Quebec, Wed., July 11 – Citadel to Prison to Blues

Walked to the walled Upper City – steep streets, angled buildings. Popped into Notre Dame de Quebec Church – gold & old. Partially destroyed by fire but one thing rescued was a lamp given by France’s King Louis XIV! Hustled up to the Citadel for the changing of the Guard – 35 minute ceremony of redcoats, band, and a goat. Walked along the battlements to the Plains of Abraham – French vs. English battlefield, park, all set up for the Summer Festival concerts. Climbed up and over to the Joan of Arc statue in a sunken garden. Then on to Grande Alle – fancy sidewalk restaurants leading to parks for more Festival stages. Wandered around the Parliament building – lots of statues.

Then through a gate back into the Old City Upper. Quiche and salad for lunch at restaurant l’Omelette. More walking – into Chateau Frontenac hotel, out onto the Boardwalk overlooking the river, watched street artists, sculptures. On to Marrin Library and Prison tour, for an overview of the cutting edge of humane prison reform in the 1800s. Next – walked to St. Jean Street to linger in the Maple Syrup Museum for tastings. Mmmm… l’erable.

After a brief rest and blister-check at the hotel, went back up to Frontenac area for a crepes in the courtyard with a singer (mostly Cat Stevens, some Paul Simon tunes). Lovely. Out to watch street performers – fire-juggler, brass band, singers. Then walked over to a Festival stage, tickets required, to stand outside the chainlink fence, with a perfect sight-line between vendor tents to see the Tedeschi-Trucks Band. Great sound, great blues. Long, long, fun day.

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