Today was our day to do what we wanted; so after a great breakfast we headed down to Old Quebec City, what is arguably the oldest city in North America, founded in 1608. It is very European in design & beauty, with old style buildings, cobblestone streets, narrow alleys with artists & vendors, and a joy to walk around in & experience. We spent the 1st half of the day finding a parking spot. Just kidding…. After we found our parking spot, which did take a while and turned out to be one of the best spots in the city, we spent the first half of the day walking around an taking in the architecture, statues, monuments, fountains and little parks along the way, making our way all the way up to the stone wall/archway on Rue Saint Louis, along with the beautiful Fountain de Tourny & Parliament Building, then made our way back toward the car, doing a bit of window shopping along the way and enjoying the works of many artists along the alleys.
After feeding the parking meter again, we decided to hop on one of the horse drawn buggies for a tour that didn’t involve walking. Unfortunately, by law, the buggy could only hold 4 people and there were 5 of us. I was going to let everyone else go and hang out at the main square; but Rachel & Renee decided to do some more walking and check out booking a guided, nighttime, ghost tour, which Ann had done before; so it was Ann, Uncle Joe & I on the buggy. It was supposed to be at least 35 minutes long and give us a tour of the area; but once we got talking with the driver about Harleys (yes, he owns one), the 110th Anniversary in Milwaukee, and our past 2 week trip, it turned into an almost 1.5 hour ride. After he used my camera to take come pictures of us in the buggy, we went around some of the local side streets, as he spoke of the history of Old Quebec City, the buildings, monuments, etc. Then when we got to the top of the hill just outside the old walls to the Fort by Rue Dauphine, we stopped so he could switch horses (he uses 3 during the day). There was a truck & very large horse trailer parked in the lot, and it was interesting to see the majestic horses being switched, and one could imagine something similar being done in the old days of horse drawn travel. Soon enough, we were on our way again and continued past the Parliament Building, along a row of gorgeous, old style houses, past the ancient, round stone prison, and then along the Plains of Abraham, which is a beautiful park that adjoins The Citadel, also known as the Ramparts of Quebec City, an old Fort that is still active. Eventually we ended up back where we started, coincidentally passing Rachel & Renee on our way in, and we all agreed it was a fantastic way to tour the city, take in the beauty & history, and just plain enjoy ourselves. He took some more pictures of us, we chatted for a bit, then we were on our way. By now we were all hungry, so we stopped at the Auberge Place d’Armes for an awesome late lunch – By the time we got through and got back to the car, it was almost 3:30 and we’d had a full day of doing the touristy stuff; so it was time to leave. Easier said than done – Traffic going out of the city was HORRENDOUS! I’m pretty sure it took us more than a half hour to even make it to the highway, so we could get to our hotel; plus things were pretty congested on the highway, too.
Once back to the hotel, Rachel & Renee caught a nap so they could head back to the city for their ghost tour, while Ann, Uncle Joe & I went to the Hospitality Room for socializing with other Blue Knights. Did I say Hospitality Room? I meant Hospitality Trailer, as it was a tractor trailer out in the parking lot. Good food, good drinks & good people; need I say more? We stayed there for a few hours before coming inside, where the socializing, drinking & music continued – Probably for FAR longer than it should have; but it was a really great day and we all were guaranteed to sleep VERY soundly…… 🙂