Quebec City

July 21 - July 23



Friday - Day One

We aim to leave Derek and Trish's at 6 a.m. Philip wakes me at 5:30 and I go into the shower. The plan is to drive to New Hampshire to visit Farida Ali, Philip's adopted older sister, a Trinidadian who lived with the Burrowses when they were teenagers. She has invited us for breakfast, and has informed us that we are driving right by her town on the highway. We say goodbye to Trish and Derek, both of whom are up, and get in the car. Then we try to wake the powerbook up, and it refuses. So after ten minutes or so of trying, Derek & Trish appear at the windows of the car and we go back inside, plug the powerbook in, and it wakes up. Good thing - it has all our directions in it! Then we set off, fighting the beginning of rush hour traffic to leave Boston, and then we are on our way into New Hampshire and towards Farida's.


The drive towards Derry, New Hampshire, is forested, beautiful, proto-Canadian. We get a little lost looking for the place, but after two stops at gas stations, the second time phoning Farida, we make it. Her house is beautiful - she lives on a large piece of property in a very nice country house, which she keeps spotlessly. She shows us around the property and the house (we try imagining it in the winter - snow drifts canadiens, but it is breathtaking in the summer) and then takes us into the kitchen and serves us a huge breakfast - fresh rolls and bagels, and a homemade breakfast quiche.

She gives us the leftovers, together wth orange juice and cream cheese, to eat on the road. And then we're off, heading towards the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, Vermont and the Canadian border.

The mountains are lovely, and remind us of Canada, but something about them is not quite the same. It is that sense of wildness, of distance, that's missing. There are lots of people on the road, even though we are driving through forests and mountains. We enter Vermont after passing through the Presidential Peaks, and there we leave one interstate and meet another, which is not so well kept and that heads towards the border. We pass through little New England towns with their frame houses and white-spired congregational churches (and I snap digital photos), and before we know it we are at the border. The immigration officer puts our licence plates into her computer, asks us when we left Canada, and waves us through. Quebec. As soon as we cross the border the Canadian feeling is back. Odd; the landscape is the same, the geography is seamlessly shared with Vermont, and yet the land looks Canadian. I believe that it is partly the thinness of population on the ground - even though this is Quebec and one of the most heavily populated provinces - and partly the style of houses - we are no longer in New England, but in Nouvelle France.

We make it to Quebec City without mishap, and drive across the new bridge into the city, looking at the Pont de Quebec on our right, and driving towards and along the Grand Allee towards the Old City. Our hotel room overlooks the walls of Old Quebec, facing the river and the Chateau Frontenac, and we plan to walk around the walls tomorrow, and to see all the sights. We crash for a few hours, and then go to dinner in the hotel restaurant, where there is a seafood buffet. We return to our room, and plan tomorrow.

The View From Our Hotel Room

 back to boston
 on to day 2



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