We spent our summer vacation in Montreal and Québec City. We spent the first half of the week in Québec City. Our first full day there, we found an amazing farmers’ market (Marché du Vieux-Port) rather serendipitously. We built a delicious lunch from our wares at the market. We’ve never seen produce quite like the produce here (although, later we saw another amazing market in Montreal). We explored Vieux-Québec and even got our caricature done by a very nice artist. We visited the Château Frontenac and the Norte-Dame Basilic-Cathedral. And we tried poutine (which we heard was a must do).
Our favorite part of our visit in Québec City was our drive to Montmorency Falls and Île d’Orléans. Surprisingly, we learned Monmorency is taller than Niagara. We traveled by cable car to the top of the waterfall and walked across the suspension bridge for a really neat view. Île d’Orléans is just over the bridge from the falls and was one of the first parts of the province to be colonized by the French. The one road in and out took us past beautiful churches, farm land, and amazing views of the St. Lawrence River. Virtually all the produce we enjoyed at the farmer’s market came from this island.
For the second half of our trip we explored Montreal. Montreal felt a lot more like what we’ve gotten used to here in Chicago – great public transportation! We checked out Marché Jean Talon and were again impressed with the selection of produce. We had another fun (and inexpensive) lunch.
We visited the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, McGill University, old Montreal, and wandered around some neighborhoods. We tried Portuguese food (probably the best meal of our trip) for our first time (at the recommendation of our waiter from Uruguay at the Italian restaurant we had gone to the night before). Montreal is a very multicultural city (most of the people we met, spoke at least three languages). That waiter actually spoke five.
We also tried smoked meat – for which Montreal is famous. A not so big secret about us, we love Jewish delis. So we had to check out Schwartz’s. We are both big fans of the pastrami we get here at Manny’s or at Jake’s, our favorite spot in Milwaukee – so we had high hopes for Schwartz’s. Smoked meat is a little different than pastrami, but it was very tasty and Schwartz’s was a really neat place (the lines here are amazing). This might sound strange, but the pickles…were the best pickles we’ve had anywhere, ever!
And that’s about it! Our trip to Canada was fun, but as Dorothy says, “There’s no place like home!”.