The weather did not look promising as we drove from Montreal to Quebec city late Friday night. Wind, rain, and finally a wet, heavy snow welcomed us as we arrived in North America’s only fortified city, and we were grateful that our rental was so easy to find.
Dripping and tired, we grabbed the key from the simple lock-box in the lobby, and let ourselves into an apartment that was twice the size of the hotel room we had considered (for the same price) and was warm, clean, and had everything we needed for a long weekend getaway. Not a bad start! The bed was super soft and comfortable, and within minutes we were tucked up and drifting into dreamland.
Saturday morning was grey and cold, but living in Montreal had us well-trained for winter conditions (even in April), and we ignored the weather and bundled up. The old town was about five minutes walk from our CorporateStays.com apartment, and we spent the day there – eating a tasty lunch at Le Cochon Dingue (try the three-duck salad), snapping pics of the Chateau Frontenac, and watching huge chunks of ice drift down the St Lawrence river. In the evening, we actually missed our apartment – so we headed back, dragged the duvet to the sofa, and hibernated with movies and snacks as the snow continued to fall outside the window. It felt so great to have our own place, and the free WiFi meant we could access our Netflix account without a problem. We ventured back out later that night to check out the bars and clubs on La Grande Allée – top tip: If you’re hungry in that neighbourhood in the wee hours of the morning, check out La Galette Libanais, the most satisfying late-night bite to eat in the city.
Sunday lived up to it’s name and was bright and cheery – so after a spot of yoga in the living room, we explored the Saint-Roche neighbourhood – less than 10 minutes from our rental. We stopped into Bistro Les Bossus on rue St Joseph for some lunch (I recommend the merguez and taboulet) and indulged afterwards with chocolate-dipped ice-creams at Champagne Chocolatier. In the afternoon, we took a walk up to the Plains of Abraham, and down past the ramparts (the old fortified city walls), soaking up the history, before stopping at the old fishmarket just opposite our apartment. This is a great spot to buy souvenirs; they’ve got a Cabane a Sucre, along with lots of maple products, artisanal jewellery, and a really great local sausage stall!
We rounded off the weekend in true Quebecois style – at the pub (well, the Irish were some of the first settlers!). The Saint Alexandre had live music, livelier locals, and was just a few minutes from the apartment. By the time we had polished off a few pints, we were ready for that pillowy bed – and it didn’t disappoint!
The next morning, we packed up (key goes back into the lock box – easy!) and drove to Montmorency falls just outside town. The ice and snow were beginning to melt, and we got a good sense of the incredible volume of water that pours over the waterfall every day (it’s higher than Niagara!) We joined the few other brave tourists at the top and walked tentatively across the bridge to take in the full magnitude of the site, and then celebrated the arrival of Spring at a tiny tea house nearby.
All in all, the perfect weekend escape – thanks to CorporateStays.com and beautiful Quebec City!