^ The view from our room. ^
Hello! Nick and I just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary in Quebec City. It was wonderful.
Regular readers might remember when my friend Julie and I joined the studio audience for The Marilyn Denis Show (written about in this post). That happened on the 24th of November last year, and much to our surprise, we were there for the first day of their “ten days of giveaways”, where each person in the audience is given a whole bunch of great gifts. One of the things we received was a $500 voucher for Via Rail, to be used towards a train trip anywhere in Canada. I saved mine for this anniversary trip to Quebec, with the $500 covering two return tickets with some to spare.
While, no doubt, taking the train to Quebec City takes a lot of time (around 8 1/2 hours, with a train switch in Montreal), the time flew by, actually. We were quite comfortable and made full use of their online entertainment service, which involved logging on with our own devices (I had my ipad and Nick used his laptop) and either surfing the internet (except Youtube) or watching a program or movie they were streaming. I ended up seeing two movies that I really liked : “Born to be Blue”, in which Ethan Hawke portrayed jazz musician Chet Baker, and “Life” about James Dean and the Life Magazine photographer Dennis Stock, who took what turned out to be some of the last public photographs of the star, shot just before he died. We had our dinner on the train, sharing the “fruit and cheese” and “veggies and dips” plates, which were quite good.
So, after a long train ride, we arrived in Quebec City at around 10pm, on Monday evening, the first of our 4 night stay.
We caught a cab to our hotel, Hotel Port Royal, which turned out to be only a few minutes from the station. After checking out our suite, ooh-ing and aww-ing at the luxurious beauty of it, we went out for a little walk to stretch our legs after all that sitting, and to get our bearings. It was only a quick jaunt around the block, igniting our excitement to explore by the light of day.
^ Hotel Port Royal is the building in the middle. ^
Our accommodation — called a Superior Suite — was a whole apartment, complete with a full kitchen (which I strangely forgot to take a picture of), dining area, living room, a big bathroom and a separate bedroom.
It had all the benefits of a splurge, however, was not much more expensive than a standard room at many of the hotels in the old part of Quebec City. I have the Trivago Guy to thank for that! It was my first experience using the site, and I was surprised that, although they rerouted us to Expedia to make the actual booking, the price per night was less than going directly to Expedia to book. And, it was less than booking directly with the hotel. So, it turns out, Trivago speak the truth in all their advertising.
Here’s a little look around the hotel …
^ The public hallway and the hallway in our suite. ^
We opted for their breakfast plan, so by 9 am the next morning (you have until 10 to get breakfast) we were down in their lovely dining room, enjoying a buffet of many well-prepared choices, including dreamy croissants and pain-au-chocolat.
Our server, who ended up being there for all four mornings we were, was so nice. We appreciated that she tolerated our less-than-perfect French with grace, sticking to it after we mentioned we wanted to practice, only repeating things in English when we asked her to.
On that topic, in all, we found the people to be very friendly. Most were happy to speak French with us, although I’m sure we made many mistakes. It added to the fun, for sure.
There is also a second restaurant at The Port Royal, which is excellent. I know that to be true because we had dinner there one night, which I’ll write about in an upcoming post. The restaurant is called Louise. Loulou is a nickname; my given name is Louise, so I felt very much at home there!
After breakfast, we went out and aimlessly walked around, falling in love with the astounding beauty of this perfectly intact historic city.
I just set this post up to include the pictures we took during our first day, but realized that that would be way too many photos for one post. So, I’ll stop here for now, and continuing tomorrow. I hope you’ll come back to see.
Thanks for reading,