Tuesday, June 23, 2015

La Belle Province

I am behind on my blog so there will be two separate ones, this one will be of our trip to Quebec.  I have been to Montreal in the past as my godparents live there and I really enjoyed my time visiting but this trip I was heading to La Malbaie.  It was a conference for Community Futures and our friend Marg asked if I wanted to have our Arctic char featured there.  HELLO!  Let's do this!   It was months of planning for Marg and about 2 months of planning to get our char to Quebec on time.

We had a stop over in Alberta where Craig and I spent some time at Elk Island National Park and had a great visit with both of my brothers and my sister in-law Laura.  We also got to meet Bob and Laura's new yellow lab Harlow!  Craig, Mike and I drove halfway and met Bob and Laura in Red Deer where we spent the afternoon visiting.  Only one missing was our niece Kristen who was hard at work.
A room with a view (bison in the background)

Hey there handsome

Mike, myself, Bob and Harlow

Seven of us from the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut arrived in Quebec City on Monday June 1 then drove to La Malbaie from there.  Kim was with us in our car rental and the rest were in the van. About 30kms into our drive we stopped off at St. Anne du Beaupre to see the basilica which is set along the St. Lawrence River.  In 1876, the first basilica opened for worship and was later destroyed in a fire on March 29, 1922.  The basilica of today stands in the original spot of the first one.  It is a place of pilgrimage with the peak being near the end of July.  It is a beautiful structure with stained glass windows, sculptures, mosaics and paintings and a place where my late grandmother who was a strict Roman Catholic would send money to every year.

Kim and Craig at the front step of the basilica

 The fountain in the front yard

The front lobby/entrance
The aisle in front of the altar to your left

One of the hallways behind the altar

 One of the chapels in the basement

Beautiful stained glass windows

The arches and ceiling art was amazing

The view from the back

One of the many mosaics
We finally arrived at La Malbaie and everyone was starving so we headed to this rustic steakhouse down the street from our hotel.  We met the owners of the restaurant who were very accommodating to our needs and thankfully the wife knew English as the husband and waitress had very broken English. We closed the place down and we loved it so much there we returned a couple of days later for another dinner and were surprised when there was entertainment.
Our beautiful hotel where we were staying, La Remontée
The ladies; Marg, myself, Kim and Helen
The following day we had some time to ourselves so Kim, Craig and I decided to find Saint-Irénée  as a FB friend of mine said it has the best poutine around.  Well she was not wrong - and we had a great burger and poutine at Ginette's along the beach.

Grounds just beside the restaurant

Inside was quaint

The railroad tracks between the road and the water

We followed this path up a hill - ok I drove the car - and found a very cool location

Beautiful path we drove down

There were some cool looking sculptures up the hill
but I was drawn to this simple cement one. 

Maybe it was the view of the St. Lawrence that drew me in

There were some cool looking buildings on this property

Loved this one

Many barns along the road side

Wonder how old this one is?
We needed to be back in La Malbaie and at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu as the organizers of the conference has an evening planned for us.  What an evening it was!  We had an amazing train ride to Baie-Saint-Paul where we were treated to delicious finger food and drinks.  Then everyone piled into the auditorium for a presentation.  Baie-Saint-Paul is the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil so guess what our entertainment was. Here are a couple of videos of our train ride along the St. Lawrence and of the entertainment.

We attended a few seminars at the conference and on Thursday was an all day affair as Kitikmeot Foods Ltd. had a table there along with the other featured producers.  I spoke to many people regarding our Arctic char and then the chef prepared some appies with everyone's products and served them.  Of course people loved our char but I think my favourite was the beer and chocolate drink - to die for!
The grounds of the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in the Charlevoix Regional County are beautiful and we spent some time outside on Thursday between seminars and before the happy hour began.  We also had the pleasure of seeing many belugas swimming in the waters below us. The next few pictures are of the grounds where the conference was being held.

Before we left La Malbaie a lunch of smoked meat was in order so Kim, Marg, Craig and I went to Joe's.  Later someone told us that it was THE place to go for smoked meat sandwiches.
Kim, Craig and Marg in front of Joe's

Inside of Joe's
Craig and I left on Friday morning in the rain to head back to Quebec City to catch our flight later in the afternoon.  We saw this waterfall on our way to La Malbaie but did not stop but we made it a point to stop on our way back. Beautiful Montmorency Falls are located in Parc de la Chute-Montmorency and is just few minutes from Québec City. I always thought that Niagara Falls were tall but these falls are 83 m (272') tall, a full 30 m (99') higher than Niagara Falls.  We were on a tight schedule so we didn't have the time to take the cable car up to the falls and cross the suspension bridge. 
We spent an hour or so in Old Quebec City before we headed to the airport to catch our flight to Edmonton.  We were passing through Montreal before we flew to Alberta and due to the West Jet plane going off the runway in Montreal it was a day of delays and we finally made it to Edmonton long enough for a 3 hour sleep before we caught our flight home.  So we thought...due to the bad weather in Kugluktuk and CamBay our plane returned to Yellowknife for the night. Needless to say we were extremely tired but happy to be reunited with Molly & Blitz again.  The next day we finally made it home.

The smaller falls at the park's entrance

The majestic Montmorency Falls 

Old Quebec City - full of history

Alley way - if these walls could speak

Street of Old Quebec
Craig and I would love to go back to this area of Quebec for a holiday one day and really explore the area as we did love what we saw. 
Talk soon!


  1. C'est si bon!
    What a great trip to take. Quebec is a country within a country (and they don't let you forget it LOL). What wonderful scenery.
    Glad you enjoyed it and had a great time. But good you got home to your babies.

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