The goal for today was to pick up our rental car and drive from Montréal to Québec City via Route des Sommets. We rented the car from Hertz and other than the guy at the desk being super weird, that went without a hitch. He did try to get us to get a better and more expensive car by promising us a good price, which he needed to approve with his manager first because it was so good. 😀
So, Route des Sommets… According to the Lonely Planet guidebook, this route and the small villages along it are just about the most picturesque thing you can find in this neck of the woods. But truth be told, the scenery was a lot like Finland or Sweden. 😀 I mean, we don’t have much in terms of mountains, but otherwise it is very similar. The roads also tend to be much more winding, but seeing virtually the same scenery wasn’t exactly what I was expecting after flying halfway across the world. 😀
We stopped for lunch at La Gare’nison in a small town of Lac Mégantic, which had pretty decent burgers and craft beer. It seems that in every single little village in Canada, there is a craft brewery. The burgers were also pretty good.
It was a bit of an aimless ride from one small town to another. The towns themselves weren’t nothing to write home about and it is still somewhat unclear to me what was so wonderful about this Route des Sommets. 😉 But it was a nice day and an air-conditioned car, so it could have been worse. 😀
We arrived in Québec City late afternoon. We stayed at Auberge aux deux Lions, which was a nice place in a pretty good location. The inn was very cosy and seemed quite new. The room itself was also very clean, but quite small, so that there was no room for two suitcases we had and we had to jump over them all the time. The hotel was within walking distance to the street with a lot of restaurants, but also just about 15 min to the walled city center. There is also no 24/7 reception, so you need to make special arrangements if you arrive after 7 p.m. There was parking at the hotel at additional price, but it was not very convenient to be honest as there is very little space and in fact the inn owner had to drive and park our car somewhere on the nearby street.
As it was evening and we were hungry, we were looking for a place to eat. Our inn keepers recommended an Italian restaurant called Ciccio Cafe, but it was full, so we made a reservation for the following evening instead. We checked Tripadvisor for any good places nearby and decided to check whether Greek restaurant Le Mezze had any tables available and we were lucky to get the last one. The food was pretty good, not remarkable, but at least we got something to eat. After Montréal I was expecting everything in Canada to taste heavenly. 😉
The next morning we had breakfast at Le Billig. I love French crêpes, so I was really looking forward to having some tasty crêpes again. Unfortunately the food was somewhat a disappointment. My crêpe tasted okay, but my boyfriend hated his and he also said that coffee was bad.
After breakfast we just decided to walk toward the old city. That’s the downside of not planning the trip at all, you just have to wing it and hope you stumble on the sights you would’ve wanted to see if you knew about them. 🙂
Québec City walls are the only remaining fortified city walls in North America north of Mexico. Québec City was also very different from Montréal. It was more compact and seemed to have more European influence at least within the old city walls.
I don’t really know what to say about Québec City. It was cute and the Château Frontenac hotel was pretty awesome, but after walking around for a couple of hours, you have kind of seen everything. I admit that we didn’t explore 100% of the city, so we might have missed something, but I didn’t find the city very inspiring.
It was once again very hot, so we spent some time in a craft beer bar trying different beers.
The previous night we saw a bunch of people with ice cream, but we were so full that we couldn’t eat anymore, but now we had some of the Chocolats Favoris ice cream. We took the second smallest size, which was actually quite big. It had vanilla ice cream and you could choose the chocolate on top. We both chose salted caramel, which was good, but even the smallest size of ice cream was a bit too much. It has like half a centimeter thick coating of chocolate and honestly, I could’ve done with a smaller amount of sugar. 😀
In the evening we had dinner at Ciccio Cafe, which was very highly ranked in Tripadvisor as well as recommended to us by our inn keepers, so we had pretty high expectations. We were really disappointed! This place was supposed to be a very good Italian restaurant and the pasta was overcooked with a very thin and watery sauce. The appetizers were also merely ok. Unfortunately I absolutely cannot recommend Québec City as a destination for foodies. Here we had the crappiest food in the entire Canada.
The next morning we had breakfast at the inn and continued our road trip.