Thursday, November 17, 2016

Inspiration in Quebec City

by Piya Campana, Assistant Editor

Old Quebec
Something about the second week of November has me craving travel. Last year around this time, I was eating my way through Brooklyn. The year before that was Reykjavik, chasing the Northern Lights, bathing in outdoor thermal pools, hiking a glacier and not-so-covertly keeping an eye out for Bjork.

This past weekend, the November travel bug bit again and I was in Quebec City. A short flight from Toronto, Quebec is one of the largest French-speaking cities in North America. The old town is gloriously European in feel, the local food and beer make me wax poetic and there are several interesting neighborhoods that are perfect for meandering evening walks.



Blood pudding!

A huge part of travel for me is definitely the food. I had some wonderful poutine (beautiful union of French fries, gravy and squeaky cheese curds), tourtière (flaky meat pie flavored with cinnamon and cloves, often served with fruit ketchup) and blood pudding (only when sampling this did I feel I earned Victoria's nickname for me: Adventure Editor. ...Well, maybe my attempts to speak French with Uber drivers counts, too). 

Other highlights included Montmorency Falls (higher than Niagara Falls by 98 feet, accessible from the city by public transit), a ferry ride across the St Lawrence River and several steep uphill walks to reach different areas of the city for spectacular views.
Me at Montmorency Falls

After each one of these November trips, I'm revitalized. Nothing like travel to bring a new perspective, or a new manuscript wish list item! A cozy Christmas romance set in La Vieille Capitalle, perhaps?

View from St-Jean Baptiste neighborhood
Have you ever taken a trip that was only very loosely planned, but turned out great anyway? Did it turn up somehow in your work-in-progress? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

13 comments:

Mary Preston said...

It all looks wonderful. I am NOT adventurous with food however.

Graham Oakman said...

Mmm, that's cool article.
I wish to get even more reviews from you.

kris said...

So, ixnay on the blood sausage, but oh, Quebec City! One of my favorite places. That moment when you enter the Old City - it's as close to time travel as most of us will ever come.

And now I'm hankering for tourtiere ...

Natalija said...

I love blood pudding, but haven't had it in a couple of years since I moved to another country.

Piya said...

Mary: The great thing about visiting a new place--or discovering something new about where you live--is that there is plenty more to be adventurous about than the food. :)

Kris: Yes! I loved it. I hadn't been since my grade eight class trip--eons ago. Can't wait to return!

Natalija: I will definitely be looking for it more nowadays. :)

Victoria Curran said...

Yeah, blood pudding...yuuuuum (not)! You are most definitely the Adventure Editor of our group, Piya. I envy you your spirit of travel. Keep those trips short, though, so we can get you editing more. (Kidding.) (Ish.)

Piya said...

Victoria: little long weekend trips are perfect to energize the editing brain! :)

Nan Dixon said...

Piya, Montreal sounds wonderful. Some day I want to have pouting, but I think I will skip the blood sausage!

Nan Dixon said...

Piya, Montreal sounds wonderful. Some day I want to have pouting, but I think I will skip the blood sausage!

Jo McNally said...

Piya, loosely-planned trips are the best. Some of the most wonderful times we had in our trips to Ireland (Himself has family there) were when we got lost or went off-plan. We found the Cliffs of Kilkee that way, and ended up spending four nights (instead of the one we planned) in Tullamore on the next trip, making memories. And, of course, Irish cuisine includes black pudding, which is just blood pudding with a nicer name! Yum.

Piya said...

(I love this coincidence: Jo, you mentioned Kilkee, and that's where the hero of Nan's Aug-16 Superromance is from :))

Nan, I recommend giving blood pudding a try! It's just a bad name but a good food. It's the food of Leos! (This is how I'm getting you to try it.)

Jo, I love the sound of your Ireland adventure. So much fun to get lost in a beautiful place!

Jo McNally said...

Well, Nan's book just landed on my TBR pile (inside my Kindle)! The west coast of Ireland is amazing, and I'll definitely write an Irish hero or heroine of my own someday.

Piya said...

Jo: Yay! We'll all look forward to it :)

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