My final day in Montréal was only a half day, the rest ear-marked to travel to Québec City.
It was also the day that I would be finally joined by my wife Marcie, who had to stay behind in Vancouver to film a commercial. She ended up taking a red-eye to Montréal so that she could have at least the morning here before we moved on to Québec City by train. Her flight was due to arrive at 7:30 am. Originally, she planned to take a cab, but I convinced her to take the 747 bus, as it would be more economical (just $10) and a lot easier—since there is so much construction going on here, I figured a cab ride might take a long time, longer than the bus.
Well, a good idea in theory. Around 8:00 am in the morning, Marcie started messaging me to let me know that she found the bus ticket booth and the bus itself really quickly and was onboard as soon as she was out of the terminal. Then I suddenly received a message that said: “I think the bus just broke down. Stuck and not moving and people talking in French.” (Which seemed natural to me that people would be talking in French. You know, it being Montréal and all.)
Exhausted and out of sorts, she eventually clambered off the (now smoking) bus and began a long trek to the hotel. I came and met her halfway, but it was still a thirty-minute journey for her! So instead of getting in around 8:30, it was more like 10:30.
Despite her fatigue, we decided to try and make the most of the morning and headed into the old city to get some crepes for breakfast. We had a lovely seat at Crêperie Chez Suzette, on the second floor. Marcie was enamoured with the view, looking across the street at the old architecture:
She also enjoyed a very decadent crepe for breakfast, complete with ice-cream! I guess it was well deserved after her (mis)adventures.
I then took Marcie up to show her some of the sites I had previously explored. She instantly Marcified Place d’Armes:
Yep, that’s my wife!
We headed back to the hotel, snatched a quick nap, then loaded up our bags and made the fifteen-minute walk to the VIA rail station. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, Montréal is at war with construction, so we had to dodge different areas here and there, criss-crossing streets to take the designated detours. It seems no street—major thoroughfare or side alley—is safe from renovation right now in this city. It’s really too bad, as I feel like all of the ongoing and very invasive work really detracted from my time here. However, I know it will result in a beautiful celebration for the city’s 375th birthday next year.
In any case, I was kind of glad to hunker down in the relative quiet of the VIA rail station and board our train to Québec City.
Marcie smiled graciously for the below photo, then slumbered her way to Québec City. After all, she had only slept two hours the night before on the plane!
As for me, I ended up getting quite a bit of work completed on a chapter I’ve been struggling with for a book I’m tinkering with. It’s going to be a long work in progress. Let’s just call it the “dragon book” for now. Of course, I did pause from time to time to gaze through the window at the countryside rolling past.
Speaking of writing, the other project I’m currently working on is a middle-grade book that involves a type of station. Actually, I’ve been working on this book for a LONG time. Which means for the past few years, I’ve wandered around a lot of train stations and museums to do research. Imagine my joy when I stepped off the train and into La Gare du Palais . . . I discovered a realm of architectural beauty and charm!
My photos don’t really do it justice, but I consider this all just bonus research!
Well, it was pretty late, so we started slogging through the quiet Québec City streets, hoping we were taking the right way to our hotel. Our devices said it was only a fifteen-minute walk, but they don’t really show elevation and we suddenly arrived at a fork in the road, one leading up and one leading down.
We went up. Right choice! We soon found ourselves immersed in a bustling, lively atmosphere. So this is where all the people were!
Our hotel, Palace Royal, is located in the old town and is simply gorgeous. As we approached, we caught glimpses of the fortified wall with its ornate turrets. We checked in, dumped our bags, and headed out to grab some grub. Imagine our surprise when we turned the corner and found ourselves at the front of an exuberant late-night pride parade. It’s the city’s Pride Festival this weekend. We felt so much joy and camaraderie; it was quite a fitting welcome to this city.
I didn’t get much opportunity to snap photos of doors or details, as it was dark upon our arrival in Québec City. However, I did purchase this cute fox handle-hook-thingie at a store in Montréal:
I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do with it, but it caught my attention because of a couple of prop ideas I have. I always enjoy making props, and this fox reminds me of something that might be in the house of a character I’m developing for my book. (The “dragon book”. Not the “station” book.)