Our session today was less active but full of life and discussion on what we had discovered about Quebec and things Canadian.
The children had been busy and very engaged with the task of researching about Quebec and Canada generally since last we met and they were eager to tell me what they had found out. Miss O’Sullivan reported that they had been very eager also to finish their Journeys from last week and I look forward to seeing these when I visit on my return to Ireland.
So our first greetings were in french – BONJOUR! I admitted to the children that my french was more than rusty and I was caught out many times not understanding very much at all. However I very much enjoyed the short visit to the capital of Quebec Province – Quebec city, seeing great changes in the landscape, language, customs and weather!
here were some of the delights that greeted me!
We had planned a virtual trip to landmarks on shared maps of the Historic part of Quebec, (Vieux Quebec) however we spent our time discussing the landmarks and sharing research, saving our energy for activities when I return.
Each child had spent time finding out about landmarks and features of Quebec and I was told by the children that the city nestled on the banks of the St Lawrence River and I happily posted a photograph to prove it:
In fact one of the first places visited on my trip was the top of the Cap Diamant – the cliff that is such a feature of the historic part of the city. On this cliff top is the landmark the Chateau Frontenac a 19th century hotel built in 1893 with 600 rooms! The children were disappointed when I said this was not my hotel during my visit – but what views you would enjoy from this building!
My hotel was a modern tower block set on its own hilly terrain and not too far from the grand Chateau!
Quebec city is interesting because there is such a stark difference between the old architecture and the newer styles – here you can see some typical streets:
here’s a few more streets that were walked down and admired for the wonderful shapes and colours of the houses:
The children were admiring the sunny blue skies and brightness and wondered what sort of temparatures I had on my visit. I had left Toronto with temparatures up into the mid 20’s, but Quebec was further North and Westerly and I eventually NEEDED my hat, scarves, gloves and warm winter clothing because although it was -3 degrees and sunny, the wind chill made it feel like -17! It was bitterly cold and piles of old snow lay at the verges and in gardens and I wondered how the Quebecois got around their hilly town safely when the big snows came….
Hills are a big feature of the city and this is in stark contrast to the terrain around Toronto and near the lake where I stayed before my Quebec visit. here is a view across the city and in the far distance, you can see mountains… this reminded me of Belfast (maybe I was becoming a little homesick?)
Miss O’Sullivan told me the news that the class had received a letter and package I sent to them the week before… in the letter I explained that the land around Toronto was very very flat and that I missed very much the hills and mountains. I surely got my fill of hills in Quebec City and enjoyed walking the hilly streets and climbing steps high to the top of the historic quarter.
We enjoyed some time where the children came in turn to tell me what they had discovered during their research and showing me their notebooks full of beautifully drawn pictures and information:
The language of Quebec is French
The national sports of Canada include hockey, ice hockey, baseball and lacross.
The emblem of Canada is a maple leaf and is carried on the national flag, which is red and white. (The flag of Quebec is blue and white).
Another city of Quebec province – Montreal, hosted the olympic games in 1976.
There are 34 million people in Canada!
The city is well known for la Citadelle – a star- shaped fort high on the Cap Diamant cliffs, overlooking the river. The children found out that Quebec is the only walled city in North America! However I was reminded by one child that there in the North of Ireland was also a walled city – Derry! Here are some of the pictures I took of the fortifications which were built by the French and British between 1750 and 1831 and still occupied by Canadian troops to this day.
The blue skies did not last and I awaoke on the final day of my stay to a snow blizzard!
Here is a final view of the airport in Quebec:
It was impossible to see very far onto the runway and when we came to board our airplane, I was amazed the small plane would fly! The plane had to be de-iced by a man who operated a special crane and he squirted flourescent liquid all over the top of the plane, which was a small ‘prop’ plane with two propellars on the wings. This was the view of the whole process and the take off…..