It wasn’t exactly easy getting here today, which is ironic, considering I spent about 3 hours total in the air….as opposed to Finland, that seemed like an eternity. Work obligations prevented me from arriving yesterday, which is truly a pity–I would have loved more time to explore Quebec.
For those of you new to this blog, part of the road report (come to think of it, probably a good third of it) consists of an assortment of random and useless information about the city du jour. I recognize that many who read the blog just want the setlist and a few Dee-isms, but for those who wish to experience the tour by living vicariously through others, this is for you.
Quebec is simply fantastic….or as they would say here, “C’est formidable!” It’s truly a city within a city– a spectacular stone fortress wall surrounds “Old Quebec” around the entire perimeter. From above (namely, my hotel room on the 20th floor) I’m afforded a thrilling view of the entire city, with its winding and hilly streets, narrow alleys, gothic cathedral spires and open, lush parks. Several large arched gates provide an impressive portal into the old city, and it is truly a feast for the eyes.
An appropriate motorcade of several hundred bikers heralded my arrival….well, okay, maybe not. But it was a familiar and welcoming rumble of loud pipes taking a weekend ride, and I felt right at home. Walking through downtown Quebec instantly made me regret not bringing my camera. (who knew I’d be this awake? I’m running on 2 hours sleep) It was storybook–enchanting–surreal, even. Did you ever visit one of those amusement parks like Busch Gardens, and stroll through “Ye Olde European Village?” It was just like that–except for the facade part. This is the real deal–it’s Canada…but with a definite European feel. The locals are friendly and bilingual, and are much more compassionate of my massacring of their language than the French would be. Many of the cathedrals, buildings and chateaus (oh, yes…..plenty of castles!) appeared to be around the 18th century, spectacularly maintained, with centuries of coats of paint.
Envision now rows upon rows of houses and businesses, freshly painted white with bright red trim, framed by brightly colored awnings and overflowing flowerboxes as far as the eye can see. The narrow stone streets are full of shops, cafes and fine dining eateries. Quaint horse-drawn carriages trot by carrying lovesick romanticists past the towering chateau that houses the Quebec ministry. A quick turn as I follow the sound of church bells ringing, and I’m surrounding by artists at an open market, performing portraiture live on the street for the patient subjects.
I can only imagine how magical this place must be when it snows–I’ve been here an hour and I’m already caught up in the enchantment. A highly walkable city that’s meticulously clean and safe, and is filled with beautiful architecture and public sculpture, practicing artists, street musicians, creperies and beautiful women speaking French. That’s it. I HEREBY RENOUNCE MY U.S. CITIZENSHIP. Someone else can defend my citizens from bioterrorist threats….give me a crepe and a room for rent, cuz I am not going back!
There have been a few Twisted sightings about town….you never really know who you’re going to run into on the streets of Old Quebec. Our own illustrious Mr. French was strolling about town..and I spied a few of the Twisted road crew, and a special surprise–Da’ Mayor, Donna from CT (DCT) made the trek to Canada.
It’s 3:30 pm now–I may opt for a quick nap and a crepe….probably not in that order….and then it’s off to have the Twisted experience. Stay tuned, my babies…Quebec City is getting ready to rock.