In February 2019, 46 students along with six chaperones spent a fun-filled week immersed in the Francophone culture in both Montreal and Quebec City. The trip was originally planned only for Quebec City, but due to unforeseen wintery weather conditions, we were able to spend a whole day touring the centre of Montreal and played in the fresh of snow that had fallen the previous day. Montreal is considered the cultural capital of Canada, and is a very cosmopolitan city. During the day, we visited the beautiful Basilica of Notre Dame, then had a tour of the Old Town on foot, spent a couple of hours at the Musée des Beaux Arts, and as a final treat, we were able to go skating very close to the St. Lawrence River!
The following day, we boarded a small airplane and flew to Quebec City. From then on it was one fun activity after another for a total of seven days. During our time in and around this absolutely beautiful, historically-rich city, we managed to luge, toboggan, jump, slide, tour, visit, eat, and enjoy ourselves to our hearts’ content! Quebec City happens to be one of Canada’s oldest settlements, and its picturesque Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Around the centre of the city, we toured the Old Town, went tobogganing on the Dufferin Terrace (by the Chateau Frontenac), toured the Morrin Centre (former jail), and re-enacted the 1759 battle at the Plains of Abraham Museum. We also watched the Winter Carnival Night Parade, and took a ferry to the other side of the St. Lawrence River to admire the view of the city from the river, which in the winter, was covered in ice! We should also mention that we ate very well. The restaurants were amazing, serving a variety of nutritious and delicious dishes throughout our stay. We even went to one that was bee-friendly, with their very own beehives on the roof, and some tasty honey to try directly from the frames!
Outside of the city we visited a private school and interacted with some of its students for a couple of hours. We played some games, asked lots of questions (en français, bien sûr!), and toured the school. We also visited the Ice Hotel and went tubing at the Valcartier Winter Park. We went dog-sledding (we loved the dogs!) and snowshoeing, and at the end of one day, had a pretty filling lumberjack meal at a sugar shack, accompanied by some singing and dancing to various Quebecois folk songs. Just before leaving, we indulged in a stick..or perhaps two or three…of the famous maple taffy! We also visited the Montmorency Falls, which were covered in ice at this time of year, and a Copper Museum, where we left with our own handmade souvenir.
During our last evening in the city, we took part in a Circus Workshop at the École de Cirque de Québec. It was fabulous! The girls jumped, skipped, twisted, and turned in delight under the supervision of some very skilled instructors. It was the perfect activity to end this very special trip. Au revoir Québec, et merci!
Senior French Teacher