It is never fun to wake up to a rainy day while on vacation. But when fortified by the first of Guitta's magnificent breakfasts and her complimentary umbrellas for use while walking around, we set out on our first day of adventure, inching down the big hill on our street.
Rick wanted to find the cobblestone street he rode up on his bicycle when looking for our B&B. But first we encountered this lovely church.
We didn't venture in but learned that the woman honored in the statue on the lawn was Catherine de Longpre, who was born in Normandy, France and entered an Augustinian monastery at the age of 12. Two years later she volunteered to help settle New France.
This was in 1648 and she continued the work started nine years earlier. As Marie-Catherine de Saint-Augustin, she dedicated her life to helping the poor and is considered one of the foundresses of the Church of Canada.
Then we found Rick's road. Let's just say walking down this was not a picnic and I can't imagine riding up it with 30 pounds of tent, sleeping bag and stove on your bike!
I have to add that it is even more steep that the photo because it winds! Good job, Rick!
We ended up in the Basse Ville or lower town of Quebec City. There are pluses and minuses to this area. It is charming, the buildings are old and it is filled with history. There are wonderful art galleries and antique shops. Some were closed when we passed by and we window shopped.
Good thing. I would have bought these plates in a heartbeat.
We did venture into one, which included some folk art as well.
The downside? Tourists!
I know, I'm a tourist too. But I come one or two at a time. When the cruise ship dumps off a whole ship of tourists, it gets a little more crowded.
Never mind! It was a rainy day, there were loads of art galleries and we sought shelter in all of them, I think! And they were remarkable.
Some allowed us to take photos of things we liked or the overall area. We were very fond of the work in one gallery with beautiful sailboat paintings and wonderful countryside views.
Rick and I both loved these paintings.
And these, too. This guy knew how to work the palette knife, and in fact, that was the tool he used. No brushes.
But the first gallery we visited, the gallery of Pierre Boudard, was one to which I knew we would return. (I'll show you my birthday present from Rick later!)
You are always reminded that you are in a city that was centuries old. One gallery made fine use of their cellar as a beautiful display area.
Many of the artists were from Quebec or Canada but there was also a large contingent of artists from other countries as well. Most of the prices exceeded $1,000 (Canadian) and most of those were well into the $2,000 to $6,000 range. Many will include shipping or offer a very good rate on it, along with generous interest-free payments for the first ten months. It's very tempting!
Of course we had to walk and shop and the first spot we saw was a bicycle shop!
But no matter who you are and how high or low your shopping level is, you have to admit, it's easy duty when there is so much eye candy! Beautiful buildings...
...plenty of spots for an ice cream or glass of wine or lemonade!
And if the going gets tough, one may be able to find a spot to rest while the other half is still shopping!
Our rain stopped not long after we started and while it was still rather drizzly with occasional showers, it was still a pleasant time. People were all very polite and all were enjoying their time in Quebec. And why not? It's gorgeous!
Rick made a new friend, too!
Here's a good photo tip -- always look behind you and look up! In Quebec City, you are likely to find new views of Chateau Frontenac everywhere you look!
And if you have easy-peasy camera settings, try some of those too. They may or may not work but sometimes you end up with something really pretty!
We had a little more time in Basse Ville, before lunch, but that's for another post! About this time we were hungry. It was mid-afternoon and Guitta's breakfast held us well, but we could use a little lunch and didn't want to fight the tourists. There's an afternoon to come! So Rick took the high road and I took the funiculaire!
More to come!
Miss anything -- here are links to Day One (Arrival) / Our terrific B&B
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