Without a doubt, 2020 is the year of the staycation. Don’t need to explain why.
But… being stuck at home since March, with nary a change in scenery, was starting to grate on us. What about a short road trip? Somewhere not too far, with decent scenery, decent food, relatively low Covid infection rates, and most importantly, no kids.
So, my wife and I decided to head out to Québec City, only a 4½-hour drive away from home in Ottawa. Checks all the boxes, to be certain. We even brought our bikes along to allow us to cover more ground in less time when wandering around. Thankfully, the weather cooperated!
Instead of doing a straight shot to Québec, we decided to stop in Trois-Rivières for lunch and some quick exploration.
Settled by the French in the early 1600’s, Trois-Rivières has its share of history and historical structures. Most of what is now Vieux Trois-Rivières dates from the 1800’s, and has plenty of old-world charm.
We didn’t spend much time there this time, but I saw enough to know I want to go back and spend a good (sunny) day there with my cameras.
When we got to Québec City later that afternoon, the first thing we noticed is the lack of people. The City is normally overflowing with European, American and other Canadian tourists… this time around all we heard was Québécois French and some Canadian English. The borders being shut and limited flights are taking their toll.
So the next morning, we got on our bikes before it got too hot (it was a scorcher all weekend) and headed out for a spin along the St-Lawrence and St-Charles rivers.
Biking in Québec City is interesting; most of the city where people actually live, work, and play is on a promontory with very steep slopes down to the river(s) on both the north and south sides. And we all know the most important law of cycling: what goes down must eventually go back up. This graph pretty much sums things up:
Since we were riding, I didn’t shoot too much, but did take a moment to capture the Pont de Québec and Pont Pierre-Laporte in all their morning cloudy gloominess.
Onwards to the old city and back up the hill to the hotel for a shower before lunch and a stroll.
As you venture towards the Old City, the crowds started growing thicker.
As the day wound down, we went to change once again and headed out for dinner and an evening stroll.
Travelling (even on a short weekend road trip) is so different than it used to be. Thankfully we had great weather and were able to spend most of our time outdoors, including meals.
Don’t forget your masks!