It all went even further downhill from there. My back was very sore this morning and there was nearly no position I could lie or sit in that didn’t make that one spot hurt. We did walk out for breakfast at the Buffet place but I couldn’t eat more than a bagel. I really wasn’t up to anything more than the heating pad and the bed. I know Karine was going to meet us so I thought Graham should at least go rather than be stuck in a hotel room all day with me.
She picked him up early afternoon and they went out in the rain to walk around the city and do some souvenir shopping. They saw the oldest part of the city below the cliff where there’s also a funicular to go back to the upper city. They were in the cathedral Notre Dame, and saw some nice shops. Graham said Karine walked his feet off!
They came back to the hotel room after and we ordered takeout and had it in the room. They were heading out later to see the band that she promotes do a rehearsal. I wasn’t sure if I would have gone anyway as it really isn’t my kind of music but after the day I’ve had, I wouldn’t get out anyway. My back seems to have improved through the day but the pain has moved to my hip and it’s even more difficult to find a position to lie in or sit in and the heating pad doesn’t seem to be helping it.
So today was a write off completely for me. I’m glad at least that Graham got out and about a bit. We’ll see how things are tomorrow.
And again, the next day the weather still hasn’t improved though it’s not raining at least. We really slept in. We finally got up and moving late morning and we had to eat. Karine had a migraine so could not come and meet us for a final good bye. I"m moving slowly but I had to go out for food so, taking our time, we walked out of the hotel towards Old Quebec which is really lovely. It’s a very historic part of the city and all the old buildings now have shops and galleries and a few restaurants in them though most are not cheap. There are some lovely murals on the sides of buildings as well and I’m glad I got a chance to see them.
Most of the restaurants have very fancy menus and didn’t appeal to us much but we did find one that had appealing food. I don’t know what it was called as the sign outside just said Restaurant and we didn’t look at the receipt. I found out later it’s called Le Casse-Cou.
I had French Onion soup that came with coffee and carrot cake and Graham had that plus a plate with lamb sausage, rice, salad and looked really lovely. The carrot cake was very rich with cream on it and drenched in maple syrup. I couldn’t eat it all and in fact it made me feel kind of sick for a bit with all the sweetness.
We walked around a bit more and looked in one or two shops but I needed to go back and rest again so we made our way back to the hotel. Unfortunately we weren’t going to get to see the Samurai exhibit after all. I didn’t think I could walk around an hour or two in a museum and Graham didn’t want to go on his own. We stayed in the hotel room the rest of the afternoon watching tv, packing up and getting ready to check out.
We did that about 7 and got to the train station in Quebec City, called Gare du Palais, about an hour before the Charny shuttles arrived and thought the restaurants in there would be open. As it happened only two were and one was definitely not our sort of thing, again very posh with things like duck and rabbit and fancy food on the menu but there was a steak house just beside it that was open too. That’ll do. It’s called Charbon and I’d definitely recommend it. Prices are similar to the Keg here in Canada. It’s not budget but it’s very nice and excellent quality. We told the waiter we didn’t have a lot of time to linger and he suggested the prime rib which was already cooked and only had to be sliced. Sounds like a plan!
And what a good plan it was! It arrived in due course with a big slab of pink beef in the middle of the plate, a good inch thick and as tender as you could ever want. Oh my god it was good! There was a green veg with it and mashed/whipped turnip and we had fries with it which were also very good. We had been given a basket of lovely bread, sliced baguette, I think and even that was good. It would have been a lovely place for a proper meal with more time to linger. I must look and see if there are other locations. I guess there might be.
We waited outside for the shuttles and arrived at the train station in Charny about an hour ahead of the train which was right on time. Our bunks were already down so we unloaded our things and sat in the lounge car for awhile rather than face those beds. My hip is improving a bit but it still aggravates me to sit too long, depending on the seat and angle I have to sit. They were playing a movie in the lounge so we watched that and messed around on our iPods. We saw a couple there that we’d spoken to while waiting for the train. They’re British and this was their first overnight train ride. They were excited. I couldn’t really find the enthusiasm but I hoped it wouldn’t put them off.
Finally back to the closet, we get ready for bed. For the most part my body was in perpetual motion all night seeking a comfortable position which was not to be found. I might have drifted off a little bit now and then nearer the morning.
We’d set the alarm for 8 so we would be up for the breakfast in the dining car. Graham did sleep most of the night and wasn’t stiff in the morning so that was one success at least. We had our breakfast and then came back to the cabin for a few hours. I tried to nap a little because I was really tired, while Graham listened to music and played games on his ipod.
We went back for lunch about the time the train got to Moncton, the last leg of the ride ahead of us. We ended up sharing with that same British couple. We had a lovely chat with them and it passed the time.
Weather today? Overcast most of the way though it looks as if it might be trying to clear up the closer to Halifax we get. The sun came out brilliantly late afternoon in Quebec yesterday, flipping typical as well. Every time we go on a trip like that we only ever manage to get one or maybe two nice days. I hope we get a few more sunny days before Graham goes back next weekend at least.
It’s unfortunate how this week turned out with my aching back and hip, the weather and the uncomfortable train journey. But we did see some interesting things and spent time with lovely people so it wasn’t a total disaster. But it could have been better! I think we’ll appeal to the Travel Gods that our visit to Rome in November isn’t as disappointing. I won’t expect the Weather Gods to cooperate, seeing as it’ll be November but you never know…