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Showing posts with label Quebec. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quebec. Show all posts

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Montmorency Falls

La Chute Montmorency

Location: Quebec, Canada
Address:  5300 Boulevard Sainte-Anne
Date: Aug 2017
Website:  www.sepaq.com

  Montmorency Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Canada.  It is the highest waterfall east of Alberta.  After visiting Quebec City we stopped for a visit on our way to Tadoussac.  We took a cable car up to the falls then crossed over the falls on a bridge and then descended hundreds of steps back down on the other side.  This allowed us to go full circle around this impressive sight.

Montmorency From Cable Car.
Cable Car The Easier Way To The Top Of The Falls.

  We purchased our tickets which allowed us to park our car, ride the cable car and stroll the grounds surrounding the falls.  The cable car whisked us up to the top in no time at all.

Manoir Montmorency.

  After exiting the cable car we found ourselves at the base of the steps leading to Manoir Montmorency.

Hang In There Manoir.

  Manoir Montmorency is a restaurant situated next to the falls and clinging close to the edge of the cliff.  After passing the restaurant you take a walkway to a bridge that goes across the falls.

Careful Not To Let Anything Fall Into The Falls.

  This bridge is where you experience the true force of the water as it passes beneath you and drops 84 metres.

Montmorency River.

The water from the Montmorency River flows to the edge of the falls.

Hmmmm Drop.

  The water then prepares itself for the big drop as people admire it from above.


Then it falls.

All The Way To The Bottom Maggie.

All the way down.

St. Lawrence River.

  The water then continues on its way into the St. Lawrence River.   The day we visited the water levels were quite low which makes us wonder what the falls would have been like after a big rainfall.

Quebec City In The Distance.

  After walking over the falls we crossed another smaller bridge and from the top of the hill we were treated to an excellent view of Quebec City.  Montmorency Falls are just a short drive north from the city.

No Not That Step, The One Above It.  That Step Felt A Little Loose.

  The next part of our journey took us down a series of steps built on grey slate rock.

Facing The Falls.

From the stairs you could get a great view facing the falls.


  You could also get a great view of the zipliners racing past the brink of the falls.  We had seen the zipliners picking out their helmets and building up their courage inside Manoir Montmorency earlier.

Over The Rainbow.

  As we looked down into the mist a rainbow formed.

Into The Mist.

  Finally we reached the bottom of the stairs and ventured onto a platform covered in the mist from the crashing water.  


  In the winter this mist and spray forms what is called the Sugarloaf or Le Pain de Sucre.  It is created by the mist collecting and freezing to form a huge bump at the base of the falls. 

Full Circle Around Montmorency.

  We travelled along the edge of the grey slate slopes until we found ourselves back at the cable car station.  Our journey had now come fulll circle and we had admired the falls from every angle.

Map of Our World
Montmorency Falls

Post # 209

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A Night In The Ice Hotel (Hotel de Glace)

Ice Hotel At Night

Location: Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Quebec, Canada
Address:  1860 Boulevard Valcartier
Date: Feb 2010
Website: www.hoteldeglace-canada.com

  The Hotel de Glace or The Ice Hotel is located just north of Quebec City.  It is built out of snow and ice each December and tourists come to admire the beautifully carved rooms.  We blogged about these in a previous post.  Guests can start spending the night in January.  We spent a night in early February 2010.

Shovel The Roof.

  Quebec gets a lot of snow and gets very cold.  There was so much snow that a team of shovellers had to go to work clearing the roof of a nearby lodge.  As far as the cold, outside of the hotel it often drops below -25 Celcius.  Inside the hotel it is around -5 Celcius.  To spend a night here is a bit of a challenge.

The Lodge.

  Just in case you need some real warming up, there is a lodge next to the Ice Hotel.  It is a regular structure with normal temperatures inside.  This is where we had lockers to keep our luggage, clothes  and toiletries  We also had trouble sleeping and visited this area a few times during the night.

Long Snow Hallway.
 Doorway In The Ice.

  Our room was not one of the fancy rooms with carved sculptures inside, but a simple space for us to sleep.   The room was located down one of the long snowy hallways that got even harder to navigate in the middle of the night.

Chambre 8 Room 8

  The doorway is just a curtain which is part of the reason you keep your belongings in the lodge.   The bed is made from ice and wood and then covered with a fur.

Thermal Sleeping Bags.

    Aside from wearing thermal undergarments we were also given our special sleeping bags.  They were designed to keep you warm in extreme temperatures.  They had a double layer and a zipper inside so you could zip yourself up like you were in a cocoon.  They would cover over part of your face and then there was a hood to pull over your head to reduce skin exposure.  The only issue for one of us was that the biggest bag they had was still a little too short.  Any sort of kicking or stretching while you were sleeping and it would pull tight on the hood and you would wake up in a panic.  Fortunately you could unzip quickly to finish the stretch, but it made for a long night.

