A Travellerspoint blog

Iceland or bust

0 °C

I've filled out almost all my forms for my exchange to Iceland next year but now I'm not sure whether I should do the full 8 months just to Iceland. Is that too much for one tiny island?

I'm thinking of spending the fall semester in Nijmegen, The Netherlands and then spending the next four in the dark. Well, only time will tell what I decide to do.

Posted by corneggs 00:00 Comments (0)

Carnaval du Québec

snow 0 °C

So I went to the Carnaval and let me just say this: Québec is so old and beautiful. It is much more Québecois than the overrated Montréal.

On the first day the bus was late getting to the hotel because of the snowstorm. We stayed at a place called the Chauteau Laurier, a walkable distance to the Plains of Abraham.
We went for dinner at a place called Calzone's, then we went to a club called Maurice. Pretty sleazy because there were these group of tweens on their Breakaway Tours vacation. Oh no.

Next day we had a great but expensive breakfast at the hotel. It was full of wonderful croissants and pain au chocolat, of course.
We then headed out to the Carnaval in which we did all kinds of things. We played (actually I watched people play) human foosball, we went down an ice slide, sampled lots of free food in a tent, watched some poor dogs being dragged, went through an obstacle course which the military had set up, and paid $1.50 for a really stupid tubing thing that didn't really work. All in good fun.
We then went back to the hotel and rested. Next we went to Vieux-Québec, the old walled part and port of town. It was really really beautiful but unfortunately it was all touristisized (that's my new word for tacky from now on). The roads were all cobblestone and it was like being in Europe except not really.
We had hot chocolate in Conti, an extremely expensive restaurant that took forever to make four cups of beverages.
By this time it was dark and as we were rounding around the Chateau Frontenac we could see the lights on the other side (I don't know where "the other side" actually is). There was a boat drifting down the icy river and it made someone think of an icebreaker.
We went tobagganing one this large ice hill on a rickety wooden tobaggan. Yes, I can't spell the word but it was really fun. We had to pay $2 but it was very much worth it, more than that tubing thing.
We headed back to the shops side and ate poutine at a fast food poutine place. The cheese curds were squeaky clean, unlike the ones here and in Gatineau.
We were going to go to the opening ceremonies. I could see the fireworks in our room, but then we didn't.
For the night we headed out to a boite-de-chanson, literally a song box. It's sort of like a pub-like cabaret except not really. It reminds me of the times when I sang Ah si mon moin voulez-vous danser or whatever and the moulin song. When I sang those songs I would picture huge old wooden cabins filled with people dancing and singing and playing the spoons and that'd be their entertainment for the night. Well, this was like that which was amazing. Except some people decided to leave because it was too crowded but I stayed. What was amazing about it was that everybody (except for me) knew all the lyrics and were all singing and participating. Very different from a concert atmosphere where you go and maybe at periods the singer would stop so you could shout out some lyrics but most of the time you're just standing there watching. Even if I didn't know any of the lyrics (and Québecois folk music is amazing) I was still clapping my hands along.

The third day I just slept on the bus on the way back.

Posted by corneggs 00:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

On va au Québec!

all seasons in one day 0 °C

I don't even think that's the correct grammar, but oh well. I'm going to the Carnaval du Québec! It's been my dream ever since I heard about the bonhomme in French class in grade 4.
I'm already making plans to do stuff there:
Manger le sirop d'erable
....any other suggestions?
What makes it super special is that I fact-checked the article concerning the Carnaval for a certain magazine that had a special issue about 4the 00th anniversary of Québec. Wow that's a lot of clauses in one sentence.

In other good travelling news:
I finally the approval of the academic advisor to go on an exchange to the University of Iceland. Now I just have to complete many more forms and I'm off!

Posted by corneggs 00:00 Comments (0)

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