On the way to Quebec City, we crossed back into the US at Ogdensburg, NY thinking that it would be a less expensive place to resupply. We stayed in a nice city campground on the St. Lawrence that was nearly empty. When buying diesel in Canada we had been paying anywhere from $4.25 to $4.85 a gallon. Figuring that fuel would be cheaper in the states as the tax is actually less than in Canada, yes that's right, we were surprised when we saw fuel in Upstate New York is as high as $4.45 a gallon. Crossing the border in these here parts is a breeze. They ask the same questions as everywhere else, but there were only 4 cars ahead of us crossing at Ogdensburg.
So after two nights, we headed east crossing back into Canada at Cornwall. The Canadians want to know if you have any weapons, pepper spray, and how much alcohol you're bringing in. Funny thing, although pepper spray is illegal in Canada, bear spray is not. Same thing, just labeled differently. I answer in the negative for the first two items, and for the alcohol I just say we have "some" wine and beer and they pass us through. Well, a case of Two Buck Chuck is "some", isn't it?
We arrive at our RV park for the next 3 nights on the south side of the St Lawrence River as access to the city is easy by ferry and the RV park advertises a free shuttle to the ferry. So, when checking in I inquire of the French speaking attendant (French being the dominant language here) about the shuttle. "Monsieur, la navette est cassé". Translation, no shuttle it's broken. So, I am provided with directions to the ferry which with the help of map are easy to follow.
The next day we head off to the city. First the parking lot at the ferry costs $6. The machine takes credit cards. Not US credit cards, but CC that contain a chip. The rest of the worlds CC's contain chips, but the US is way behind the times on CC security. But, luck would have it that the machine takes coins. But I only have $5 in coins. I spy the Tourist Office, so off I go for change. The Tourist Office is "fermé pour la saison", so now it's to the ferry ticket office for tickets and change. The ferry leaves in 5 minutes, so I run back to the parking lot machine, put in my $6, run to the truck, which of course is on the other side of the parking lot, put the ticket on the dash and run to the ferry. We made the ferry, not bad for an old man.
Just a little education about Canadian coins. There is a $1 coin with a picture of a loon and is called a Loonie. There also is a $2 coin coin which is called a Toonie. The rest of the money pretty much follows the US coin and bill denominations, with the bills having a picture of Queen Elizabeth on them.
So we take the short ferry ride across the river to one of the most beautiful cities that we have ever visited. Really the only city in North America that is more like an old European city. The crown jewel of French Canada, Québec City is one of North America’s oldest and most magnificent settlements. Its picturesque Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage site, a living museum of narrow cobblestone streets, 17th- and 18th-century houses and soaring church spires, with the splendid Château Frontenac towering above it all. There’s more than a glimmer of Old Europe in its classic bistros, sidewalk cafes and manicured squares
The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River next to the city's bluffs and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only fortified city walls remaining in the Americas north of Mexico.
We start our tour on the river level, the lower town and work our way up to the upper town behind the city walls. The narrow streets are crowded with tourists, and this is the off season. It has to be a mad house in the high season. Still if you look and if you're willing to walk, you can get away from the crowds and tour groups with blue haired ladies with their name tags, into some of the less crowded neighborhoods. For me, I can enjoy a city like Quebec just by roaming about enjoying the back streets, looking at the architecture of the old buildings and the interiors of beautiful churches. Boy, did we walk. For 5 and half hours we walked, with a short stop for an unrememable lunch of chicken curry and a 45 minute tour of the Parliament Building. The dogs were tired by the time we caught the ferry back.
Now for some photos....
SEE THE BIKE?
IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS
The Parliament building and our tour guide, Joseph. A great tour guide who switched languages wioth ease between, English, French and Spanish..He's showing us a photo of the red room where committees met. There was a meeting so the photo had to do. Interesting fact or two about the Parliament in Quebec. There is only one house and members campaigns only last 31 days. Now wouldn't that be nice.
NOTRE-DAME de QUEBEC BASILICA
The next day the rain started and continued most of the day, so we took a drive along the Route des Navigateurs. Following the Saint Lawrence seaway for about 250 miles, we managed to traverse about 50 miles worth. Nice little villages along the way, but with the pouring rain the only photo I took was of lunch at a great little cafe, La Salicorne Cafe where I had Saucisses de la Salicorne Café (sans gluten)Porc des Élevages Bonneau, épices fenouil et piment d’Alep, vin blanc, pommes de terre grillées, salade croquante, condiments. You can figure out what it all means.
Before leaving for Maine on our last morning, I took time to, you guessed it, take a bike ride. I've been on some great bike paths on this trip, but this one has them all beat. Not too long at 9 miles each way, this path is fully landscaped, pretty much level and a separate lane for walkers and joggers. It follows the south bank of the Saint Lawrence River opposite Quebec City. A great finish to a visit in a beautiful city.