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

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

Friday 30 June 2017

Canada Coast To Coast

  1. British Columbia
  2. Alberta
  3. Saskatchewan
  4. Manitoba
  5. Ontario
  6. Quebec
  7. New Brunswick
  8. Prince Edward Island
  9. Nova Scotia
  10. Newfoundland
  This year Canada is celebrating its 150th year of Confederation.  We are lucky enough to have seen the country from coast to coast.  We have been to all ten provinces and even touched the tidal waters of Nunavut from Churchill, Manitoba.  The territories are on our travel wish list.  Below is a list of just one of our favourite things from each province.

1 ) British Columbia
Afternoon Tea At The Empress.

BC has the animals, the Pacific Ocean and so much more. One of our favourite things was tea at The Empress Hotel in Victoria. Read More

2 ) Alberta
Banff Mountain View.

Alberta shares the Rocky Mountains with BC, but Alberta has Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise.  We fell in love with the snow capped mountains. Read More.

3 ) Saskatchewan
Roll On Saskatchewan.

Yes it is flat, but the fields with rolls of hay and the blue skies have a feel all their own.  It also seemed to have a never ending sunset as we drove westward. Read More

4 ) Manitoba
Churchill Polar Bear.

This is the furthest north we have ever been in Canada.  Our favourite thing in Manitoba is the polar bears of Churchill. Read More.

5 ) Ontario
Algonquin Getaway.

We spend most of our time in the province of Ontario.  Algonquin Park is our favourite place to really get away from it all. Read More.

6 ) Quebec
The Ice Hotel Bar.

Hotel de Glace is built each winter just outside of Quebec City.  We spent a night inside this palace of ice. Read More.

7 ) New Brunswick
Hopewell Rocks Low Tide.

The Hopewell Rocks are formed by the high tidal fluctuations that occur in the area.  You can walk down beneath the unusual rocks and 6 hours later the water has returned and filled everything back in. Read More.

8 ) Prince Edward Island
PEI's red soil.

Our brief two day visit to PEI was 48 hours of rain.  We did enjoy getting to and from the island.  First we drove across the marvel that is Confederation Bridge and then we saw the red soil when we left on a ferry.  We will return.  Read More.

9 ) Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has Peggy's Cove and Cape Breton Island.  One of our best days in the province was spent at the Halifax Public Gardens. Read More.

10 ) Newfoundland
Iceberg Alley.

Iceberg Alley passes right around the top of Newfoundland.  We were lucky to see these gigantic 10,000 year old pieces of glacial ice as they floated in the Atlantic Ocean. Read More.

Ten provinces and ten wonderful memories.  

Map of Our World
Banff Gondola , Saskatchewan , Hopewell Rocks Park , Halifax Public Gardens , Witless Bay
Empress Hotel , Hotel De Glace , Confederation Bridge
Tundra Buggy Tour , Algonquin Park (Lake Opeongo)

Post # 181

Sunday 15 January 2017

The Quebec City to Levis Ferry

Ferry Passes Frontenac.

Location: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Address: 10 Rue des Traversiers
Date: Feb 2010
Website: www.traversiers.com

   We didn't need to get to Levis, in fact we didn't even get off on the other side.  We rode the ferry that goes across the St. Lawrence River for sheer pleasure.  We had been staying at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City and from the hotel we could see the ferries pushing through the ice that had formed on the river's surface.  We just had to get a closer look.

View From Quebec City To Levis.

  So despite the bitter wind and cold we took the funicular (incline railway) down to where the ferry departs.  We rode the ferry from Quebec City to Levis and back again.  The trip only takes about 20 minutes each way.  At these low temperatures you could get frostbite much faster.

Old Quebec From The St. Lawrence.

  From the middle of the river you get great photo opportunities of Old Quebec along with Chateau Frontenac (top of this page) and the famous Citadel.  That is if you were willing to leave the warmth of the  ship's interior and head out onto the deck 

Ice Chunks.

