December 2, 2011
Once we got off the Eurodam and were on our own for another day in Québec City, we did more sightseeing on our own and decided to take it easy by having dinner at our hotel, the venerable Chateau Frontenac. It’s a former Canadian Pacific RR property, now Fairmont, whose main dining room, Champlain, is named after the founder of Québec.
A formal and rather stuffy place, we had a strange waiter (at first) who didn’t speak English. Our food was better than the service, but the whole experience was quite a disappointment, especially with when paying high prices characteristic of Old-World-style hotels.
The next morning, bright and early at 7:45, we caught the train from Québec’s downtown station to Montreal.
It was during the train ride that we caught our first glimpses of really brilliant fall foliage colors. Sadly, it was hard to capture much of the brilliant beauty from behind the rain-spotted windows aboard the fast-moving train.
But here’s one shot of the pastoral surroudings.
Once in downtown Montreal at the train station, we asked a railroad worker where to catch a taxi to the hotel. He almost laughed in our faces, since the Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth is located right above the train station, so it was an easy walk up the escalator to check-in and our beautiful room.
Here’s the city-scape view. The domed building in the foreground is a half-scale-sized copy of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.
Unfortunately, we weren’t nearly as impressed with Montreal as we were with Québec City. The Old Town allowed cars, so wasn’t particularly pedestrian-friendly.
But a few highlight in Montreal included:
And dinner at the hip, happenin’ Garde Manger, where I enjoyed a sublime Cold Seafood Tower (finally got some PEI mussels!) and Spencer had amazing short ribs.
And with that, dear readers, I end my diary of our Fall Foliage Cruise.