Monday, June 28, 2010

road trip, first stop: Quebec City

our first stop on our road trip across Eastern Canada was Quebec City. I suppose our reasoning was that we wanted to get as far away from the chaos of Toronto's G20 as we could, so why not go to the last place the G20 summit was held in Canada? Quebec City was every bit as lovely as the last time i'd seen it. we only had one night to enjoy the city though, so we had to do an express touring of Quebec, distilled to its best things - mainly, walking around the old city and eating yummy carnivorous French food.

Quebec City is really old

people always talk about how Quebec City is great because it's so old and European. I myself never really understood why any European tourist would come to Quebec City to experience Canada. It kind of strikes me as being similar to Chinese people coming to Toronto and hanging out in Chinatown. Yes, there are similarities but I'm sure every European visitor can't shake off the feeling that something is a little off, a little weirder than home. maybe it's the lack of North African vendors selling delicious ethnic food on the streets; maybe it's the way the streets are clean, too clean, except for the VIVE LE QUEBEC LIBRE graffiti scrawled on random stone walls. despite all this though, Quebec City certainly is Canada's most European city and certainly is a lot cheaper to visit if you don't have the money to hop a plane to France.

our favourite part, however, was the food, of course. especially since rob is a French-trained cook.

Quebec: Good at food...okay at wine.

we ate dinner at Aux Anciens Canadiens, a restaurant at the heart of Vieux-Quebec and obviously popular with tourists, given their tourist-rate prices. despite their staggering prices, i appreciated this restaurant because of the menu choices, a veritable Canadian Noah's Ark of wild game. between rob and i, for example, we ate pretty much every animal that could be found in the Quebec wilderness.

PETA's nightmare - on this table you will find: elk, bison, deer, buffalo, caribou, pork knuckles, and some other things that I didn't translate properly from the waitress.

between all that and the bottle of wine (no, we didn't spring for the $5000 bottle), we went to bed early, too stuffed full of meat while anticipating a long drive the next day. we did make sure we stopped by a creperie for breakfast the next morning, however.

Rob and his French toast...or, just toast, as they call it here.

today was spend following the rain make its way across the whole country, as we took on the rest of Quebec, and across the entire New Brunswick to get to Prince Edward Island. Canada is really really big. it was a long drive, getting through New Brunswick, especially when you foolishly decide to take the back roads where the truckers used to go to avoid getting weighed. we passed the time by naming all the animals we saw narrowly escape death under car - shrews, coyotes, crows, chipmunks, porcupines (actually, the three porcupines we saw were already dead). it was a long drive, like i said, and a lot of nature. i was particularly struck by the bright yellow of the canola fields in New Brunswick, which became quite the contrast with the bright red dirt of Prince Edward Island. it was all definitely things that I have not seen before.

eventually we made our way over the glorious Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in Canada, and into Prince Edward Island, where we only got a little lost. unfortunately, by the time we got to the cottage, it was dark (after eleven hours of driving!) so i haven't had much of a chance to see the Island...but that will all wait for me tomorrow!

obligatory cute couple shot