Saturday, 16 April 2011

Quebec City

overcast, really quite cold, minus 4

And we feel every degree! Windy as well, coming from the arctic. A damp, ugly cold. But even that can't blight this magnificent city. The publishers - Flammarion Quebec - has put us up at the Hotel Le Germain-dominion, in the basse ville. The lower town. I took this photo when Susan and I went for a walk this morning. Along a narrow cobbled stone street, suddenly it opens up and there's Place Royale. The Church is one I mention briefly in Bury Your Dead...Notre Dame des Victoires...our lady of victories....built to commemorate a victory over the English.

We took the Funicular up the side of the cliff, to the Chateau Frontenac, then walked around, stopped for a croissant and some mushroom soup at Le Paillard, on rue St Jean. Then we had to scoot to the Convention Centre for the Book Fair. Susan continued to shop - and I went to work.

Two hours of signing at the fair. Loads of fun - packed with people. Fun for me to speak in french, and everyone so patient with me. It's a little tiring...not necessarily speaking and concentrating in a second language, but really it's being "on" all the time. But the people really give at least as much energy as they get, so it's a great deal.

Hopped a cab back to the hotel - then taking Susan out for her birthday one of the best restaurants in Canada. Called Panache. Luckily it's just around the corner. Lucky in so many ways....there's a SNOW warning out for tonight. Up to 15 cm of snow. And a Rainfall warning. Up to 20 mm of rain.


Fortunately the worst will be over by the time we drive home tomorrow afternoon.

We're having a blast. Have to keep a close eye on Susan otherwise she'd wander off with any Quebecois man who said, 'merci'. (I put that in because I know some of her family read this...and she dared me).

The hotel is wonderful too. They gave Susan a box of chocolates in her room when they heard it was her birthday. Small things make such a difference. I realize that that's something big companies often don't realize. It doesn't take much to make people feel terrific, and gain their loyalty - whether they be emplyees or customers. Equally, it doesn't take much to make people feel like merde.

Off to reply to a pile of emails. Not sure there's time for a nap, but at least a quiet time...back to the Salon du Livres tomorrow.

Hope you're well!


Jules said...

I really enjoyed meeting you today!! Don,t worry, your French is perfect! Have a safe drive back home tomorrow.

Julie with the sleeping baby...

Marcia from Guelph said...

I have made that walk many times. I never tire of the Lower Town. Just wish 'Chez Rabelais' was still there. In its original form. sigh. Enjoy. And best to Susan.

Diane said...

The picture of the square is so beautiful, I could almost feel the hours of craftmanship in the making, a monumental beauty.

So happy it went well at the book fair, and of course, people respond so well, for you are a very generous person.

Dana said...

The daughter of a friend was married at that church, at Christmastime. It was beautiful. Thanks for the memory.

Colombine said...

J'ai demeuré dans cette belle ville pendant 3 ans. Mon fils y est né et j'ai eu la très grande chance de me marier au Mess des Officiers. Cet endroit est magique, nous nous pensions dans les siècles derniers. Nous y avions pris le champagne sur la terrasse avec vue sur le fleuve et le Château Frontenac, FÉERIQUE! INOUBLIABLE!

Bien malheureusement, je ne pourrai être au Salon du Livre aujourd'hui, j'en suis profondément désolée... le travail m'appelle :(

Mais... je me reprendrai :)

Barbara said...

We don't speak French, but I'm mentally adding Quebec City to my list of places I want to visit. It sounds delightful - in the summer. :-)

Mary Ellen said...

I love Quebec City, and would go back again. My husband and I went there last summer and we had the time of our lives. Lovely place. It is delightful!!! We ate in the little square there. What a pretty place!

Cindy said...

I love Quebec City too! My family and I took our vacation there last summer and had a wonderful time. We were there for the New France festival (to our surprise). It is an absolutely magical place.

Louise Penny Author said...

It is magical, isn't it? And Julie - such fun meeting you, your husband and gorgeous sleeping son.

Thanks for coming along to QC with me!