Monday, October 13, 2008

Montreal to Quebec City

We decided to take the train from Montreal to Quebec City as our hotels in both cities were downtown and close to the railway stations and it saved us renting a car until we actually left Quebec.

This proved to be a really excellent decision as it was much less effort getting to/from the stations than the airport plus seats on this train service were like armchairs by comparison to an aeroplane.

It was also good value, our 3.5hr journey on big comfy seats with masses of legroom(which were allocated when booking) was $42.50 each.

Our engine & carriage

As we left the station in Montreal we got a few views looking back at the city. The weather was cloudy in Montreal and it progessively got worse as we approached Quebec so there aren't many good view photos from this journey. However, you get a slightly different perspective from a train, travelling through small villages, seeing peoples backyards, views you don't get from the road.

In this view looking back at downtown you can see Mont Royal rising up behind the buildings on the left-hand side of downtown. This was the first time we had been able to see Mont Royal without actually being up on it as the downtown buildings are built right up to the edge of it so you need to be some distance away to be able to get a view.

Looking forward, we were several carriages back from the front.

As we cross the St Lawrence river, looking East with the Jacque Cartier bridge visiable in the distance

Once we were out in the country it wasn't long before we were treated to nice rural views and some more fall colours. We also noted how different the landscape here is from home - barely a pine tree in sight ! It is the abundance of Maples and Japanese Sumac trees that give the rich colours at this time of year.

Even the rains that are falling and the low, grey cloud didn't detract from the nice scenery

We crossed several good sized rivers and numerous creeks along our journey

As we approached the outskirts of Quebec City we crossed the St Lawrence River. Here you can see the road bridge adjacent to us.

Perhaps our only critisism of travelling by rail was the way the checked-baggage was handled on arrival. It was basically all laid out on the platform in a row and it was then a free-for-all bun-fight to get your cases. This was made worse by certain groups of impatient Americans (who else) pushing so close to the luggage carriage that the baggage handlers were unable to get more bags off. We just stood back and enjoyed the frenzy, but thought it would be pretty annoying if this happens every time !

So this is the view of the station - it was built in 1912 by Canadian Pacific Railway - in a style to mirror the Chateau Frontenac hotel which CPR hoped they would be carrying many passengers for. The station is called Gare du Palais - Palace Station.

Side view of the station

This large fountain sits at the entrance to the station

Along one of the paths near the fountain were numerous metal chairs randomly laid out. Upon the seat of each chair was a quote, poem or statement by a well-known Quebecois. However, there was no signage about the art project and all the Google and Wiki searches I have done have brought nothing. Looking on Google Earth the images do not show the chairs to it's obviously pretty recent and nobody has posted an image of them there either. Perhaps we should be the first ?

This is a close up of one of the seats. I have fed the text into a French-English conversion calculator which gives :
The Man
It Constructed
Of Miles
Of blonde cable

And it has them deal
Of Thousands
Of Knots
To tie the sea

Possibly one or two lines got lost in translation ?!

Once we arrived in Quebec we were only a 5 minute or so cab ride to our hotel in the Old Town.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The man

Has built
Of blond cable

And he gave them
Of knots

To tie (up) the sea