Ice Bar.

  The best part about spending the night in the Hotel de Glace was that once the busloads of tourists left we had the place pretty much to ourselves.  We headed to the Ice Bar.

Roaring Fire inside the Ice Hotel.
 Cheers!  Frozen Glasses.

  At the bar you could get a drink inside a glass made of ice.  We enjoyed a few of these and when we were done the bartender just threw them behind the bar.  The ice was specially formed so it would not stick to your face.  It did melt a bit as you sipped your beverage while dancing to the DJ.  The glasses also did some neat tricks when we slid them across the tables made of... what else but ice.

The Bar After Hours.

  Eventually even the bar had to close.  We went and did some more night time exploring.

The Facilities.

    In a small open section there were washrooms and change rooms located in a small building.   We made a few visits here in the night due to the combination of the cold and the time spent at the bar earlier.

Arctic Spa.

  If you were really brave you could run to one of the hot tubs and sit out under the stars.  We didn't see anyone brave enough to go for a dip that evening.

Hotel de Glace In The Night.

   Aside from a few drunken people that mumbled something at us, the only other person around in the middle of the night was a security guard near the main gate.

La Torche.

  There were torches allowing us to find our way back into the hallways that would lead us to our room once more.


  Eventually morning arrived and we packed up our gear and left our fantasy castle of ice.  We had a once in a lifetime experience and some great stories to tell.  The Ice Hotel is beautiful, but we were planning to get a better night's sleep at the Chateau Frontenac that evening.

Map of Our World
Hotel de Glace

Post # 203

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Hotel de Glace (Hotel of Ice)

Hôtel de Glace sculpté dans la glace.

Location: Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Quebec, Canada
Address:  1860 Boulevard Valcartier
Date: Feb 2010
Website: www.hoteldeglace-canada.com

  The Hotel de Glace or The Ice Hotel is located just north of Quebec City.  It is built out of snow and ice each December and guests can start spending the night in January.  The hotel continues to be built and by February it is complete.  Then come April it is demolished before it melts away.  The next December the whole process starts again.

Stairs Down To The Ice Hotel.

   We were brave enough to spend one night inside the hotel, but most visitors come just for a brief daytime visit to see the ice sculpted rooms.  We will discuss our overnight stay in another blog post.  First let us take a tour of how the hotel looked in 2010.

Ice Hotel Floor Plan.

  The green section in the floor plan (above) was built by January 4th.  The red section was built by January 12th and the final blue section was finished January 19th.

Furry Front Doors.

  We entered through the fur covered front doors.

Igloo Room.

   The first room we entered was the Igloo Room.  It had a tall curved ceiling.

Ice Chandelier.

  An ice chandelier hung from the ceiling as tourists roamed the Grand Hall area.

Everything is on the rocks.

The Ice Bar had tables made of ice and huge ice pillars holding back the thick snow roof.

Fire & Ice.

  It also had a fireplace to help you forget that it was -30 degrees outside and below freezing inside.

The Ice Slide.

  A slippery ice slide was set up in a corner and grown-ups took turns acting like children as they played in the snow.

A Long Icy Hallway.

  A long hallway of snow and ice leads to the special hotel rooms.  We spent our night in a basic room, but the special rooms are a highlight of the hotel.  Each room has its own theme.

Ocean Room.

  There was an ocean room with whales carved into the walls.

Eclipse Room.

An eclipse room where it looked like you could reach out and touch the sky.

Mermaid Room.

A room with a mermaid watching over you while you sleep.

Rose Room.

A rose room with a pink glow and flowers carved into the snow and ice.

Greek Room.

A Greek room complete with statues and pillars.

Bear Behind The Bed.
Blue Ice.
Totem Room.
Wall Carving Room.
Sloped Roof Bedroom.

Above are some other highlights from the various rooms we visited.

Ice Chapel.

Just behind the hotel is the ice chapel.  There have been many visitors to the Hotel de Glace who have chosen a chilly start to their new life together.  Many weddings have been held here each year since the hotel first opened in 2001.  Each year the chapel melts away with the rest of the hotel and is reborn with a new look the next year.

Etched Ice Chapel Window.

  The chapel had a beautiful etched ice window at the back.  The entire Ice Hotel with its carvings and coloured lights is quite a sight to see.  Spending the night inside the hotel is a different story.  We will continue with that story in our next post.

Map of Our World
Hotel de Glace

Post # 202