We messed up our Airbnb reservation in Montreal and accidentally under-booked by a night. So, we decided to adventure out of the city and go further east to Quebec City for a night. It turned out to be a really great mistake and last minute plan. We stayed with a welcoming host in a perfectly located apartment where we were introduced to ground cherries (yum) and who gave us some great advice on places to eat and sights to see.
We spent Saturday afternoon walking around the city, starting on Rue Saint Jean where we located lunch at Le Bureau de Poste. We chose seats on the patio where we were able to watch ominous rain clouds slowly blow in while drinking tasty beer and relaxing. The second it started pouring rain, the woman at the table next to us starting singing “it’s raining men” and that was our cue to grab our beer and run inside.
The rain cleared and we continued our walk through Quebec City. We made our way down to the port where we walked through the Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec. Much like the cemetery in Montreal, it brought me back to Cleveland and reminded me of the West Side Market. We picked up some maple candies and headed down to the port where we sat and snacked by the water. Our walk continued along the water until we decided to take our host’s suggestion and take the ferry across the Saint Laurence Seaway to the other side. We boarded the ferry and watched the city’s castle like structures surrounded by walls as they became smaller. After reaching land, we did what most do after long journeys at sea and headed to the bar. We drank some local brews at Corsaire Pub, knowing better than to sit outside this time, as there were more ominous clouds in the sky. After watching it rain while we finished our beer, we headed back to the port to catch the next ferry back. We took a different route back to our apartment and walked up and through Old Quebec before winding our way down on staircases leading us back to our apartment.
On Sunday we rose early and walked to breakfast at Café Krieghoff. We started the meal with excellent coffee, sipping it slowly to enjoy every bit. Between the two of us we feasted on “famous eggs,” baguette with homemade raspberry jam, fruit, and crepes with local maple syrup. Yum. Feeling replenished and perfectly full, we headed out towards the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge. Along the way we walked through the Plaines d’Abraham which went from being a bloody battle field to a soccer field surrounded by a rollerblading track. The botanical gardens and arboretum that our host suggested was nothing short of great. It seemed underutilized and very quiet. We walked a path through the woods that led us down by a fountain to a view of the water. Since we were on somewhat of a timeline to get back to New York in time to check in to our campsite, we weren’t able to spend as much time there as we both would have liked. However, between the park and the cafe, this may have been one of my favorite mornings on the trip. We ubered back to our apartment with a driver who had traveled to Cincinnati on occasion before he retired to the Old Port area of Quebec City. He started a conversation about world news and refugees as he was driving, at one point stopping at a four way stop and pausing there as many cars passed through the intersection, looking at our car, puzzled. Eventually he realized his mistake and apologized, explaining that he had gotten lost in his head worrying about the difficulties people are facing in the world right now. It may have been one of the warmest and most honest Uber moments I’ve had.
After walking 37,804 for 16.02 miles in this beautiful city, we said good bye to our host and began our drive home, stopping at DeWolf Point State Park right across the border in New York for the night. It was a tiny state park that consisted of fourteen campsites and a few cabins for rent. We had the pick of all of the campsites except for #5. We took a three minute walk through the entire campground and decided that we wanted site #1 as it had the best view of the lake. It was a perfectly relaxing evening (at least until we were laying in our tent at night replaying all of the creepiest moments from Stranger Things) and an excellent place to start mentally preparing for reentry into our regular daily lives.