My red eye flight with Air Canada was, as is no surprise to any of you that have flown with Air Canada, delayed. I missed my connecting flight but caught the very next one (though my bags did not). Anyway, enough complaining about Government funded private ventures that are bound to fail…
QuÃ©bec has been more wonderful than I could ever have imagined. My host, Danny, is a fantastic cook and continues to surprise us with delicious recipes at every meal.
July 1st is known in QuÃ©bec as the moving day. People take it seriously and actually do move on Canada Day – there is probably some deep symbolism behind their choice of days – but I prefer not to think about it. My host, Danny, is also in the process of moving, so while he worked to get things transferred to his new apartment, I went for a walk in the old city of QuÃ©bec.
The old city or Vieux-QuÃ©bec is located beside the St. Lawrence river. The smaller width of the river as it enters the towns of Quebec and LÃ©vis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, KÃ©bec being the Algonquin word meaning “where the river narrows”. It doesn’t appear very narrow to me, but I guess it’s a relative thing.
Walking through the old city makes me feel like I’ve travelled back in time. Founded almost 400 years ago (1608), the old buildings and French architecture have a magic way of connecting me with my Canadian heritage. I spent the day walking around taking aÂ plethora of photographs of Quebec.
That evening my new roommate and I walked down to The Plains of Abraham and enjoyed a free concert followed by Canada Day fireworks. As a note of potential interest I learned that the Plains of Abraham is the largest urban park in Canada, and repeating this fact at the Welcome Party last night won me a nice red University of Laval t-shirt.
On Sunday Danny took us to see La Chute Montmorency (Montmorency Falls). They were named in 1613 by Samuel de Champlain in honour of Henri II, duc de Montmorency, viceroy of New France. (That area of Canada used to be called New France).
It’s been too long since I’ve been around anything so breathtaking. There is a lot of water moving out into the St. Lawrence over the falls and I had a good time watching the hypnotic motion of the water falling so far down. Apparently early explorers were excited to have found such an abundant supply of fresh water so near the St. Lawrence River.
I’ve started my month long French immersion and I’m loving it! Of course I’m just at the elementary level, but I’m thrilled to have actual conversations with people in French. It’s a lot less stressful when you know the other person is just a nervous about their French as you are with yours.
Oh, and one last thing, the University pool is fantastique.