and then decided to go inside the hotel and check out the lobby. For some reason I thought our restaurant for the evening was in the hotel. After walking around the lobby for a time, we couldn't find it anywhere. When we asked a polite lady at the concierge desk she told us it was in a different hotel. Embarrassed, we thanked her and left. 

I looked up the restaurant again on Google and we mapped a route to see if we could walk it from the ship. On our way we decided we needed an afternoon coffee and stopped into a little restaurant that had a lot of character. Lots of stone and wood and a big fireplace that I'm sure would be welcome in the colder months. There were snow shoes tacked to the ceiling for decoration. We ordered coffee and a piece of maple sugar pie to share. It sounded good and it was even better than it sounded. Not as sweet as I would have guessed but, wow! I wished we'd ordered one each, but I shared.

We walked quite a way to find the hotel that had our restaurant for dinner. It was in the more modern part of the city. By the time we got there, we were seeking shelter from a rain shower. When it stopped, we started back toward the ship. I clicked on the Museum that was by the dock and my app directed us from where we were. It was mostly downhill to the ship but now it was wet and puddling as it sort of drizzled most of the way. 

Now, I know not to step on manhole covers when they are wet, but we were headed downhill in one spot and my attention was diverted just enough for me to plant a foot on a slippery manhole cover, slide and pitch head first to the ground. I sat feeling dumbfounded and just dumb. Stupid. I twisted my leg and landed on the knee that hadn't been replaced yet. Did I break anything? I just sat and prayed I hadn't. Around us were quaint shops and restaurants and a lady poked her head out of one and asked if I'd like to come in and sit in a chair for a bit. I was afraid to move.

Eventually I got back on my feet and felt like I could walk okay and we continued on, slowly and carefully until we made it back to the ship but now we had very little time to get showered and dressed and back to the restaurant for dinner and I knew I needed to ice my knee. Thankfully I had some ziploc bags and Bob got ice. How was I going to make it to dinner? There was no way I wanted to cancel. 

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