First things first – breakfast! The breakfast at this hotel was even better than the last! A huge buffet, we had the choice of fresh fruit, sausage, breakfast potatoes, yogurt, ham, croissants, or what proved to be many students’ favorite, pain au chocolat! These were so good Hunter devoured three of them! Following breakfast, it was time for our first stop – Montmorency Falls.
The waterfall is one that flows into the Montmorency River just outside Quebec City. Surrounded by a beautiful natural park that is protected by the government, it made for one of the most beautiful views that we’ve seen so far on the trip. A suspended bridge and staircases allowed WHS travelers to get up close and personal to the action! These huge falls are 84 meters high and 46 meters wide, proving to be 30 meters higher than Niagra Falls! We later learned about a historical battle that took place right here where the British tried to sneak up on the French, unsuccessfullly. The British captain, General Wolfe, did not take into account the tides and their ships became stuck! They lost 440 men at the foot of Montmorency Falls, and the French were victorious in this battle.
Sage, Taryn, and Hunter decided to descend the side of the staircase that went very close to the falls, in the mist. Little did they know that they would eventually become soaked! Taryn and Sage had a lot of fun, but Hunter became quickly uncomfortable in his wet clothing, prompting him to buy a super sweet Quebec sweatshirt.
After the waterfalls, we headed into the city for a bit of free time before our next activity. Most of the group headed to one of Canada’s most famous department stores, Simon’s, to start out with! It was fun to see all the clothing that was written in French, and Maci was really impressed with how stylish and simple everything was. Too bad it was un peu cher or we would have bought the whole store! Some purchases were made, though! Kitana bought a shirt that had a picture of a cat on it and said le chat, Zoe got a super good deal on a sweater, Hunter got a slick tie, and Grace got a super cute skirt. Happy with our purchases, we headed for lunch!
At lunch, it was macarons galore. We went into a moderately priced French bakery called Paillard. While it was lunch time, some of the WHS travlers took advantage of the huge gelato selection that was right before their eyes. Hunter tried a gelato that had bits of macaronn in it (he said it was like eating ice cream with bits of sugar cookies in it), Alisha got a lychee ice cream, and many others enjoyed the delicious creamy treat. I purchased my favorite French cake la tropezienne which comes from Southern France and is a light cake filled with creme anglaise, and lots of it! The WHS travlers were also fans, and we devoured it!
After lunch, we headed to an educational performance of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at a museum. We were welcomed by “General Wolfe” and “Marquis de Montcalm,” two Quebecois who were dressed and acted these roles our with humor and wit!
WHS travelers, throughout their performance, had many tasks to complete. They had to split into regiments, or four different teams, and practice saluting the generals, responding yes, general only when addressing them! Students learned how to load muskets and cannons and there was a fair bit of competition in completing these tasks!
After loading cannons and muskets, WHS travlers were given tools that they had to guess the meaning of during their use in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. We saw the likes of a tooth extractor, a drill to take out bullets if someone had been shot, a chain that would be fired outside of a cannon to take down masts of a ship, and small cannon balls that would be clumped together and fired all at once. WHS travelers then had to guess what order tools were used for in surgery. To figure out the answer? Hunter re-enacted a script that was led by the General Wolfe of an amputation! It was a lot of fun! Check out the pictures below.
After we finished our presentation here, we headed for a bit more free time in the city! Grace, Alisha, Kitana, and Andrea did some shopping and Hunter, Jaden, Zoe, and Madame walked along the city walls and then headed for some… you guessed it! Poutine! Never a day in Canada without poutine!
Now that we had our snack and our historical walk under our belts, we were ready for the sound and light show at the Musée du Fort. This museum explained to us the Battle of the Plains on Abraham with a spectacle, as Hunter would say. A visual representation of the battle, this really helped solidify our new knowledge of what exactly happened then!
Following the show, we headed to… surprise, suprise… the beach! Marie-Eve told us that this was where most Quebecois head to in the summer to take advantage of the warm weather and the beautiful landscape! We just made a quick stop, but it made for breathtaking photos and a great way to stretch our legs on the way to the sugar shack.
Finally, it was time to head to the Sugar Shack! A sugar shack, in Canada (not in Lake Geneva) is where they tap trees in the forest to gather maple water and process it to turn it into maple syrup, maple butter, maple taffy, and all other kinds of maple treats! Here we got to listen to live music, performed by Daniel, and it kind of sounded like the music from down in New Orleans. It was very cool to be serenaded while we had lentil soup, sausages, ham, fried bacon, meat pies, eggs, and crepes. We also got the opportunity to learn how to DANCE! It was a little like square dancing, and almost everyone participated! Okay, you’ll have to imagine the classic Quebecois music playing while I explain the dance. Add some rhythm to it if you really want to feel like you were there! You would salute your partner, shake right hand, shake left hand, dos-e-dos (no clue how to spell that one!) to the right, dos-e-dos to the left, get back to back and 4…3…2…1…BUMP. Then, you would get with your partner to make a bridge with your hands and the girl at the farthest end would run down the tunnel. Everyone would shift partners, and you would do it again!
After a few more WHS travlers partook in dancing around while Daniel played live music, we headed out to eat maple taffy! This was where little squirts of maple syrup would be spread in snow troughs, you would wait 10 seconds, and then take a popsicle stick and wrap up a maple taffy lollipop! It was SO COOL. And tasty. A short presentation on how sugar shacks work and process maple syrup and their history and we were treated to some time in the gift shop! Grace bought an awesome maple-syruper jacket, Hunter purchased some sirop d’erable, and Zoe got some maple butter! Many other purchases were made as no one wanted to leave this tasty treat behind!
But alas, it was time to depart! Back to the hotel for a good night’s rest! We got to sleep in a bit this morning (8 am — wow!) and have another full day planned! Here’s to another beautiful day in Quebec City!