Named by Samuel de Champlain to honor the viceroy of New France, Duc de Montmorency, Chute Montmorency stands at 83 meters high. 30 meters higher than Niagara.
The waterfall is at the mouth of The Montmorency River, which flows into the Saint Lawrence after dropping off the cliff.
A suspension bridge spans the falls, which can be accessed three different ways. There is a tram that can take one to the cliff top, but there is also a trail that winds around from the side. For the adventurous, there is a stairway that climbs up one side of the cliff face, offering great views of the falls.
At dusk, Montmorency Falls lights up with a natural glow that highlights the entire cove. Although this happens throughout the year, due to the high iron content of the waterbed, the light show is best in summer.
A zip line across the top of the falls is also available for your amusement. The price was about 1/3 of the cost of the Niagara zip line.
Montmorency Falls at dusk. Photo credit: capitale.gouv.qc.ca
The Algonquian people called the area Kébec, meaning “Where the river narrows”. Jacques Cartier, the French explorer, built a fort here in 1535.
Samuel de Champlain founded the city on the bank of the Saint Lawrence River in 1608. Champlain adopted the Algonquin name, calling the new settlement Quebec.
The old city, Vieux-Québec, is still surrounded by ramparts. The fortified city walls are the last ones remaining in the Americas north of Mexico.
The Saint Lawrence River from the citadel walls
Lucas and I spent the day exploring Vieux-Québec. From the Plains of Abraham to the citadel walls and down to the railway station and the river port, we walked the historic streets of this fascinating city.
Monument to Samuel de Champlain
I brought the old Kodak 66 along just for this part of the journey. It offered a good excuse to pop into a pub for a pint to reload the camera with its 120 film. Since I’m traveling light on this trip, no laptop, just the smartphone and two film cameras, if anything interesting comes out of the film, I’ll post it upon my return to Alaska.
The Chateau Frontenac
I really enjoyed Quebec City, especially Old Quebec. I loved the history and character of the city, and found it so much easier than Montreal to get around. I would love to go back: spend a week wandering the city, then a week or more wandering the National Park to the north.
The city was not void of crowds, however. I found the tourist volume to ebb & flow. One moment we would have a street to ourselves, then a moment later we would be surrounded by madness. Luckily, both Lucas and I found a certain amount of amusement in that.
In many places, stairs link the lower and upper part of the town. The Escalier « casse-cou, literally means: “neck breaking” steps. Lucas insisted on getting the full experience, so we ventured both down, and then up this series of steps.
Gare du Palais, “The Palace Station”
The train Depot in Quebec is a work of art. Called the Palace Station, the Via-Rail station is the eastern terminus of the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor.
Brazil Lucas, The Curator and I spent much of Saturday exploring downtown Montreal. With a Habs game on the agenda for that night.
It would be my first game at Bell Centre, home of the Canadiens.
The Ottawa Senators were in town to play the Habs. It was a preseason game, but when you’re traveling and have the opportunity to take in a home game of one of the Original Six, you can’t be fussy.
Opening face off
Ottawa drew blood first in the opening period , as Brady Tkachuk beat Carey Price. Cody Ceci doubled the Senators lead in the second.
Montreal finally got on the board with a goal early in period three on a score by Tomas Tatar. Nikita Scherbak would tie the game, and Paul Byron would put the Habs up for good. Price would end the game with 15 saves on 17 shots. Montreal outshot Ottawa 32-17 In the 3-2 Canadiens win.
Mike Reilly, #28
Mike Reilly, the product of Chanhassen, Minnesota, is now a member of the Montreal Canadiens, after being traded last year from the Minnesota Wild. I realized at the game that I have seen Reilly play for four teams now: the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Iowa Wild, Minnesota Wild, and Montreal Canadiens.
Reilly, a 25 year old defenseman, was the Second Star of the game against Ottawa. It was probably the best game I have seen him play since he wore Maroon & Gold.
In order to avoid the intense traffic that had already started to build up at 1:30pm, it was suggested that we drive up to Sorel, then take the ferry across the Saint Lawrence River.
The Mini-RV is packed down in that mass of steel somewhere. The ferry run was short and smooth, but it took some of the stress out of the impressive traffic that we had been battling.
The MacDonald Monument at Place du Canada. John A. MacDonald was Canada’s first prime minister. This monument was erected in 1895. There are two cannons flanking the monument, which were used in the Crimean War. Queen Victoria presented the city with the cannons in 1892, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Montreal. The Curator found the cannons quite interesting.
A trip to Montreal would not be complete without a visit to a jazz bar. We stopped by The Upstairs Jazz Club. A wonderful club, with a great atmosphere. The Shawn McPherson Blues Band was the night’s act. McPherson plays a decent harmonica, and the band surrounding him was solid. We were treated to some very good music.
When in Toronto, it is hard not to stop by Niagara to see the power of the falls. Since Lucas had never seen them, the choice was an easy one.
Even on a week day, late into the tourist season, the falls was a busy place to be. Still, it’s hard not to be impressed by the amount and power of the water flowing over the falls between Canada and the US.
Lucas and I even did the zip line towards the falls and into the mists.
All photos by C-to-C, except the zip line photo, which was taken by The Curator