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Quebec City trip.report

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Oct 19th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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Quebec City trip.report

I am on t
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Oct 19th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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I am on the train to Montreal to catch my flight back to Virginia so forgive my fat fingers hitting the submit button too soon.
First I had a great time with dh in QC for four nights at the fairmont chateau Frontenac hotel. I booked a city view gold floor room with AAA rate. Upon checking in on the concierge floor I was upgraded to a river view suite in honor of it being my 50th birthday! Yay! I had a fantastic view and a much larger room than most it seems. We could watch the cruise ships barges and ferries from the room. The room was newly renovated and the bed was very comfortable. The bath was small but modern.
We had access to the gold lounge which had breakfast and appetizers daily. Ihad venison as an appetizer and it was delicious. There was also a full honor bar which was nice. The view from the lounge was fantastic. Everyone who worked there was friendly and helpful.

Dinner on the first nght was at Champlain the hotels restaurant. It has a nice elegant atmosphere. Staff is attentive and they gave me a small chocolate cake to take to my room. The negatives are that it is very expensive and portions are tiny. I think there were maybe three bites of chicken on my plate of a chicken dinner. Not what it should be for the price paid.
Dinner on night two which was my actual birthday was my favorite meal. Duck al orange flambed at the table at Le Continental. Food was excellent and so was the service!
Dinner on night three was at Bello which is Italian and was also delicious. Staff was attentive. Food was yummy and prices were reasonable!
We walked by Le Parmesean and it looked like a fun and lively place for dinner. I wish we had tried that on night four instead of Panache.
Panache is a beautiful rustic yet upscale looking restaurant. The host was friendly but the food was overpriced and my beef was not good. The steak was tasteless and cost 49 dollars. I wouldn't have minded if it we're a delicious tiler but it was not. I also had the cream soup at 19 for a small bowl and the cream soup was delicious but they dumped stuff in the middle which it did not need. Simplify! Dh had a kale and Brussels sprout meal and he liked his but agreed my meat was not good.

More later..
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Oct 19th, 2014, 02:40 PM
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Too bad about the food. Try something with a pound of sugar in it.
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Oct 19th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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Haha cold! We did take a country tour and we ate raisin bread in a bakery smothered in maple syrup butter! It was like eating a big hunk of cake! Delicious but VERY sweet!

So, other than dinners, we walked around the city a lot. The city is very picturesque. Staying at the Chateau really put us in the center of things. We did a country tour through the hotel. It took us to an island near the city where we stopped at a chocolate store and saw some of the island. It was very pretty. We then went on to a water fall and took a gondola up to the top and walked across the bridge over the falls. It was very beautiful. Then we went to a copper place where they obviously make things with copper. Then we were taken to St Anne's Basilica and then off to the bakery where dined on homemade bread with maple syrup butter. It was nice to see different parts of the countryside and we had a great bus driver/tour guide. He was very funny and had some great one liners and also told us a lot of history of Quebec and the surrounding areas. I attribute the goodness of the tour to his personality.

We mostly relaxed and enjoyed our time in Quebec. The weather seemed to hold out most days and would rain when we came in at night. I am not sure how people live there in the winter. The wind was blowing so hard one night, the rain was beating hard against our windows and it turned cold very fast. I imagine winters must be brutal.
Fall is nice because i think it is less crowded in Quebec City. I noticed Saturday got busier at the hotel and was glad to be on the concierge level and not down in the main lobby with a thousand people. There was also what one waitress told us was the Asian invasion. She said October is a big month for people from Asia to visit Quebec. I thought it was funny, but when I went downstairs, low and behold, she was right. Hundreds of Asians were walking around the lobby.

All in all it was a great trip! I would definitely fly into the city I decided to spend my time in next time. That was my only big mistake with this trip. Decide where you want to spend your time first, then buy plane tickets.
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Oct 19th, 2014, 09:46 PM
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Oh and I did tell DH that it would be hard to go to the Chateau again and stay in a normal room. Having a suite on the top floor really is hard to beat. We also used the spa at the hotel and both had massages. While I was getting my massage and the music of serene spa music was flowing in the background, I wanted to burst out laughing because there was also a jackhammer being used outside. Now, if I paid whatever the cheapest room rate was, about 300 per night and received a room next to the jack hammering, I would have been pissed! I am sure somebody had to sleep next to that.
Anyway, it was nice to be pampered and stay in a great room.
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Oct 20th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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Hi girlonthego - my grandparents were from the island you went to. It is called Ile d'Orleans and is knowm as the birthplace of francophones in North America. Thanks for your report.
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Oct 20th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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Micheline, my DH said he could easily live on that island! It was very picturesque!
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Oct 20th, 2014, 07:15 PM
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Bring him back in three months. See if he still says "easily".
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Oct 21st, 2014, 03:59 AM
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cold, I think he was thinking summer temps not winter temps. There is no way we could live in Canada in the winter! I don't how you guys do it.
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Oct 21st, 2014, 05:53 AM
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As a child I loved our winters. Many of our schools had outdoor rinks and I always belonged to a ski club.

