Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Things not going quite to plan

MP3 track of the day - It's hot in the city tonight - Billy Idol

Weather: Hot, hot and hotter ... beautiful day.

As blogged in my previous errrrr blog, I was thinking of going to some waterfalls, outside Quebec city, at a place called Mont Saint-Anne. However first I had to go to the post office to post home some books I had finished with. This shouldn't be too difficult as my guidebook had a map with the post office on (right next to the train station). However, when I arrived the building, it was being renovated and so I asked a lady in a food restaurant (who was quite fit ... might have to go back later for a meal) where the closest post office was; it happened to be about a 10 min walk into an area I hadn't been before.

Again this area was beautiful and I found the post office (which was located within a pharmacy) and posted my items ... $64.80! The guy behind the counter explained that that was the cost for super-super air travel delivery and did I want the items to go for a cheaper rate ... you bet I did. I explained to him that I was in Canada for two months and therefore this letter could go on the back of a donkey for all I cared. Finally he managed to get it down to $12.00 (+$2.50 for the envelope) which still seemed a little expensive, however I paid it as I didn't want to carry any excess weight.

After this I made it back to the rail / bus station to book my bus ticket to Mont Saint-Anne .... if only the bus actually went there. Apparently this area isn't served by buses and I would have to get a bus half way there and then a taxi ... errr think I can like without it. Well with my day itinerary stuffed I decided to head back to the hostel. I dumped any excess weight I wouldn't need (I was going to take my tri-pod to the falls so that could stay behind) and then I sat in the reception room, read by guidebook and formulated a new plan.

After about 20 mins (11:00 now!) I headed out to the plains of Abraham; this is the ground in which the British ANNIHILATED the French in 30 mins and changed Canadian history forever. Today it's still a history site, but it's been turned into a park. It's such a hot day that the park was alive with people cycling, running, sunbathing and rollerblading (in fact rollerblading is so popular here that they had their own lane). I could have spent the whole day here, watching people roller blade, playing football and running (does anyone have a job to go to?) but there were a few other areas to visit.

Next I decided to visit the lower part of the Quebec city. Again this was just as beautiful, with it's narrow streets and fantastic buildings it's easy to want to stay here forever. The great thing about this city is it even makes mundane and horrible things, like concrete columns holding a fly-over, beautiful by turning them into art (see my Flickr account, link on your right of this post).

Finally I decided to take the ferry across to Levy; there isn't much going on in Levy (and what is normally 'going on' was being renovated) but my guidebook said that the fare was worth the boat trip alone getting views of the Quebec city skyline, and it wasn't wrong. I only spent half an hour in Levy, had a quick look around, and then headed for home. Before I headed for my hostel I made my second best decision of the tour (first being to actually jack my job in and go travelling) ... I purchased an ice cream; I couldn't tell you what it was but it tasted so good.

So I've been on the road now two weeks so it's time for a little update; money wise, I'm now at £38.00 per week on average, thanks to Montreal, however this doesn't include my train tomorrow and the flight three days after (so that average is going to go sky high). I'm pretty good, tired and I have a headace, but I'm okay and eating well.

New things that I like about Canada, Quebec City. Everyone, once in their life should come here ... it is so beautiful it is difficult to put it into words (this is the best place I've visited so far). Things that annoy me about Canada are prices for things. When you look around town most prices don't include tax (including hostel and food prices) ... it's really, really annoying when trying to work out just how much something will cost. Why do they not include tax in the cost? I mean, most people purchasing the goods will have to pay tax ... does my nut.

Oh and within my dorm there is a French guy who is really nice; he's here trying to find a job and spends most of the day in the hostel filling out job application forms. His French and English are very good so I hope he does well.

There is also a guy from the UK (Ian) who is also very nice; he's got long braided hair, tattoos all over his arms with baggy shorts and a white vest. He started travelling on Friday and has hitch-hiked his way here in three days (which is pretty good going) and he has his guitar, which he uses for busking (not sure if he has a licence ... never mind). He's been telling me about his travels and that he stayed in a place in Monchton for free with free meals; however it was a religious place which also allowed in drunks, people just out of jail and weirdos ... he is a proper traveller. Could I see myself Hitch-Hiking or staying in a 'homeless home' .... Na, it's just not me. I suppose I could Hitch-Hike if there was at least two of us, but not on my own ... anyway, at £90 for a overnight train (therefore no hostel fees that night) is it really worth it?

So I thought I would end this post with a couple of questions (You can comment if you want by leaving a note below):

  • Have you ever Hitch-Hiked? (if so where to)

  • Have you ever given a lift to a Hitch-Hiker? (if so where to)

  • Any funny stories?
Not sure what I am going to do tomorrow; my train isn't until 8:15pm and so I've got a whole day, but not really anywhere to go as:

a) I've finished most of the city

b) I don't fancy going out of Quebec just encase I can't get back in time

I think I might go to the park, with my book, and just watch the girls roller blade by.

Toodle Pip

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