Sunday, 15 July 2012

Explore Day 14: Hiking, Basilica of St. Anne, Sushi!

This week passed by so quickly! It's already my second weekend here in Quebec and next week will be the halfway point of Explore (which means midterms eek!)

The activity I joined for this Saturday was a hike on Cap Tourmente and a visit to la basilique Ste. Anne. There was a bit of a problem for me because I wasn't on the attendance list. I had my ticket for proof that I already paid but this was the third time my name was missing on the list.

I spoke to one of the animateurs about it and she was slightly rude which annoyed me because it was their error to begin with. They probably forgot to record me down into the computer system. She told me they will address the problem at the end of the hike. So I spoke to another animateur later and she told me to return to the office Monday morning to talk to their lead animateur. Sigh, this is what the rest of the world calls "Canadian speed" aka slow. It's just a small problem and they still have to defer it.

Anyways we left campus at 9:00am to take an hour long bus ride to Cap Tourmente. It was very sunny and the weather looked perfect for a summer hike.

There were three groups: rapid, medium, and slow hikers. I joined the medium speed group which consisted of 2km of trail hiking then 2km of steep uphill hiking. The trees here aren't as dense as the forests in BC so it quickly became very warm while hiking. The last 2km was all steep uphill hiking and boy was it tiring!

Steep uphill (it's steeper than it looks in the photo)

This place is known for its birds and there were people with large professional cameras and tripods waiting to capture photos of them. When I was walking a large white blur swooped over my head. Linda yelled, "Hedwig!" and I turned around to see an owl on the tree.

When we arrived at one of the scenic areas we stopped for lunch. The sweaty t-shirt in the photo shows how hot it became.

The scenery was gorgeous with the line between sea and sky blurred and endless green space. This was what my eyes feasted on while I ate my strawberry jam sandwich. 

These were the last sunny sky photos I took that day because on our hike down it began POURING rain! I am not exaggerating because every one of us was soaked head to toe in water. The canopy of the forest was not thick enough to provide any protection from the elements so we just trudged on hoping to get to the bus soon. It was a bizarre experience at how suddenly the rain began. Also the other times I hiked in this much rain I was prepared with a rain jacket but this time I was caught in a tank top and shorts. At least I had a hat because the flies/insects/mosquitoes were strange here. They began flying around people's heads as if they were hives! *shudder*

Our next stop was la basilique Ste. Anne which I've visited in 2008 before and it looked exactly the same. It was still raining so I didn't take many exterior photos but the interior was still nice.

I remember that these doors are famous but I don't remember why. There was a room in the basement with rows upon rows of candles and it felt nice and toasty there after being soaked from the rain.

Back on campus we told our friends who went to other activities about the surprise rain and they responded that they didn't experience any rain at all. I guess the weather is different outside of town!

For dinner we went for sushi because we had all been craving for it. We went to a restaurant called Tokyo Sushi.

Back home when I go to Japanese restaurants I can read the English explanation for Japanese terms that I don't recognize but here the explanations on the menu were in French. So I was trying to understand the menu about a language that I don't know (Japanese) and a language that I half know (French). That proved interesting.

The tempura was overfried, the rice was not Japanese rice and lacked rice vinegar. The unagi in the rolls was more skin than fish. Even though the sushi here is obviously not authentic it did not taste bad, just North Americanized. 

Before heading back to campus for the night we walked past the VIA rail station. The same architect of this building designed Chateau Frontenac. The fountain with its orange lights looked like a fire behind us!

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