We just returned from Quebec, where we toured Old Montreal and Old Quebec City, explored Mont Royal and attended Rendez-vous Québec 2008, Canada’s first mega-event.
Our Quebec experience started in Montreal, where we stayed at Le Square Phillips Hotel & Suites just a few blocks from Old Montreal. We really appreciated how quiet it was, as well as the fully-equipped kitchen.
We spent four or five hours exploring part of Mont Royal, a large municipal park located just north of downtown. Of course there are quite a few geocaches hidden in the park, including one virtual and one earth cache. Altogether we found 7 geocaches and walked about 7 km before leaving to go visit the Biosphere in parc Jean Drapeau. I would say that the GeoKids preferred the Biosphere, where we toured a solar house and played a life-sized board game.
We found a couple more geocaches on Thursday morning while we toured Old Montreal, but our primary focus was on the architecture and history…
Friday morning we drove to Quebec City. We were able to check into the Chateau Frontenac as soon as we arrived and after unpacking a few things we headed out to explore Old Quebec. The boys were particularly impressed with all the cannons along the ramparts and Oldest GeoKid took several interesting photos. We walked about 5 km and found 6 geocaches before stopping for supper.
We headed back to the hotel to pick up our geocoins and pathtags for trading before driving about 15 minutes for the Rendez-Vous Quebec 2008 meet & greet. The registration desk was well-organized and we had our name badges and pens in short order. There was a fairly small turn-out but we managed to discover quite a few geocoins, including the VHTF Mountainbike v1, v2 and v3 geocoins. We also did a very nice trade and met some friendly geocachers from the U.S.
Saturday morning we returned to College St-Augustin for a full day of activities: pathtag and geocoin trading, interviewing sponsors, organizers and attendees for the Podcacher podcast, participating in the international geocaching competition and picking up our personal geocoin samples from Landsharkz.
We also joined PengoFamily and Islander1988 for supper at a nearby restaurant before returning to the event site for the wind-up presentations, door prize draws (we won a coin!) and announcement of the results of the international geocaching competition. We had a really good time and will definitely attend another mega-event in the future.
Sunday was our last full day in Quebec City and we spent most of it in old Quebec, occasionally venturing outside the walls to search for a geocache or two. All-in-all we logged 10 geocaches, walked just over 14 km and climbed more than 500 stairs. We enjoyed an excellent brunch at a creperie in the old town and went to St. Hubert for an early supper.
Our final bit of sightseeing was Monday morning, when we observed the changing of the guard at the Citadel. This is a very involved procedure, involving marching bands, many inspections and maneuvers. We joined a guided tour afterwards and learned many interesting things about the history of the fort.
We found another 7 geocaches during our return trip to Montreal, including one we DNF’d on Friday!! There are some very good hides in Drummondville, QC.
This was an excellent vacation. We definitely enjoyed geocaching and meeting so many geocachers at Canada’s first mega-event, but we also enjoyed the history and architecture, particularly in Old Quebec. As the GeoKids said, “we’d like to go back to Quebec City soon, maybe next year…”