Ruth: Tonight will be our third night within the walls of city of Quebec. This is definitely the closest Canada comes to being European, and yet we are still very much in the new world. Bear skin rugs, and signs for poutine, remind us of that. I think that long-distance cyclists and marathon runners are really the only people who can safely consume poutine. “Rest” days are all about refuelling and poutine was only the start. After a reunion with Gayle and John, fellow cyclists from England that we first met 10 years ago in Turkey, we emerged from our lunch in search of dessert. First stop was the oldest Epicerie in Canada, where we consumed a jar of maple butter.  I have heard that it is lovely on toast, but I find it works well solo off a plastic spoon. Next stop was the Museum of Chocolate. After a quick look around the exhibit, John said “O.K. We are done with the foreplay let’s get to the chocolate.” I tried an ice cream cone of vegan dark chocolate made with tofu. It was amazing.

Gordon:  Although it is an appealing component, there is actually more to Quebec than sweet confections.  The city is the cradle of French culture in North America, and from a Western Canadian perspective the historic centre is remarkably old.  It was established by Champlain in 1608, and it is the only city in Canada or the U.S. to retain defensive walls (portions of which you can walk on).  The old city is packed with tourists, which is understandable given that it incorporates block after block of beautifully preserved and restored buildings from the 17th to the 19th centuries.  As well as carbo-loading, we have visited the Plains of Abraham (who knew it was named after a farmer named Abraham Martin?), gone on a guided walking tour, and visited an Ursiline convent (which was also the first school for girls in North America.). Quebec definitely deserves another visit in the future.  I think it might even be a good winter destination.

Ruth: Oh I forgot to mention I had the best almond croissant ever!!!

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