Val Jalbert and Quebec City

Trip Start Nov 04, 2011
Trip End Jul 27, 2012

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, Quebec,
Saturday, July 7, 2012

Up at around 7 this morning. Got dressed and organized then left for Tim Hortons for breakfast. A bacon and egg English muffin and a yoghurt and OJ and I was back in the car on my way to Val Jalbert.

Val Jalbert is a genuine company town complete with forty or so original period buildings. The village was founded in 1901 and soon saw success in the pulp mill created by Damase Jalbert at the base of the Ouiatchouan Falls. However, the success was fleeting as the abrupt closure of the mill in 1927 led the desertion of the entire village, which ended up a ghost town.

It took about an hour to get there and I arrived around 9. Bought my ticket and the next bus was leaving at 9:20. Unfortunately the tour was all in French, but it was nice to get an overview of the site before going for a walk around.

The bus dropped us off at the Mill 15 minutes later and I wandered to the lookout at the foot of the Ouiatchouan waterfall to get some pictures while the sky was a beautiful blue.

Next I walked through the Mill to the lookout at the heart of the falls. There is a glass platform there on which you can stand and see the rocks below. I then took the cable car ride up to the top of the cliff from where I did the walk to the 49m Maligne Falls.

On the way back I stopped for a look at the "Loggers' Camp". A log cabin built "row by row". I decided to take the stairs back down the mountain and stop at the various lookouts along the way including the summit of the falls and a great view out over the majestic Lac Saint-Jean and Val Jalbert site.

I descended the rest of the way to the bottom of the mountain and then walked around to Rue Labrecque. Val Jalbert was even better than I had hoped! I knew it was a ghost town, but I never imagined how decrepit some of the houses would be. All of the houses on this street were falling apart. The roofs caved in from years of heavy snow and no maintenance. So interesting!

Next I walked along Avenue Dubuc. The houses on this street were in much better shape however you couldn't go inside any of the houses. I walked on to Avenue Tremblay and saw some Double houses. This street also had a few collapsed buildings. I saw a big fat animal perched on the rail of a verandah.

I was able to go inside building 72 which had been renovated inside. The house was also full of antiques from the period. I wanted to make it back to the General Store for the show at 12:45 so I took "the student trail" through to the convent school.

The convent school has 4 classrooms on the bottom floor and a church and quarters for the nuns upstairs. There was a "nun" who even sat down at the piano to play a few tunes.

I walked along Rue St-Georges and had a look through the workers' house, once home to two working families. Then on to look at the post office. The painted renovated houses are actually accommodation and you can stay here and enjoy meals at the General Store for dinner and breakfast.

A quick view of the Ouiatchouan River and the interesting shape of the limestone walls of the gully. I sat for a while and watched the show at the General Store. Unfortunately it was all in French, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it! I ducked inside the store and got a ham sandwich and muffin for lunch.

I walked back up to the mill via an old horse shed surrounded by farm equipment and along the old railway track. Inside the Mill one of the employees gave me a rundown on how the mill made paper used to make newspapers. Unfortunately the model room was not open to visit.

I walked back along the railway track to the church foundation. I then took the canyon trail back to the welcome centre. Some great viewing platforms along the trail overlooking the limestone canyon formed by the river. Some very spectacular scenery.

Back at the visitor centre where I had a quick look at the cemetery before heading inside to use the restroom before my long drive to Quebec City. I left just after 2:30. The scenery on the way to Quebec City was lovely, green trees as far as the eye could see. I am getting quite used to driving on the right side of the road too!

I arrived at the outskirts of Quebec City at about 5:30 and it was pretty slow going from there. Lots of people in town for the festival and I'm sure lots of tourists like me not really sure where to go! I think I took a wrong turn at one point but ended up back on the right road to find myself at the Chateau Frontenac, my accommodation for the night.

It is a very posh hotel and they valet parked my car and delivered my bags to the room. The room was very nice on the 6th floor. My budget did not stretch to a room with a view unfortunately, but the room overlooked an inner courtyard instead.

Carl and I had decided to share a room to save on costs, so he arrived soon after and we got ready to head out for dinner at about 8. We walked to Rue Saint Louis then along to the restaurant that Carls colleague Celia had suggested. It was pretty packed so the girl on the door suggested we come back after 9 when everyone would be at the concerts.

So we went a few doors down to a bar and had a beer. There were massive crowds around and so many people dining on the massive terraces of the restaurants. Such an atmosphere and so different to when I was here for the winter carnival.

Back to the restaurant Savini at 9 and got a table for dinner. I had the bruschetta for entrée and lamb shank for main course and we shared a bottle of Australian Chardonnay, noice!

Later we met up with Carl's colleague Celia and her sister and their friends at a club called Le Maurice. They were VIPs and we got to go straight through into the multi level club. We ended up on the top floor where we had some drinks and did some dancing.

We went downstairs a bit later, but I was keen to keep dancing so went back upstairs and befriended a group of ladies on the dance floor and proceeded to dance the night away with them! I had a blast, and really enjoyed the music the DJ was playing. At one stage dancing to "I come from a land down under!" ;-)

The ugly lights came on around 3am and I found Carl and Celia. We said goodbye to Celia and Carl and I walked back to the Chateau and got ready for bed around 4am! What a fun night!
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