After arriving at Camping Transit just outside Levis, Quebec we hopped on our bicycles and headed out to explore the great bicycle path system in the surrounding area. Our first ride took us into the city of Levis, and down to the St. Lawrence River where we had a beautiful view of old Quebec City which is right across the river.
The path had a gradual grade down to the river, but since we needed groceries we veered off the path and took a side road up the bluff along the river. This was a short road on the GPS, which when we turned on to it, also turned into a very steep road. After getting off our bicycles and walking up the second half of the incline we saw the “grade warning sign” that was posted at the top. It read, Beware 19% Grade, no wonder we walked! We made sure we didn’t do that again! Even with that minor glitch, it was a nice introduction to the beauty of the St. Lawrence by bicycle.
The reason for coming here was to cycle, and the weather was co-operating so off we went again. Today we were cycling over to Montmorency Falls which is on the other side of the river, so we got to go on the ferry!
With the same bike path following the north side of the river it was a great cycle! The falls are at the mouth of the Montmorency River where it drops over the cliff shore into the Saint Lawrence River. The waterfalls are 83 m (272′) tall, a full 30 m (99′) higher than Niagara Falls, a very impressive display of falling water. With a nice walking trail out along the lower waterway to the base of the falls we explored for a little bit. Unfortunately, we did not bring our walking shoes and didn’t feel comfortable walking up and over the falls, which would have been awesome!!! On our way home we made a brief stop in Quebec City to get a quick glimpse before we would come back in a few days.
On the third day, our ride took us away from the river along the rail trail and into the rural countryside. We went through several small villages and some beautiful farm land. They even had some unique bicycle art sculptures along the path. It was a very nice 70 km ride, but we must say that the people we met were some of the unfriendliest people we have met since our life on the road started.
Since we have cycled north, west and south the first three days, today we headed east. Instead of the bike path, we cycled on the road over to Beaumont again going through some of the small quaint towns along the St. Lawrence. After enjoying the riverfront for a little we turned around and headed home again. With today’s ride we have enjoyed over 250 km of good cycling in this scenic area.
With the rain moving in over night we took advantage of the free shuttle service the park offers to get to the ferry docks, which worked out perfectly for us to get over to Quebec City without having to pay for any taxi’s! After catching the morning shuttle our plan was to spend most of the day in Canada’s 2nd oldest city ( founded in 1608 ) which we feel gives it a very European feeling. Our first stop was La Buche, which is a funky eatery with stone walls, where we had some pork poutine and mini meat pies, while enjoying a cider and some Caribou (which was originally caribou blood and alcohol) a sweet wine type of drink.
Feeling the need to work off the calories from our lunch, we walked around the Citadel and along the Plains of Abraham, which is a historic site. On September 13, 1759, the area was the scene of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, part of the French and Indian War, which was itself part of the Seven Years’ War. The British held off the French and 4 years later the Treaty of Paris was signed and the French conceded their North American lands to the British.
It was time to go to Pub L’Oncle Antoine, which is housed in a 266 year old brick cellar and it is the oldest pub in the city, gorgeous!!! Next on the agenda was Pape George’s, another old building, this one 345 years old!
Then some more exploring of the old streets, buildings and shops and it was time to have poutine again! This time the traditional version of French fries, cheese curds and gravy included some pulled duck added to it and boy was it good! With too many calories consumed, but thoroughly enjoyed, it was time to head back to the ferry, cross over the river and catch the shuttle home.
Our last two nights of our Quebec stay were in west Montreal and the hamlet of Pointe-des-Cascades. It was rainy and miserable when we arrived so we just hunkered down inside. We awoke to a lovely morning and went for a beautiful bicycle ride along the canal and then back along the St. Lawrence, so scenic! We chose this spot to visit our friends Elizabeth and Jacques, who we had met in St. Augustine 3 years ago and had lots of fun with.
They were kind enough to pick us up so we didn’t have to unload the motorcycles and drive. Elizabeth’s is a wonderful painter and we had been looking forward to seeing her new work, which were all wonderful!! We do have one of her originals in our home which we enjoy seeing every day! It was a lovely dinner and a very fun evening spent with friends, something we don’t get to do often enough!! The next day we were leaving Quebec, and though it is a beautiful part of our large country we found the people to be the unfriendliest of Canadians.