Hello from Quebec!
Here at last. We have been here now for two days and are staying in the old city. The weather has been so-so, but we bought an umbrella and are out and about. It was a long ride to get here from St. Georges, but we booked ahead and made it here before dark. In every trip we have an epic day, and the 83 mile ride here may be it! It turned out to be longer than planned due to a bridge closure on a rural road. Although the construction crew was friendly, the bridge had no deck and we could not fly... So eight more miles. We were on a great bike trail for 35 km, but we got slowed down by heavy rain. Although we are prepared for that, many people along the way were not. We waited out the heavest showers in shelters with them.
The bridge crossing the St. Lawrence was a grand 100 year old steel structure, but only had a one meter wide walkway which we had to walk.... for a mile. The wonderfully signed route to the city vanished at the other end on the bridge, which gave us a chance to make new friends. The people here are very kind, and a gentleman on a bike led us to the route that took us to the downtown area. Good thing, we never would have found it as it was via a freeway ramp area. As in any epic stage, it ends at the top of a hill. The old city of Quebec is a walled city on the highest point of land around. It did not stop the British or us!
We did choose the steepest street into the old town (epic low-blood-sugar thinking), and stalled out half way up. We pushed our bike the rest of the way up with no problems. Since it was in the last kilometer, we all got the same time. Viva le tour! We soon after found our room, and all was well. The next day we scouted the best route up to the old town, so next time we come here or lead a group ride we are all set!
Staying in the old town has let us see the city without walking too much. We saw the changing of the guard at the citadel, toured the market and many cafe regions, and took many pictures of old buildings and gardens. We now have sore feet and are waiting out a thunderstorm in our room.
We are both impressed by how European-like Quebec is. Lots of walking areas, sidewalk cafes, cobbled streets, the French language in the air, but without dog poop on the sidewalks! It also seems like the drivers are less crazy. We have not had to jump off the sidewalk yet.
We leave tomorrow for Montreal, which will take three days. We will not stay in the city, but will do a short drive-by of it... If the bridges are open (smile). We figure about five hundred miles to go, and we feel like we are on track. We would like better weather... It is so humid here. Nothing drys. Well be in touch.
The video is of the firing of the cannon at noon from the Citadel.