I think today’s the day where it really hit me that this trip is going to come to an end soon. As long as there was more than one city left to visit then the prospect of an end point felt just that further away. So it was with such feeling that we packed up and made for Montreal’s Central Station.
Breakfast was some s’mores Pop Tarts we found on sale, lunch was at the station’s McDonald’s because the fancy food court stuff was very expensive; also we got a ‘free sandwich’ coupon in the Monopoly promotion. So I got a free chicken habanero sandwich (still trying to go for things I can’t find in the UK) and the hub got himself pancakes and sausage because all day McDonald’s breakfast is a thing here.
At just over 4 hours, the train journey really passed in a flash. Probably helps that I spent half of it writing the massive post for yesterday, then I swapped seats with the hub to get the window whilst I was all cozy in my soft hoodie with my podcasts. We also, somehow, ended up with seats in the comfort class – so that was great legroom and proper plush seating. If I could get that for the flight back to the UK it would be amazing.
And so we arrived in Quebec City in the very late afternoon and it was very much raining as it continued to do so for the rest of the evening. Really does feel like a terminus rail station, but what a beautiful station to welcome you in. The interior makes you feel like you about to run into Phineas Fogg and Passepartout as they get into the home stretch of their journey around the world.
It was a quick march to the hotel some 15 minutes from the station and up the hill into the upper part of Quebec City. Managed to pick some great hotels for this visit and this one appears to be no exception. Wonderfully situated in the old town near some key landmarks and the room is just darling. During this trip have managed to stay in a chain hotel (Ottawa), the largest hotel in Canada (Toronto), a self-catered studio apartment (Montreal) and now a boutique hotel. Kinda keeps in with the different feels I have been getting from each location.
By the time we got ourselves properly situated in the hotel, the sun had set and it was time to get some dinner. However, with all the lamps on, I had to have a little bit of an explore as we slowly meandered to the restaurant. We got a sneak preview of some sights on tomorrow’s itinerary, looked over the river to the neighbouring town of Levis and then saw something that was super cute.
So, of course, we are getting very close to Halloween and the further along this trip we’ve gotten the more we’ve seen decorations coming out. Well, the City Hall of Quebec may have won it for me. It’s like they’ve set up their own Halloween Village like you’d see for Christmas. Very kid friendly, utterly charming and exactly my kind of speed.
Dinner was at the small chain Poutineville where, of course, we wanted to get some pimped out poutine. We also indulged in a rare instance of appetisers with their combo plate – which I had to get because of the deep-fried pickles. We ended up sharing two ‘regular’ sized plates of poutine. The first was the chain’s signature with braised beef and a red wine gravy, the other a more insane affair with hot dog, bacon, ground beef and a regular poutine gravy. Both delicious, but in the end we both had different favourites (mine was the less refined hot dog one) and we just finished off those plates solo. Now just to figure out how to get poutine to be popular in the UK…
It was still raining, but the initial walk to Poutineville had enchanted me so much that I wanted to walk around the old town a bit more at night to see everything lit up. We stopped by the Parliament building (again something we’ll spend more time on in the coming day) and had a general wander around the area and just taking in the architecture of the old city.
Then came the Christmas shop. A massive Christmas shop that on some days is open until nearly 11 at night. I just couldn’t not go in and then end up getting something for home to remind me of this trip to Quebec. Just have to keep my fingers crossed that my new figurine and ornament will survive the flight home. Now to bed as tomorrow is going to be a big day.