September 30, 2014

Oh Canada: Quebec - Part Deux

Here comes the second round of Quebec pictures, which includes some of my favorites from the entire trip. Enjoy!

{Tiny feet, begging to be tickled .}

{Nutcracker army.}

Christmas is serious business in Quebec. The Old City transforms into a magical village before the holidays. The strings of lights reflecting on the shimmering snow make the city look truly enchanting. I'd love to visit Quebec in wintertime, and wander through a Christmas wonderland. 

This winter holiday is loved so much in the city that some stores sell Christmas ornaments all year long. La Boutique de Noel is a place where you can experience the magic of Christmas in the midst of summer, and that's exactly what we did.

{Rain, rain go away!}

{ The art alley }

{ A quick gelato stop at Maple Delights. }

I stayed clear from most desserts during our trip, as I was trying very hard to overcome my sugar addiction - no pain au chocolat for me. It's a bit of a shame I didn't get to try some of the local favorites. On the other hand, I felt quite proud of myself for being able to walk past bakeries and ignore the dessert section on restaurant menus. The only slip up I had was at Maple Delights, where I indulged in a cup of delicious ice cream while we stopped to rest and dry off a bit.

{ What's around the corner? }

{ A seriously impressive mural. }

{ How fun are these art installations? }

{ Antiques in an antique building. }

{ These window boxes took my breath away. }

{ Rue de Petit Champlain }

By the end of the day we were soaked, cold and completely exhausted, but even our wet, pruned feet and runny noses wouldn't stop us from continuing our journey. In the evening, when the sun started to set, the streets lit up in strings of lights making this part of the city look even more cozy and inviting.

{I heard they cook a fantastic rabbit in here.}

{ Dinner at Cochon Dingue }

On our way back we took a country highway for a change of scenery. It's such a shame we were pressed for time, and couldn't stop along the way to take pictures of the beautiful country side of Quebec. It's worth spending the whole day driving around, admiring the charming old country homes and farmhouses.

Au revoir Quebec!

September 26, 2014

Oh Canada: Quebec - Part One

Ok, so this post is way, way late, but with a chain of hectic events we've had in the past couple of weeks, it had to wait. Having close to 500 pictures to look through also didn't help. We finally narrowed them down and split them into two separate posts, so you don't fall asleep looking through what could have been the world's longest blog post. Anyway, off we go to Quebec!

Enjoying the only hour of clear skies we had in the city, before the rain clouds rolled in. It rained nearly the entire time we were there. But we made the best of it, regardless. After all, we weren't going to waste this opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

{ The view from the upper town. }

{ The old city walls. }

{Welcome to the Old City.}

{ Thirsty anyone? }

Wandering through these narrow, winding streets reminds me so much of Europe, and my native Lithuania. It's rare to find this in North America. 

{ I spy something delicious in there. }

No, we did not stay there (with prices starting at $300 per night it's way out of our budget), but we did take a little peek inside, since it's open to tourists. 

{ Stopped to admire a beautiful flower arrangement in the lobby. }

{ Look up! }

{ Cameraman's assistant and a very fuzzy store display, that unfortunately said, "Do not touch!" }

Half the stores we popped into while in Quebec carried a wide variety of fur accessories and woolen garments (due to the cold climate in this neck of the woods). I was even contemplating on getting a fur hat after seeing them over and over again. Instead I went with a tiny woolen sheep from one of the shops inside the Chateau - a palm-sized version of these two fuzzies in the picture above.

{ Saint Lawrence river and the continuous cloudy skies. }

{ And the downpour begins... }

{ The best bowl of poutine I had, at Le Chic Shack }

I was quite hesitant to try this infamous French Canadian dish. French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds did not sound particularly appealing to me. Don't get me wrong I love fries as well as gravy, but the two combined together seemed like the heaviest, artery clogging concoction. And the cheese curds... that word alone makes me cringe, but once I tried it I was hooked. Was it heavy? Yes. Calorie packed? You bet. And it was dope! I had it for nearly every meal, two days in a row. I must have eaten a week's worth of calories in just a couple of days, and I didn't even care. Let's just say suddenly a phrase on one of the graphic tees we saw at a gift shop made a lot of sense: "cocaine, heroine, poutine".

Stay tuned for part two!