58℉ at 6:00am, high 86 (that’s plenty hot in the sun!)
Thursday, August 18, 2016
It’s a short drive down Rt. 73 that goes directly into the old Quebec City. We didn’t get into town until 11:00, and we found the streets crowded and the sidewalks filled with tourists. It’s tough to park a pickup truck in a garage, but this is the first one I had to back out of…after scanning our credit card. That will be interesting! Finally we found a two-hour spot. Quebec City is the only walled city north of Mexico, and it is very pretty. However I felt like I was in Italy, touring an old walled city with small streets lined with shops and restaurants. I do not like large crowds. We had planned to take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to get the big picture, but by the time we found the information center, there was not enough parking time. Martha got some information and we decided to get some lunch in an Irish tavern. A Guiness helped! The city is build on a hill, so walking the streets in the not hot sun worked up a good sweat. Sitting in the tavern next to an open window with a good breeze was perfect. Martha had a steak, mushrooms and a salad and I had a wonderful asian crispy shrimp salad.
We moved the car to another spot for another two hours, then continued walking. Shoppers would love this, but it is not my cup of tea, and it was very hot. Soon we came by a shaded square where I offered to sit and wait while Martha got her fill of shopping. I did like wandering the alleys and back streets, and we had passed a nice hat shop. I need another hat, but how could I try on hats with a sweaty head? I caught a little nap in the cool shade. Martha returned with a big bottle of water and a small bag.
It is a pretty city and the fort is very cool, but the streets are too small for the heavy tourist traffic. They need to do it like the Italian cities and not allow traffic. You are going to walk around the whole city anyway. This would make room for the horse-drawn carriages and bus tours, although they need to make those buses smaller and more quaint. I’m quite sure other parts of Quebec City are pretty. There are a number of bike paths and tours, but I am happy to turn north to Jaques Cartier tomorrow.