  Broken chunks of ice jutted up from the river's surface.  These had been broken up by our ferry or other boats from further up river.  We watched as the ice moved from our path or sometimes huge cracks formed as our boat fought its way through.

Cold as Ice.  Paradise.

  In some spots the ice was moving rapidly because the current was so strong.  The ferry had to adjust for the current so it would force its way against the current and then ride with it in order to arrive at the station on the other side.  The St. Lawrence River runs from the Atlantic Ocean, through the provinces of Quebec and Ontario until it finally ends its 3,000 kilometre journey at the first of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario.  

Icy Waters.
The Mighty St. Lawrence.

    It wasn't long until the ferry scraped up against the icy wall on the Levis side of the river.  While the ferry off-loaded and re-loaded we took the opportunity to warm up back inside again.  Our cameras also appreciated the break.  Just be aware that changes in temperature can lead to a foggy lens so be sure to give your camera some time to adjust. 


  We had started off on the upper deck but now we wanted to get even closer to the action.  The lower level of the ferry is where vehicles are secured while they make the journey across the river.  This also just happened to be the best spot to get right up close to the cracking ice and the metallic creak of the ferry as it forced its way along.  Oh what a noise!  In the video below you can hear for yourself.  Mostly what you will hear is the wind blowing into the tiny microphone on our camcorder, but beneath that is the crunch of ice.

  As the boat scraped against land once more on the Quebec City side we were glad to be back from our adventure.  We headed up to the warmth of our hotel where we were happy to report that everyone, camera equipment included, had survived the trip.

Map of Our World
  Quebec City to Levis Ferry

Post # 156

Saturday 30 January 2016

Carnaval de Quebec

Bonhomme Carnaval.

Location: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Address:  Plaines D'Abraham
Date: Feb 2010
Website: www.carnaval.qc.ca

  For many years Quebec City has hosted a carnival in the very heart of winter.  It starts at the end of January and runs throughout most of February.  The carnival includes parades, fireworks, games, music and more.  In the mid 1950s the carnival was revitalized and a snowman wearing a red hat and sash became its official mascot.  His name is Bonhomme Carnaval.  We encountered Bonhommes all over Quebec City.  We were even greeted by one when we arrived at the airport.

Bonhomme's Ice Palace.

  The main site of Carnaval de Quebec is located on the Plains of Abraham.  Before we reached the plains, we passed Place Loto-Quebec and Bonhomme's Ice Palace.  Each year a special palace is constructed out of blocks of ice.  Due to the temperature at this time of year being constantly below zero there is no fear of this palace melting during the carnival.

Baby It's Cold Outside.Place Loto Quebec.

   In order to gain access to all of the Carnaval events you need to wear a small pin or effigy on your jacket.  The theme in 2010 was "The Carnival Makes You Dance!" so the effigys featured Bonhomme dancing in front of a disco ball. 

Bonhomme Effigy.Bonhomme Effigie.

  As we entered the main Carnaval site we walked past the International Snow Sculpture Event.  All of the competitors deserve an award just for enduring the extreme cold weather for hours while working on their snowy creations.

Happy Carnaval.

  A few of our favourites were a gymnastics sculpture, a man escaping from a bear and a screaming ice face.

Snow Gymnastics.
 Bearly Escaped.

  The sculpture above represents how most people look when that first blast of cold Quebec City winter air hits their face.  It was almost cold enough that your face might just stay that way.  We did seek out a temporary reprieve from the cold by going into a few tents, like the Mr. Christie / Kraft tent that was giving out samples.

Zip Line Entrance.
 Great Ice Slide.

  Then it was back outside where we took part in some zip lining and tobogganing until the sun started to go down.  We enjoyed our time at Carnaval de Quebec but now we were ready to head back towards our hotel. We needed to find a fireplace to thaw us out and a nice hot meal to fill us up.   

Hanging Around At Carnaval.

Map of Our World
Carnaval de Quebec

Post # 93