I'm packing right now for five months in Florida.
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Oct 30th, 2014, 07:20 PM
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Girlonthego - just got around to reading your report. I'm so sorry your Panache dinner was not good I hate when that happens and feel I made a bad recommendation.

Sounds like it was a good decision for you to stay at the Frontenac. Glad you got an upgrade! Hope your birthday celebration lived up to your expectations otherwise.

I'm just now reading the Louise Penny book set in QC and it's fun reminiscing about my trip there. QC was very touristy when I arrived on the Sunday of Labor Day and it took until the cruise ships sailed and people went back to work on Tuesday to appreciate all the charms of the city. Now I kind of wish I had gone at a different time.
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Nov 3rd, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Girl on the go, I am wanting to see either Montreal or Quebec. It not sure I can do both coming from Europe on my way to Vermont. I think I will only have four nights unless I cut an Atlas Mts in Morocco overnight walk out of the itinerary. I am heading to Burlington before starting a walking tour. As you have been to both cities recently could I do both or would that be just rushing? I love the whole European french thing but need to get back to Burlington so most likely have to go through Montreal anyway. If I was to arrive late one night have the next two full days in Quebec, leave early the next morning for Montreal by train then have the rest of the afternoon the next full day and leave for Burlington for following morning by bus. Would that work or just be too rushed, any suggestions please...
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Nov 3rd, 2014, 07:57 PM
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Hi Schnauzer! I wound up only staying in Quebec, but bought plane tickets to go through Montreal so I took the train between. Lots of extra traveling that I wish I had thought through before buying the plane tickets!
The train takes 3 to 3.5 hours between the two cities with just a few stops.
Whether you fly from Quebec or Montreal, I am seeing no obvious direct flights from either city to Burlington VT. So, go where you want to go! I had four nights and decided to do one city. I also wanted to go to the french, 'old europe" city and it was lovely. The city is very walkable.I think it would be rushing to try and see both cities as it takes the time on the train ride, which takes up a chunk of the middle of the day.
What time of year are you planning to visit? It should be very cold in the winter, but they have a wonderful winter carnival from what I hear. The city is fairly compact, but hilly. I really liked Quebec!!
Montreal looked very under construction. It is more of metropolitan looking city. There is an old town section but we didn't have time to see it. Should you decide to take the train, it is very easy and relaxing.

I just checked mapquest and it is a 4 hour drive from Quebec to Burlington VT. You can drive it! I checked for a weekly rental from Budget rent a car, mid sized car, picking up at Quebec airport and dropping off at Burlington VT airport and it runs about 400.00. Which is cheaper than two people flying and more direct being a four hour drive vs changing planes and taking trains!

If I can help with any questions, please ask. I will try!

gruezi, I don't hold you responsible for the Panache dinner! The hotel restaurant looked lovely and had great ambiance. My DH liked his meal, but my steak was just terrible and it was expensive. If it was expensive and good, I wouldn't mind! We had a great time in Quebec and I would like to go back. The Fronternac was great because we had a great room and the gold level is worth the extra services. We had several days without cruise ships. Saturday was busy with cruisers. I loved the European feel. Everyone was very friendly and everyone spoke English, which made it very easy for us.
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Nov 4th, 2014, 02:54 AM
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Hi Girlonthego, thanks for the quick response, great work! I will travelling by myself and would prefer not to drive, plus it is hard to pick up a car in Canada and drop in the USA. But i will have another look in case it isn't so difficult. Soooo, I will be flying from either Paris or London to Quebec, all flights go through another city first, Montreal would be my choice. Is this the mistake you made? Getting off in Montreal and catching the train, I haven't seen the final flight prices it hope continuing to Quebec won't be too expensive. I would then take the train back to Montreal, perhaps spend the fourth night there and catch a bus to Burlington. The train doesn't stop in. Burlington proper, so the bus is probs the best choice. I will be going next late September. What area would you recommend staying in?

I'll think of some more questions so please keep checking in.. Thanks Schnauzer.
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Nov 4th, 2014, 03:25 AM
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Schnauzer--Trying to do both Montreal and Quebec City in the time you have seems too ambitious to me but it is doable. Both are wonderful cities. Montreal is bigger so usually I would plan on more time there. It is not more "under construction" than most major cities.

The bus between Burlington and Montreal is the only real option if you don't want to drive.
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Nov 4th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Hi Schnauzer! I believe you can take the bus from Quebec as well to Burlington so no need to go back to Montreal. I would check into that!
In Quebec, I think it is best to stay right in the old city. We did stay at the Fairmont and were fortunate to get a great room, but I saw the smaller room we were supposed to have and I probably would have been turned off if we had to stay in the smaller room at such a high price tag. If you do stay there, get the gold floor because it is a more personal experience. The hotel is huge. A smaller boutique hotel might give you a more personal experience. There are many very nice hotels in the walled city area.
I think September is a great time to visit! October was nice too, but I think a week or two earlier, we would have had warmer and nicer weather. So, September will be great!
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