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Trip Report Wonderful Trip to Quebec City

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My husband and I drove to Quebec City from our home in the Albany, NY area on Thursday. The border was easy and the drive just fine. It isn't the most "eye-catching"drive if you go the main route - perhaps another time we will find a more scenic route. BUT QC was everything we'd heard...a bit of Europe, much closer!

We stayed in a small, European-style hotel right in Old Quebec called Hotel Acadia. A three-star hotel, it was perfect for us. We didn't wish to stay in a modern-day hotel, but wanted the European feel. We were on the 5th floor (the top floor) and had to walk up a narrow staircase to the top. It was charming, but if you have trouble with stairs, be sure to request a room on a lower floor! No elevators. Clean room, comfortable bed, and we loved that we could open the windows at night and enjoy the cool night air. The hotel staff were nice, helpful and attentive. My ONLY complaint, and I hate to make one because we loved it, was the breakfast. A buffet breakfast at a nearby place was included in the hotel cost. Perhaps you can request no breakfast and get a price break? We only went one morning and I stuck to coffee, yogurt and cereal.

The first late afternoon and evening we strolled around town and began enjoying the wonderful sites of the town. We ate a great dinner at Creperie le Petit Chateau next to the Chateau Frontenac. Fondue and crepes were great! We also found a nice little store to buy water, beer etc on a nearby side street - Espicirie Richard (next door to Cafe de la Paix). I fear I may not have the first word correct.

Friday was spent enjoying the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, a pro cycling race. My husband is an avid cyclist and this race was one of the reasons for our visit. So we saw lots of the town as we followed the cyclist circuit 16 times around. What fun we had! And my husband met George Hincapie - a well known US cyclist who road with Lance all seven Tours and has finished the Tour de France 16 times! A high point for him, for sure!! Lunch was one the go. For dinner we enjoyed steak and frites at Le Cochon Dingue on boulevard Champlain. We walked and walked and walked and loved it all. I have a tradition of collecting two things from my visits - a Christmas ornament and a piece of local art work of some sort. I found a wonderful hand painted glass ornament at a glass place carrying the work of Quebec artisans - I'll have to remember the name.

Saturday we enjoyed a great breakfast at a place called, of all things, L'Omelette. But the food and service were enjoyable. Because of our short time, we decided to take a guided walking tour through Les Tours Voir Quebec. Some other Fodorites had recommended it as I recall. It was nice - instead of two hours, it was 3 1/2 hours. Our guide was great! Enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Well worth it.

One of my favorite parts of the visit was the Old Port Market. I LOVE going to public markets in Europe or European style towns. Gorgeous fruits, vegetables and local goods to be had. I'd be a regular visitor if I lived locally! Lunch was a cheese crepe and homemade gelato picked up in the market. A fun experience. And we just didn't stop walking, taking pictures and enjoying all the sites and sounds the city offered from the Plains of Abraham to the Quartier de Petit Champlain to the little side streets we explored it all! I picked up some great local chocolate fudge at The Fudgerie in the Quartier de Petit Champlain. What a wonderful area! For dinner we went Italian - Au Parmesan. A vocal crowd, all enjoying themselves!! Good food and a great atmosphere! And right off the square where the Chateau Frontenac is located is a little artisan alley where local artists sell their works. Here I found three small ink and water colors of different scenes in the city, which I will frame and enjoy for many years.

And on Sunday morning before leaving, we enjoyed a fantastic crepe breakfast on Rue St Jean at Casse-Crepe Breton. Loved it! The most reasonably priced meal we had and one of my personal favorites. Generous size crepes, all fresh ingredients...

As others have noted, I generally found meals to be a bit expensive in Quebec City, but the food is great! I am convinced you really can't go wrong almost anywhere you eat - it simply depends what you want to eat and the environment you seek.

We are eager to return and will! We didn't do as much "inside touring" this trip, but rather enjoyed the fabulous weather and all the great outdoors offered. Our next visit we'd like to tour Parliament, the Citadel itself and visit a museum or two...

I hope someone finds this report useful!! I'm new at this reporting and probably have lots to learn to improve.

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