Did I mention yet that Québec really reminds me of San Francisco? It is on one big cliff, so if you’re away from the city center at all, no matter if you’re coming from north or south (east is the river and west is the exception to the rule), you have steep hills to climb. Each straight road running north – south plunges downwards, and it’s pretty amazing if you stand at Place D’Youville looking down at the lights below you.
Toronto is really flat compared to this.
By the way, Québec holds the office for Canada’s geoscience research, and is one of the leading geomatics forestry research centres in Canada. It is basically built on rock.
Québec is, or used to be at least, very believing or religious. You can’t turn a corner without having one or two churches in sight – Québec’s Tim Horton’s? It’s funny what has happened with today’s more-than-yesterday’s secularized society. A lot of churches are there mostly just for masses, at Christmas and Easter, or are there for historical reasons, i.e. tourist sites. Some are even being converted to really expensive residential lofts.
Yesterday I went to Île d’Orléans, an island off of mainland Québec connected by a long bridge. Most city folk go there for the agriculture they produce there, sort of like a farmer’s market on an island. I had a wine and confiture tasting, but before that, I went into a mansion built in the 1700’s. The guide explained the uses of many of the tools and reasons why they had this and that. Everything had its use. It’s amazing, compared to my life. I am so materialistic. I have so much stuff in my room all the time I barely use and I just keep buying more and more. What’s more, a lot of the things are used for the purpose of keeping warm. If I’m cold, nowadays we just put on another sweater or if we’re not minding the energy, we turn up the heat.
For example, the chair frame had a big hole in the back, but the reason for that so that they their backs could be direct against the fireplace.
The candles were made out of animal fat, and they had to place them directly in a tin cans after being made to prevent mice and other creatures from getting to them.
The beds were small because they had to sit up during sleeping. If they lay down completely, they thought that they looked too dead and the Grim Reaper would come looking for them.
The cradle had a knob so that the mother could tie a cord around her wrist and the knob. She would be able to move around and do housework while still rocking the cradle.
Of course, they also ate out of pots that were made of lead so they were sick for most of their lives…
At night, I went to an exhibition called Moulin à Images. There are a set of about 30 silos in the Vieux-Port (Old Port) downtown. For the city’s 400th anniversary last year, Robert LePage was commissioned to create a film showing the city’s history and project it against the silos. They decided to do it again this year. The theme was history through transportation.
Also, I saw the Cirque du Soleil for the first time last week! It was incredible. An entertaining mix of acrobatics, circus fare, gymnastics and just wonder and awe.