Quebec City 2020, Day 1
Quebec City is my favourite city in North America. Nothing beats its old town vintage vibe that gives me excitement at the very thought of seeing it. The historical landmarks, cobbled streets and laid back atmosphere would make you wish you live there. This year is extra special because I travelled with the love of my life on our birth month to celebrate both our birthdays. My birthday was last July 10th while his was July 23rd. It was also the first time that I stayed in Quebec City overnight and not just doing a day tour like the previous times I was there. We travelled on July 11th until the 13th and stayed in Travelodge by Wyndham Quebec City Hotel through Booking.com.
Since people are still afraid to travel because of COVID, we pretty much had an amazing time skipping long lines, taking pictures without photo-bombers and driving without traffic. It was the quietest I have seen Quebec City. 2 summers ago, I went there with my Aunt and her family and we truly do not have space to breathe and just be by ourselves. Restaurants are packed, Petite Champlain barely has space for people not to touch each other’s elbows, all ice cream shops have long lines, and no bench to sit on to get a bit of rest, it was crazy!
At first, I felt like we are travelling too soon since it was not long ago when the travel restriction was lifted, but as a person in the frontline absorbing all the stress of this pandemic, it was the break that I badly needed. I was starting to get burnt out at work and a change in scenery is necessary for my sanity. We maintained a safe distance from people, not just 2 meters but 4 or more. We avoided crowded places, which really none at that time but if we see more than 10 people gathering, we try not to go there.
Today, I am going to share our first-day excursion in Quebec City. The second day will be a separate post. If you also want to see my previous Quebec City blog you can click here.
We started our day by hunting the best brunch place in Quebec City and we came across a restaurant called Bon Matin which literally translates Good Morning in French. I ordered Egg Benedict in Le Sucré Salé while my darling boyfriend had the classic Assiette Bon Matin. It was a great meal to start a day and I would rate the restaurant 9/10.
Right after our brunch, we went to visit the Aquarium du Québec. It houses 10,000 animals of 300 different species. The entrance fee is $21/person plus tax.
This is my most favourite place in the Aquarium du Quebec vicinity. While waiting to get inside the aquarium, we passed by the whimsical lake with water lilies, other water plants and leaf painted boardwalks. It is surrounded by tall trees and lush greeneries for an even magical feel.
After the Aquarium du Quebec excursion, we drove to Old Quebec and looked for an ice cream place. We chose Chocolato based on its review. I ordered coffee flavoured ice cream but I was surprised when they handed me coffee beans on my ice cream. They might have a good review of their chocolates and other ice creams but my experience was just extraordinary I can’t give this place a 10. I would probably give them a 3/10 for my painful chewing experience.
After our ice cream adventure, we walked until we reached the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. This place never gets old. It still has that magical charm that makes me swoon a hundred thousand times over. And again for the first time, this is the quietest I have ever seen it. I could pose and cartwheel all I want and there will be less photobomber that will be captured.
I was lucky enough to see an actual Salvador Dali sculpture. This is called “La Vénus Spatiale” and is valued at $3,500,000!! (gasp*) It is part of the Picasso – Dali – Riopelle exhibit inside the Chateau. Unfortunately, I was not aware that there was an exhibit. I thought the Dali sculpture was a permanent installment. Later did I know when we were already in Montreal that it is indeed an ongoing exhibit.
We ended the day by dining in Sakura Korean BBQ just in front of the hotel. I missed doing Koren BBQ so I was really excited to dine at the restaurant. It is an order-all-you-want kind of experience, but I would be honest that I did NOT enjoy it. The food quality isn’t great and not tasty at all. My tummy hurt as soon as I finished eating the dragon eye sushi and I am not sure if it is related to it but I was not able to eat more after that. I was taking tiny bites until we reached the dessert and even their cakes are extremely dry. I would not recommend this place and I will rate it 2/10.
That’s it for our first day Quebec City adventure! I will be blogging the second day in the next few days.
Dress: Icōne from Simons
Bag: Kate Spade
Earrings: Franck Herval Bijoux
Bracelet: Marc by Marc Jacobs