Bonjour tout le monde!
Today we left our hotel in Québec at about 11 am. After doing a final sweep of the rooms, the hotel staff declared our rooms “marveilleuse” (marvelous). Only one student forgot an instrument!
The busses dropped us off in the square by the Château Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world. Then, we split up into groups to explore this oldest walled city north of Mexico. A spacious boardwalk overlooks the St. Lawrence River in front of the Château. This is also the site of the infamous funicular, a glorified elevator originally used to transport goods from the ports to the haute ville. Now, it carries the swarms of tourists up and down between the upper and lower sections of Vieux Québec. And, the lower level of Old Québec is the dictionary definition of picturesque: narrow cobblestone streets and brightly shuttered stone houses lined up on either side.
For lunch we dined on Ashton’s fine poutine, a delicious Canadian classic of French fries and cheese curds, served with ladles of piping hot gravy on top.
The bus ride back to Montreal was long but thankfully unimpeded by traffic jams along our route. The airport was another story – endlessly snaking lines just for checking baggage and then again for going through security. We still managed to arrive on time to our gate.
So far, our flight to France has been uneventful, except for minor turbulence at the beginning. Now it’s time for a little sleep before we arrive in Paris in a few hours.
Blaise Gervais, viola (Photos: Oliver Ames, violin)
The VYO has arrived in Paris as of this morning. VYOA Executive Director Caroline Whiddon emailed me moments ago with the following update:
“We’ve been traveling for the last 26 hrs on bus, plane, and bus….. but we arrived safely. The tour has been GREAT so far, and everyone is healthy & happy. Also, I can see the top half of the Eiffel Tower from my hotel room!”
Rachel Howard forwarded several beautiful photos from the orchestra’s first afternoon in Paris.
Lisamarie Charlesworth, VYOA Director of Marketing (Photos: Troy Peters & Rachel Howard, viola)