Travelling Locally: Vacation in Quebec

I feel like I am slowly becoming a sponsor of the Quebec economy – this winter, we went to the North of Quebec to Rimouski and several other places in that region, and this summer, since the quarantine hit Quebec and we are not able to travel anywhere else, we decided to also travel around Quebec. Some of the activities that we did during the week were biking the hills, picking strawberries and blueberries, horseback riding and a quick trip to Quebec City. I also managed to squeeze in reading quite a bit and managed to wrap two books – “Normal People” by Sally Rooney and “Letter From Paris” by Louisa Deasey. But let’s go in order.

Blueberry picking

The first activity that we started our vacation with was blueberry picking. I have never picked blueberries in the field before – they really were not that popular when I was growing up in the Eastern Europe so it was the first time that I did some picking in the field.

Paddleboarding and fishing

We did the blueberry picking close to where my parents in law live but the next day we headed to their cabin that is located on the lake. It was quite refreshing to stay by the water after extremely hot few weeks in the Montreal area in July. We did all the usual things – swimming, paddleboarding and even some fishing.

Raspberry picking

While we were staying at the cabin, we also decided to make a quick trip to pick up some raspberries at the local farm. The raspberry bushes were quite impressive there with tons of raspberries on them but my favourite thing was seeing a deer coming over to the farm. When I was growing up, seeing wild animals roaming around just like that was not very common so I always get excited like a kid when I spot them.

Biking the hills

One the same day as picking up raspberries, we have also decided to bike. The road itself went around the lakes which was enjoyable. However, it was full of hills 😬 This is the one thing that I really do not enjoy from my running but I thought it was a good workaround after all.

Trip to Quebec City

In the middle of our vacation, we planned to make a two day trip to Quebec City and to sleep there overnight. We travelled there with the dog and luckily were able to find the AirBnB that accepted them. Sherlock was surprisingly a good boy even when we sat down at the restaurant – most of the time he would just be laying down and chilling with his water bowl under the table and staring at people. I think he has matured quite a bit over a few past years and grew into a dog that you can finally do things with (.vs yelling and jumping around to stop it from misbehaving pretty much every 20 minutes of the first two years of its life) which makes me really happy.

As for our trip, we walked around the old city in the first day – luckily, at the moment, there is barely any tourists so you can enjoy the city to yourself. We also had a drink on one of the terraces outside, walked a bit more, headed to our AirBnB for refreshment and then went to eat calzones at Casa Calzone – a place we used to go to quite often when we lived in Quebec.

One the second day of our stay, we had a brunch, walked around the city a bit more and then went to see a park des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière – here is a hack for you: it is a bit less famous that Montmorency Falls but it also has a quite impressive waterfalls and it is free (including the free parking). You can take a good 1-hour walk there in the forest by the water overlooking the falls.

Horseback Riding

On the last day of our vacation, I wanted to do something that I did not try before. Horseback riding was one of the things that I wanted to try to a while so we booked a 2.5 hour session at Domaine Fraser. I really liked the place itself – it has over 450 animals including about 80 alpacas and 40 horses. However, none of the animals are raised to be eaten as the owners are vegetarian and their main profit comes from selling the alpaca’s fur. They are also the only breeder of Appenzeller Sennenhund in Canada that they imported from Switzerland.

As for the horseback riding itself, I really liked the session because we went to pick up our own horses in the field, then we led them to the stable and did the brushing to build a connection with the horse, then our instructor explained how to work with the horse and we headed over for a walk on the trail in the forest in a group. The trail was beautiful – through the forest, in the fields and overlooking the lakes.

And that’s it! This was our little local vacation before heading out in a new week of work. Quarantine is not fun but it could be a good opportunity to look at what is around you 😉

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