Ah the academic life!  This summer I got to travel to Quebec city for a workshop (see my work trip report here) :). I’d never been to Canada, but after this trip, I’ll definitely be back. Quebec is a nice little historic town, that’s an odd mix between French and American. American meaning lots of cars, French meaning they speak French and the architecture looks more European. I decided not to stay in a big hotel, but at a little B&B called Relais Charles Alexandre, which was a pleasant walk from the conference site and right by a park. Also, only a few blocks away from a municipal swimming pool that happened to be free, so I got to do some laps before sitting in a cold conference room all day (turns out Canadians like their air conditioning as much as Americans do).

The workshop was super social, so most lunch breaks and evenings we went out to dinner with a subgroup of the attendees. The last night we also went out for some salsa dancing :).

The day after the workshop, I went to visit the Montmorency Falls, just outside Quebec City, where were pretty epic. The falls are 84 metres high, which is 30m higher than Niagra falls. There is a bridge to walk over them and see how far down they fall, and there is a staircase right next to them so you can climb up and get soaked. There is also a little lift going up and down but as the weather was gorgeous I decided to just walk around. I actually didn’t want to do the steps twice, so I found a route via the other side through a residential area, so just a little bit off the beaten path I guess :).

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After seeing “the sites”, I noticed it was also possible to go a bit upstream and sit by the river, which was what a lot of locals were doing too. I didn’t have all the kit with me (BBQ, bikes, swim gear, beer etc). But  I did have a copy of Wired magazine and an apple and I got to sit with my feet in the water in just this really gorgeous place.

 

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On my last morning in Quebec I decided to get a haircut because I really needed it, so I found a nice place that did haircuts and sold lingerie. Interesting combo, but it was a nice haircut and then I got to the airport. I nearly missed my connection at JFK because first the ground staff for my flight out of Quebec didn’t show up and then at JFK it was super busy and for some reason the van that took us from the aircraft to the gate had to wait at the gate for ages. Good thing I only had carry-on luggage, so I managed to get home alright.

 

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