Saturday, February 18, 2006

from quebec city: ice

A high of -2? Fahrenheit? With a wind chill that refuses to type itself here because it is so daunting? Interesting.

You read about how the Quebecois deal with winter and you try to copy them. Wear layers and embrace the cold. I think it’s a toss up if I embraced the cold or it embraced me, but we were indeed one today.

My answer to the question of how is it pleasurable to do a getaway to a place even colder than Wisconsin had always been – hey, I’ll catch up with my reading and writing and I’ll take a few photos in the 5 minutes I step outside and I’ll eat well. Good deal, no?

With only a short occasional pause to catch our breath, we spent four hours outside, Ed and I.

It was worth it: a search for ice pushed us to extremes.

Initially, I wanted to find the ice sculptures.

Through lower vielle ville streets, up the road to upper Quebec, sliding terribly on the planes of Abraham, peering out with tears freezing on the lids, Lara’s theme playing in my head, we search and find nothing.

Why would a city dismantle ice sculptures just because its winter festival has ended?

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snow and houses and snow

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where are they? where is anything?

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out and about: embracing the cold

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...but first you bundle up

Then came the brilliant plan to do the ferry crossing. The St Lawrence is traversable, even though the ferry has to crash through floating bricks of ice. It is nothing short of an awesome trip. The sound itself is tremendous.

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the city spills into the river

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ferries, passing each other

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St Lawrence close up

Looking out we see canoers. Nuts, these guys are nuts. I found a bunch of people even more insane than I am! I watch them get in their boat, paddle furiously…

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…and when the going gets tough and they can paddle no more, they hop out and jump between floating chunks of ice.

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...and jumping ice

Standing at the helm of the ferry takes every last ounce of warmth out of my veins. The only solution, ONLY solution is to find a creperie and order something hugely satisfying. Maybe filled with apricot puree and roasted almonds?

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hot and fulfilling


  1. Nina - this may be my favorite series of photos ever on your site! Just stunning - and I've always wanted to go to Quebec. Hope to see more!

  2. wonderful.....a beautiful glimpse at a world I've never seen and a drive I can't imagine....but the pastry.....oh my gawd!!!!

    By the way, I copied your photos of the winter cyclists to my blog, . Wanted California bicyclists to see how hardcore Madison cyclists are.

  3. Great post. My wife and I honeymooned in Quebec City last October, and the autumn colors were amazing, as was the food.

  4. snow snow snow everywhere
    what beauty to live within
    and also
    what a pity - to live within (for the persons like me)

    I have saved the photos as if they were taken by me

    Expect more


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