After a huge, healthy breakfast (cereal and lots of fresh fruit) in the hotel we ventured out. We walked along the rim of the St Lawrence River, becoming braver with more experience of walking in snow and only slipping a few times on ice that sneaked up on us. We went to the Citadel but we were too early for the next tour at 13:00 so didn't see much. As most of the canons around the perimeter were nearly completely buried by snow we are not sure what there would have been to see inside anyway. We walked down into the old town and added to our luggage by buying warmer hats and scarves. We think we are now fully equipped for this sort of weather. Though we weren't thrilled to see tomorrow's predicted maximum temperature of -4 deg C (25 deg F).
We loved our walk around the city. After a light lunch we visited Parliament House and took a guided tour with an English-speaking guide. It's a beautiful old building, built to reflect the three eras of this city - French, British and Canadian - with lots of beautiful timber, carvings, parquetry and plaster work.
We were told that Quebec's motto is "Je me souviens" (I remember). This is reflected in the symbols that appear throughout the building where the 3 main periods of Quebec's history are represented: the fleurs-de-lis for the French regime (1534 to 1763), the lion rampant for the British regime (1763 to 1867) and the maple leaves for the period following Canadian Confederation. It is interesting to note that although this is a provincial parliament, it is called the "National" Assembly of Quebec. In 1968 Quebec became the last province to abolish its upper house. There used to be a Legislative Assembly (lower house) and a Legislative Council (upper hose). Now, there is the National Assembly.
We ventured out again for dinner in another nearby restaurant, this time one that specialises in Quebecois cuisine. Tom had veal while Ruth had a pie which included caribou which we both enjoyed.
We are loving this city, with its beautiful winter scenery and great food. Since arrving in French-speaking Canada (36 hours ago) everyone we have met has been friendly and most helpful and able to either speak fluent English or, at least, far better English than our French. Here, Tom feels as though he is in Europe.