After Prince Edward Island, we cruised on to Gaspe (it wasn’t a very nice day and as we were anchored some distance from the town, not docked, we opted to stay on the ship) and then Saguenay River and Quebec City. Saguenay was a pleasant surprise. It’s a very small town, but we received the warmest welcome of anywhere! In fact, the town has won awards three times for providing the friendliest welcome anywhere in the world.
Townsfolk dressed in period costumes greeted us with slices of blueberry pie, maple sugar on a stick, and the chance to test our skill by sawing a log (the Chief Penguin performed). This was all right outside the cruise terminal; further on, another ambassador practically embraced us with information and maps. We wandered the few streets. Going into St. Alphonse, a beautiful Catholic church where we bemoaned the craziness of the presidential election with the greeters there, and then browsing the craft market before spending an hour using the free and robust wifi in the cruise terminal.
Quebec City dawned sunny with a blue blue sky and stunning fall colors. It was a crisp morning, only about 50 degrees, and we walked the lower town (some unusual hanging canoe art here) and then took the funicular up the hill to the commanding Chateau Frontenac and a panoramic view. We wandered around taking in the architecture and the beautiful yellow, orange and red trees (I think I overdosed on photographing the trees!) and then walked back down the hill to the ship. We repeated the process after lunch only without the funicular. Sitting near city hall, I was struck by two lifesize straw harvest figures offering up pumpkins. Overall it was a day with lots of steps—and stairs!
We had opted to go on to Montreal by motor coach, on what most of us would call a bus. This wasn’t really necessary (we’ve been to Montreal many times) as the trip was longer than it needed to be and the hotel wasn’t properly equipped to handle this large influx of cruise passengers. Nonetheless, the raw rain we left in Quebec City had cleared and Montreal was mostly sunny and a balmy 75 degrees. The natives had shed their jackets and scarves and were practically skipping about. We spent the afternoon strolling the streets and sitting in the plaza outside the cathedral before savoring a lovely dinner at Toque with our travel companions. The dinner was the right way to cap off a marvelous trip!
All photos copyright JWFarrington (some rights reserved)