However, on this trip we also covered new ground: the Gaspé peninsula; and I couldn't in good conscience give that unique area short shrift. So while I've held back in this section, you'll get an earful (and eyeful) in the Gaspé section.
Our first night was spent at the sleek, modern Loew's Hotel. We had wonderful views of the old town to the northeast, the St. Lawrence River, the Plains of Abraham and the Parc des Champs-de-Bataille.
Dinner at an Upper Town French restaurant was a rare pleasure delicious, artfully prepared food, including a sublime, subtle dessert, the most spectacular I've ever had. This set the bar for meals on the rest of the trip, and we were never disappointed. From the city to the full length of the Peninsula, Québec knows how to do food. We'd never eaten so well.
I took a long walk across the Parc, along the Promenade des Gouvernours, which runs parallel to and high above the St. Lawrence River; past La Citadelle and into Old Town (see Québec City slide show). The regal Chateau Frontenac dominates the tip of Cape Diamond, the massive rock peninsula on which Québec City sits (for more, go here).
Our second night was spent (ooh ooh) at the Chateau Frontenac. After admiring it from afar, I finally had the chance to experience it firsthand. Getting to our room required navigating through mazes of hallways. The room was elegant, square in proportion, not the rectangular shape of most hotel rooms. We overlooked the plaza with Samuel de Champlain's statue, the heart of Québec City. We ate well, shopped well, and exercised, all within the Chateau's confines. A special place to stay ...
And in Saint-Jean, at the stone, red-roofed Catholic church, we walked the shoreline. No typical beach was this ... Layers of sedimentary rock had turned 90 degrees; colorful waves arced and rippled up from river level. From every angle the effect was stunning. (See Île d'Orleans slide show.)
Crossing the bridge from the island back to the mainland, Montmorency Falls beckoned again. This time we went topside: to Montmorency Manor which sits alongside the upper falls. We traversed the falls on a swaying footbridge that stretched from one side to the other. You can look straight down (whoa!) to where the cascading water from the Montmorency River crashes, 272 feet below.
That ends this shorthand summary of the Québec City area; next we'll head north.
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