April 2nd, 2017
Remember yesterday when I started to worry about running out of stuff to do?
This was a hard day for me.
I can definitely say without a doubt that this was the day I started to feel homesick. Anyone who knows me knows I am a home-body. As I pointed out in my first blog about my voyage to Québec, This was my first big (more than 5 days) trip in 10 years!
Don’t get me wrong, I love little 3-5 day trips to Vancouver Island, or the Redwood forest, somewhere I can drive to as I have a somewhat crippling fear of flying. Somewhere beautiful and quiet. This trip was exactly the opposite of all those things, which might be why I only do this every 10 years.
The real world is noisy and full of business. My idea of a relaxing vacation is not a hubbub city. Yet here I was, in the capital of Québec, on the 7th day of a 10 day trip. I was lonely, cranky, and tired.
Stubborn as I am, I was still determined to make the most of my last day there. I took the bus downtown again to find myself some eats. The streets were PACKED! The difference between week-days and weekends really astounded me. Most of the shops I was interested in had line ups out the door, (I was craving a crêpe) so I kept walking further and further to try and outrun the swarm. I ended up back in Baguette et Chocolat which I mentioned I had eaten at a couple days previous, and once again I got a delicious meal:
A beautiful mocha, a melty ham and swiss toasted sandwich, and some maple pie! Miam!
After that I walked outside to the traffic circle I had walked through several times previous, and followed a windy little street down until I saw a museum that interested me.
Musée de L’Amérique Francophone. I honestly knew very little about how “the frenchies” ended up on this continent, and their history here. This was a great learning opportunity and also a great way to kill some time if you’re ever crazy like me and find yourself bored in VdQ.
When you first enter you find a small church. It had some very nice, standard old-world architecture and beauty.
After that you walk out the back through a courtyard that leads to the actual museum.
The museum seemed very nice, big and modern. It had two stories and a small “cafeteria” (vending machines and tables). The first room I went to seemed to be works of art mixed with different historical items.
I went upstairs to another area. I have to emphasize how empty this museum was. I saw 3 other people in this whole place, and it was quite sizeable as I mentioned. The reason I have to mention it is, the way the museum was set up, mixed with the eerie emptiness to create a very unique experience, like I was watching history unfold before my own two eyes, walking through it as it happened. With no distractions it was like a vision of a past life. I’ll never forget it.
This area began the story of the first settlers to Québec from France. On the walls there would be projections that moved, spoke to you.
There was a soundtrack of looped voices whispering in French. It was so surreal, walking down the corridors and feeling like you were about to find Narnia or something.
Above and below are examples of the projections on the walls. The entire exibit was moving settlers, coming to this new, strange world.
After that came more ancient knick-knacks, which I found highly interesting.
And other artifacts of daily “Canadian” life in the late 1800’s:
From a small rebuild lookalike of a post office, to a store, and tools and examples of the kind of lives people lived.
Once I had wound my way through the maze of events and timelines it was time to leave. My last order of business in this museum was to watch a short film, and then I mad my way back through the church:
And out into the real world.
While I was here the three last days I had been trying to figure out how to get out to a “Sugar Shack”. There were a few that could be reached by bus, but none explained if I needed a reservation, or if I could just show up. I ended up taking the bus out to one, and got off the bus at a four way round-about in the middle of nowhere, Quebec.
My GPS chose this moment to stop working correctly. The streets were named in such a way that I couldn’t figure out where to go. I walked around in circles and up each road for about 5 minutes trying to decipher the little moving circle in relation to the end-point dot. It kept stalling, or sliding to a different place. I was lost!
After a good half an hour of wandering and swearing, I decided to give up. I was now more lonely, more cranky, and moe tired than ever. I ordered an UBER to come pick me up and I sat on the sidewalk and waited for what seemed like an eternity.
Finally I was able to get home, take a long bath and go to bed. I was going back to Montreal in the morning, so in my head I knew I was going to see my friend again tomorrow, and at least that would take care of one of my three moods. The others would hopefully dissipate, and let me rest for 8 hours in this strange and wonderful city.