French Canadian Favourites

The Ceramic Cafe in Quebec, close to where I was staying a short bus ride out of town. The young lady working there was a delight. And “ceramic” cafe because people do ceramics there. On my second meal there I was watching people decorate their pieces prior to glazing and firing. An altogether delightful venue.

Montmorency Falls – 30m higher than Niagara Falls apparently. Quite incredible that this spectacle hasn’t been turned into a money making venture. It would be so easy to set up a gate and charge to walk the 150m. from the bus at the end of the local Quebec route to the falls, and also easy to charge extra to cross the bridge above the falls. Wonderful though that access was free, in every sense of the word.

Rideau canal and locks – What a feat of engineering! And what a beautiful length of waterway to relax by and on. On the canal cruise we went by two men in a tinny, one sitting up in the prow on his fold-up garden chair. I spoke to them once both ‘vessels’ had docked. The two men were rather proud after travelling down the canal from Kingston. And they were going to stay at Fairmont Chateau Laurier ….. talk about from the ridiculous to the sublime!!

Tour of Parliament at Ottawa – Like Australia, Canada has a Constitutional Monarchy. Thus there are the two chambers of parliament, done out in red and green. The on-site library is spectacular, the oldest part of the building since it survived a fire in 1916 after which the rest was rebuilt. It felt such a privilege not only to visit but to visit so easily.
As it happened, it was “Open Doors” weekend in Ottawa so I visited another branch of the parliamentary library (in a former bank and the government conference centre (usually closed to the public) housed in the original central railway station.

Five minutes of ringing at Quebec and catching up with some Aussies and a Wall Street ringer – I’d been told about the Quebec Ringing Weekend some time back but too late to change my plans so I forgot about it. Thus it was surprise to hear bells as I left the Tourist Information Bureau. “Follow that sound!” I got the last five minutes of the weekend and felt a total fraud when the hosts insisted I join the Australian group photo.

Wi-fi on the trains between Quebec and Toronto – really, I could and should do without it, but what a treat!

Maple syrup – now this should be banned. What an addictive substance, in whatever form it’s served!!

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