Sausage, bagels, and yogurt in our bellies and we were ready for day three. Having to pack up late last night, we would head to Quebec City today after our morning visit in Montreal. So, taking our suitcases and our smiles, we headed out the door and to the Olympic Stadium for a group shot. Marie-Eve told us the legend of the Olympics in Quebec, that if a city would host the games, their hockey team would win the Stanley Cup the following year. It happened twice! But unfortunately the legend died when the third time a Canadian city hosted the hockey team did not follow through and uphold the legend! Tant pis!
After taking a quick group pic outside the stadium, we went inside the Biodome, which used to be used for the 1976 Olympic games and then was converted to a living museum in 1992 for the 350th anniversary of Montreal. A combination of a botanical garden, an aquarium, and a zoo, we saw many specimens. One of the cutest ones, and Zoe’s favorite animal, was the capybara, which really looked like a gigantic guinea pig. We got to see a live one and Zoe loved it so much she bought a stuffed animal version at the gift shop! We named him Philip II and he is very soft and snuggly. Some of the groups participated in a competition to see how many responses they could find in the museum on a worksheet. Maci and Jaden won this competition, claiming the incredible prize of capybara and beaver posters! We saw jellyfish, penguins, fat raccoons, bats, poisonous frogs, fish, and many more animals! Overall, students had a great time exploring with their partners and learned a lot about specimens in different ecosystems. This made for Kitana’s favorite part of the day.
After the biodome, it was time for LUNCH. We bussed outside the city to a rest stop with some Canadian fast food choices. Which one did we choose? A & W! Of course, Hunter shared poutine with Madame (he’s had poutine every day so far!) and most of us got burgers. Stopping in the gas station for snacks, Grace’s favorite part of the day when she purchased her first ever Kinder egg! These things are banned in the US because of small parts, so she was pretty pumped to unwrap her surprise inside- a plastic dog with a wig and dress that you could put on it. We named her Simone. So now, we’ve got two more travelers…Philippe II and Simone! Students loaded up on snacks (Hunter got turtle candies, Zoe and Maci got ice cream, and Alisha also got a Kinder egg) and it was back on the bus!
The next stop, nature walk! Driving by a suspended bridge about a half hour outside of the city, Marie-Eve allowed us to take advantage of being early by letting us explore! Crossing the bridge, we saw a beautiful waterfall. There were some people who were camping and fishing down below and joggers running along the trails. Sage and Maci got the courage to overcome their fear of heights to cross the bridge, which led them to take some super sweet photos. We descended the trails on our nature walk and found lots of slugs! Alisha’s favorite part today was taking a picture of one of them, so cute! Check out her shot below.
After getting back on the bus again it was not too much longer till we were in Quebec City. When we got off of the bus at our final destination (it took almost 3 hours to transfer from Montreal!), we headed to the terrace to snap some photos. We saw the beautiful Saint Lawrence river in the sunlight and the famous hotel, the Chateau Frontenac, was directly behind us. There was also a Salvador Dali elephant statue!
After our photo stop, we headed to the Chic Shack for dinner. Taryn and Sage both loved this part of the day, as they enjoyed their meals in the open windowsill of the restaurant. They took some great pictures and enjoyed the cute atmosphere and food! For tonight, WHS travelers had the choice of either a burger, salad, or poutine. We collectively tried all three, but my favorite part was the warm chocolate chip cookie that came out afterwards!
After dinner, we meet our tour guide for the evening, Samuel. He was a bearded young man with another great sense of humor (just like Louis!) and was very passionate and enthusiastic about everything Quebecois! We stopped first in front of the statue in the center of the square by Chateau Frontenac. This statue was of the founding father of Quebec City, Samuel de Champlain. What was a little funny was there was only ever one sketch of his face, so they actually used someone else’s face on the statue with a super cool mustache to represent him!
We then walked around the terrace to a peace monument between the French and the English. It is the only obelisk in the world to have both the winner and the loser on the same monument. On one side is the English general, and on the other side is the French general of the Plains of Abraham. We saw also a statue and the school that Marie L’Incarnation founded. It was the first all women’s school in North America. Pretty cool if you ask me! In fact, nowadays she is canonized by Pope Francis, so she is actually a Saint! Afterwards, we headed to two libraries that stood next to one another- one French and one English. The interesting part of Quebec is how bilingual it is as a province! The English library, in fact, used to be the city jail. The windows have holes around the frames where bars used to be and were taken out. This was Sam’s favorite hidden secret of the city! Around this time, we also got to see some horse-drawn carriages taking tourists on visits of the city. Seeing the horses was Andrea’s favorite part of Quebec- I wouldn’t be surprised if she took a ride in one of those carriages herself!
After a bit more touring, we ended up on in the Old Town, which was just like Europe. In fact, there have even been films that have taken place on this street and in this square pretending to be in Europe! The quaint houses and the stone makeup of this part of town made for a magical ambiance, and we can’t wait to go and visit this some more tomorrow.
Today certainly was eventful, but also included a lot of transportation. We’re excited to really get to know the city tomorrow and test the waters at the Montmorency Falls! We’ll see you then! Bonne nuit tout le monde!