Cruising the Saint Lawrence – Saguenay

Saguenay (an aboriginal word that means “where the water flows out”) is located up the Saguenay River which feeds into the Saint Lawrence.  It is a group of cities that have formed into three boroughs: Chicoutimi, Jonquire and La Baie.  The ship docked in the port town of La Baie and the townspeople dressed up and met the ship with slices of blueberry pie!  Yum!

DSC06172 C  DSC06171 C Maine blueberries

We took a hop-on/hop-off tour bus to visit one of the other towns, Chicoutimi. 

The Cathedrale de Saint-Francois-Xavier was built in 1878 and rebuilt twice after fires.  This building was finished in 1922.

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We had a lovely day to walk around the town of Chicoutimi.

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A huge flock of geese flew over us…they are those little white dots in the sky.  Sorry my picture doesn’t do them justice.  There were thousands of them going on and on. 

DSC06201 C Geese flying

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Chicoutimi has a very pretty river front park.

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In 1996 this area had record rainfall that caused major flooding.  The little white house withstood the raging waters.

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The Chicoutimi Pulp Mill was started in 1896.  The industry was profitable till 1930.  This building was set to be demolished but was saved when it was classified a cultural heritage site in 1984.  After the big flood it was rebuilt and made into a museum.

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Back in La Baie we stopped into the The Saint-Alphonse-de-Liguori Church.

DSC06223 C  DSC06222 C La Baie

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When we arrived early that morning we came up the Saguenay River Fjord in the dark.  Sailing down the river in the late afternoon was a good time to see what we’d missed. 

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A statue of the Virgin Mary, built in 1881, keeps watch over the fjord.  It’s just a speck on the hill to the right in the photo above.

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We sailed on, back to the Saint Lawrence.

Posted in Canada, Saguenay, Saint Lawrence River | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Cruising the Saint Lawrence – Quebec City

This past October we took a Holland America cruise down the Saint Lawrence River in Canada.  The cruise started in Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec, and ended in Ft Lauderdale, FL.  Though Quebec is a French speaking city, almost everyone speaks English so you can’t really get into trouble! 

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We arrived around noon and headed off to try the local food.  Chez Victor was well reviewed on Yelp and it was near the dock.  Will was looking forward to Poutine, a local favorite.  It’s a bowl of French fries, covered with a gravy and topped with cheese curds.  This particular one had a lamb gravy and Will said it was excellent.  (I had a great BLT.)

DSC06087 C  WP_20151004_004 C Poutine

We had a day and 1/4 to explore Old Quebec.  This is not enough time!  But since we had been to Quebec in 2007 it was fine for a revisit. 

The upper section of Old Quebec (Haute-Ville) sits on a cliff overlooking the St Lawrence.  The lower part (Basse-Ville) is tucked between the cliff and the river. 

This maritime monument is in Basse-Ville near the docks.  

DSC06091 C Maritime Monument  DSC06093 C Maritime Monument

This market was near our ship dock too.

DSC06096 C Marche du Vieux-Port  DSC06097 C Marche du Vieux-Port

Exploring Old Quebec is like a mini trip to France.  Besides the language, narrow cobblestone streets and stone buildings from the 17th and 18th century add to the French ambiance.  

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DSC06107 C  DSC06109 C Rue du Tresor

The Chateau Frontenac, now a grand hotel in the upper city, was formerly the residence of the British colonial governors of Lower Canada and Quebec.  Its turrets and copper roof can be seen from all over the city.  

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Near the hotel is this statue of Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer and diplomat, who founded Quebec.

DSC06116 C Fort Museum  DSC06114 C Samuel de Champlain

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Porte Saint-Louis is one of the old city gates.  Old Quebec City is the only remaining walled city north of Mexico. 

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Just outside this gate is the Parliament of Quebec. 

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In 2007 we took a tour inside the Parliament building.

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The Plains of Abraham was a battlefield that is now a huge park.

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A pretty board walk runs past the walls of the citadel and along the cliffs back into the old city.

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The board walk ends up at Dufferin Terrace, looking over the river.  We had blue skies during our visit in the fall of 2007.  

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The view in 2007 and in cloudy 2015

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Some more sunny pictures from 2007.

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The Basilique Notre Dame

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The lower city is called the Quartier Petit Champlain.

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Place-Royale is the site of Champlain’s trading post.  It has been preserved as it was during the 18th century.

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This huge mural, Fresque des Quebecois, depicts the story of Quebec with historical personalities, writers and artists painted into the street scene and sitting in the windows.

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Another fresco in the Quartier Petit Champlain.

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Notre Dame des Victories was started in 1687 and completed in 1723.

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Our visit was over too soon.  In the late afternoon we sailed down the river.

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Pretty scenery along the river…

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The Queen Mary II left after we did but caught up and sailed past us.

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0354 Quebec at Night C  Bonne nuit.

Posted in Canada, Quebec, Saint Lawrence River | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments