date completed: 15-17 February 2014
It’s kind of ridiculous how little traveling I actually do within North America, or even just Canada. I remedied that a bit by visiting my friend, Jack, in Quebec City! It was the last weekend of Carnaval de Quebec and the start of my reading week so the timing worked out really well. We rented a car and got to see and do a lot:
15 February 2014
We spent my entire first day in Quebec at Carnaval! Carnaval is a winter festival held annually in Quebec City. We checked out snow sculptures first and then decided to do some ice fishing for lunch time. I caught one that ended up falling to the ground and flopping back into the water, haha. Fail fishing. We spent about an hour here and no fish for lunch! :(
There was also an ice bar where I got to try caribou, a delicious Quebecois alcoholic beverage. I also got to try tire sur la neige (or maple taffy) which is boiling maple sap laid out on snow and rolled up on a popsicle stick. Yummmmy. It is numbingly cold in Quebec right now and we frequently took breaks from all the walking around and waiting in line by warming up in heated shacks and even heated hammocks, which were super cozy. We also got to try snow tubing and dog sledding here! We didn’t stay out for the evening activities because it was too cold and went back to my friend’s place for dinner and to plan out the rest of my stay.
16 February 2014
Back to Carnaval we went! The only thing Jack really wanted to do at Carnval was enjoy the outdoor Arctic Spas hot tubs, but by the time we had gone back for it yesterday, the line-up was too long. I’m glad we went back to Carnaval for this – it ended up being one of my favourite things and it was so nice and relaxing!
It was about a 30-minute drive to Valcartier Village Vacances – “the largest winter playground in America”! Luckily, we got a small discount from having our Carnaval effigies and had access to all of the snow slides for tubing, snow rafting, and ‘tornado-ing’.
So much fun – we were here from noon until 7:30pm! The mechanical lifts were adventures on their own and we both occasionally had/witnessed some hilarious fail-moments. The inner tubes all have long handles allowing people to hold onto each other’s and have up to eight people slide down at once. We tried different positions and when the line-ups weren’t long, we also went individually to race each other. There was a half-pipe that was awesome and “Mount Everest” which dropped you from a steep slide. Snow rafting was my favourite though!
17 February 2014
Jack returned the car in the morning and we bussed to Old Quebec City for some sightseeing! Needless to say, it was a really long day and we got a lot accomplished. We strolled through Old Quebec and took the ferry to Lévis on the other side of the St. Lawrence River before coming back through the boardwalk. The roads and street signs took some getting used to for me and it was super hilly! We also stopped by Chocolats Favoris and had chocolate fondue: piment intense (dark chocolate with pepper :O), orange éclatant (dark chocolate and orange), and blanc bec (white chocolate). *_* SO GOOD. We also picked up a bottle of famous award-winning Quebecois sparkling ice wine as requested by a friend of a friend. We picked up a bottle to try as well, and it’s really good!
I left Quebec City at 6:20am the next morning. I had a great time with an awesome friend of mine and explored a beautiful city! <3