07.29.2013 - 07.29.2013 73 °F
Breakfast on our package is in the fine dining restaurant, Panache. We both had Annabelle's crepes with maple syrup and fruit...there is a picture...absolutely to die for...but not quite to the culinary excellence of crêpes suédois de Steve!! Look it up! After breakfast we began to wander through the hilly streets behind the hotel which constitute the lower part of Old Quebec. Could have been any charming, quaint town in France. Cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes with baskets of colorful flowers and plates of steak frites. Old buildings and churches dating back to the 16th century. We then took a funicular up to the high city. The funicular leads you to a square in front of the Fairmont Frontenac, a monstrous structure, beautiful architecture. We learned on the bus tour yesterday that the copper roof was just replaced last year at a cost of $6 million. We went inside the hotel and the interior is equally beautiful with carved wood and polished brass everywhere.
The views looking out over the St. Laurent river were fantastic. We wandered the streets and shops, Margaret executing "shopseeing" at its highest level. She found a tiny beaver with a hat with the Canadian flag which would be a gift for Kate. We finally happened upon a Pharmacy which we had been seeking out for more than a week. Margaret needed a new toothbrush and i needed a couple of other incidentals which I placed in my backpack...the first day I had brought the backpack which contained umbrellas and ponchos...it had poured during the night and the forecast was for thunderstorms in the afternoon. We gazed at artisans' art for a couple hours. We settled in at St. Patrick's Pub for a beer and we split a ham and cheese croissant sandwich.
Furthering our shopseeing we walked to the Marche on the waterfront. This is an extensive farmer's market featuring just about every type of food imaginable...from cheese shops to butchers to fish merchants. If you were a resident or renting a house or an apartment it would be a perfect place to shop. Most of the produce and wine come from the I'le d'Orleans, an island in the middle of the St. Laurent river about 20 minutes from Quebec. I waited for Margaret outside on a bench in a little plaza. We then caught a cab back to the hotel. When we got to the room, I gasped and probably uttered an epithet or two. I had left the backpack, first I thought, on the bench where I was waiting. I immediately hopped a cab back to that place and there was nothing. I then realized I had left it in the cab. There was nothing of value in the backpack, just the little animal Margaret had purchased, two umbrellas and ponchos which we, fortunately, have not needed on this trip, and the stuff we bought at the pharmacy. I was still ticked off and the hotel staff made calls to all the cab companies to no avail.
That night we had dinner at a very modern Italian place near the hotel, Matta, which was excellent. I had lasagne and Margaret had Papardelle. We returned to the hotel and retired to L'Artefact lounge for a thrd game of dominoes. Despite a close match, I remained undefeated in Canada.