Quebec …… Here we come!

Well the shockwaves from Brexit have reached these shores with every TV channel now abandoning the Donald and Hilary circus and focusing on the UK. The main big news channels here appear to have dedicated themselves to reporting every move and every word coming from the Donald and Hilary but today there is only one thing on the screens and it is the Brexit earthquake rocking Europe and, possibly the world.

We had a lovely tour of this interesting city on the St Lawrence River today starting with what is almost another city underground zis ‘Otel. You see winters here are harsh – temperatures can get down to minus 40 below. Now that is a tad cold you must admit and so they had the good sense, when the Metro was built in the 70’s, to create this enormous network of underground passageways which lead from the subway and convention centre right up to hotel lobbies, apartment lobbies, buildings where large companies conduct business etc etc. There is over 30km of these passageways linking the Metro with buildings. If you are very fortunate, when the snow has reached a depth which makes it impossible to open the garage door unless you also own a snowcat (the average snowfall here in winter is 300 cm), and if you live in one of these apartment buildings, you may be able to reach the subway via your local passageway, get off and arrive at your place of work via another one. The tour guide today suggested we should return in October to witness the magnificent fall colours and then again at Christmas to see the amazing Christmas tree they erect in the underground shopping centre we visited this morning! Having been in Banff many years ago at the end of December and the temperature being -29 degrees, I can tell you ve vill not be returning at that time of year!  The tour ended with a visit to the magnificent Notre Dame Basilica.

This city, along with many others in Canada is French through and through. For all intents and purposes you could be in the centre of France so I feel very at home here. However, the difference here is that it is a truly bilingual place – everyone speaks at least French and English. So zat is very helpful ven you need to order ze baguette with jambon and fromage!

Now you just will not believe this (well you might actually!) We have just had a nice dinner with the group and the Tour Guide (Shane – that isn’t me – I didn’t get the job!) gave a little talk about BATHROOMS. Can you belieeeeeve it? He even gave out notes about all sorts of things and one whole section on ze bathrooms. It says “Your biggest challenge on this holiday (besides not eating too much great food) will be to figure out how to turn on your BATHROOM taps. You may have to twist knobs, push buttons or turn dials (stomping your feet does not help!) If all else fails, just contact reception.” Then he goes on to give a talk about the fact that we are staying in ‘otels which are old Chateaus and, although beautiful, ze plumbing is not! Oh heaven forbid – how did zis ‘appen?? I will keep you posted on ze problems viz ze bathrooms. I am now regretting not sending Vern on a plumbing course at Bassett Plumbing! Tomorrow we set off for Quebec and the mysteries of ze bathroom at Le Chateau Frontenac. I will phone ahead and ask that they leave the “Bathroom for Dummies” manual on our bed.

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