East Coastal Drive, Day 24 – Old Quebec City

First, I want to thank everyone who posted comments to the blogs. The response is appreciated. I do read them and will reply later.

Before we left Gaspésie National Park we stopped at the Saint Anne River for one more look. I caught the morning sunrise on the mountain. They do arrange transportation to the trails at Mont Jacques-Cartier for those that want to observe the caribou. But that was not on our itinerary, as we were headed to Quebec City. Yes, Greta, there will be a king size bed.

We drove north, up the mountain to get back to the St. Lawrence River and highway 132 West. It was a bright, sunny morning.

The 132 reminded me of the Cabot Trail – up and down mountains, curves to control, shoreline on the right and rock face on the left. It is a wonderful drive around the Gaspe peninsula. For example, below, the road runs all along the base of that mountain. It seems that every 200 m there is a sign to watch for falling rock.

Unlike the Cabot Trail, the 132 goes through small towns and villages. Your speed goes from 90 to 70 to 50 then back up to 90. I found this prevents driving fatigue. One of the best features is that each village has a little picnic rest area. The sign is well in advance and lets you know what the amenties are. This one was in Saint Urlich. The town went out of its way to create an artistic little area.

I stopped at a few of them for rest and let the pugs walk about. All were well maintained with grassy areas, usually washrooms where I could get water for the pugs.

Here were little steps to go down to the rocks and shoreline. However, I’m not sure what the No Shooting was all about. Maybe hunters shoot the birds? It was strange.

Soon after we hit the speedy highway 20 West to Quebec. It was a short drive after that. The sun was still shining and felt we would be able to see a lot of old Quebec.

On the first part of our trip, we stayed up by the Citadel and the Plains of Abraham. Coming back I wanted to be in the old part of the city.

I had splurged and booked a room in a 4 star hotel. Never stayed in one before. It was in the old part of the city but also near the grassy common plaza near the pier. The Auberge Antoine hotel is family owned. When they were building it they dug deep to make an underground parking lot. It became an archeological site as they found parts of the wharf built between 1699 and 1704.

The parking lot was not accessible to the patrons. There were valets at the door to help unload and park for me. Later, I had to get something from the car. He took me down and I saw the hotel resting on old stone columns. The room was amazing.

When we got to the room, I let Eve in first and she dashed around the corner after something. She had found 3 gift baskets left for the pugs that had cookies, poop bags, bowls and blankets.

I took the stroller because I knew we would be going for a long time. I first took them down to the riverfront plaza called Place des Canotiers. It had large, grassy, shady areas. The Chateau Frontenac was in the background.

The white boat coming in was a very large touring boat that docks at this pier. Lots of people using the plaza on this gorgeous day.

We headed up into the old part. It was very crowded. I tried to get pictures of the buildings without people. Everytime I waited, it was just about to clear and someone else would walk into the frame.

I did find this out of the way spot. However I decided I would come back early the next morning. I figured there would not be many people on a Sunday at 5:30 am.

There was an interesting art installation happening. At first I thought they were people hired to do this.

But then I saw this one and thought no way could a human being hold this position.

Tried to get some photos without people in the frame. We sat down on a bench in a little square to rest.

And a bust of Louis the XIV.

Took the pugs back for dinner and a nap. I went out to the hotel’s restaurant. The main restaurant is Chez Muffy and it is housed in a Maritime warehouse from 1822. However it was fully booked. I was able to make a reservation at their sister restaurant Au Jardin Chez Muffy. It was a tapas style emphasizing local ingredients. They even had their own garden. The had a bright but not busy patio.

And the interior was full of sunlight from the large windows.

I ordered the boar burger & red cabbage smash.

I followed it with the hazelnut, chocolate, passion fruit brownie. The pastry chef delivered it and explained the different components. The little gold balls are made of passion fruit gel. On the site is passion fruit ice cream.

Took one more small walk with the pugs. The place was still crowded. The patios were packed.

On the way back, discovered how a fire truck gets through the old city streets.

That was our day. Greta was happy to stretch out in the king size bed. The cookies from the gift basket were large and hard. I had to break them down to smaller pieces with my hands. Tomorrow we head to Montreal.

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