It is the end of our final full week in Québec City!! We had a great week, working hard in class to prepare a presentation, as well as having fun on our day excursions.
On Monday, after our major class was over, we went on an excursion to the Citadel. The Citadel is a fortress that was built by the British in the 1800s as a defense strategy against other groups, first against the Americans, and then against the Québécois. Although we missed the changing of the guards, a ceremony that happens every day during the summer in Québec City, we did take a tour around the Citadel. Our tour guide told us about the history of the Citadel as well as how it is still an active military base today.
She pointed out the barracks that house soldiers today. The soldiers are not allowed to come with any family members. Another tradition at the Citadel is Batiste the Goat! Queen Elizabeth II had received a goat as a gift from Iran. After that, she decided to send one to Québec City as a gift as well. She kept sending goats until the Citadel in Québec began breeding their own goats, all named Batiste! The goat there now is the 12th Batiste. I was pretty sad that we did not get to meet him!
During the rest of our tour, we got to look inside the old jail where soldiers would go for around three nights if they did something as simple as not cleaning up after breakfast. There’s a point of the Citadel which looks onto the St. Lawrence River and has a beautiful view of Le Château Frontenac. It is said to be the best view of Québec City. It was so interesting to learn about the history of the Citadel as well as its presence in Québec City today.
One of our group’s favorite daily activities besides exploring Old Québec has been going to the mall! I suspect it’s because the stores here are so different from the ones where we are all from, in addition to the fact that it is air conditioned! On Tuesday, we headed to the mall to do some shopping and for dinner. When we came back, we watched a movie called Knight and Day on the projector with the whole group. We gathered lots of pillows and snacks to be very comfortable when watching it. It’s times like these that I really appreciate how close we are as a group!
I was beyond excited when the leaders told us we’d be going back on the Lévis Ferry one more time!! The ferry was my personal favorite excursion. It takes you on a short 20-minute ride across the St. Lawrence River to the other side where there are fountains and music. I loved the ferry ride because we were on the water right as the sun went down, creating a beautiful view. We boarded the ferry, watched the sunset, and when we crossed the river there was a concert with live music and lots of lights!
It was all in French but was so fun to dance along to. My friends and I bought some of our favorite dipped ice cream at Chocolats Favoris, ran through the water fountains, and we took the ferry back. When we got to the other side of the river, we had to say goodbye to two members of the group who had to leave early. It was a sad exchange of goodbyes, as I realized how close I’d gotten to them. It made me feel so thankful that I got to come on this trip and meet such kind people who I know will be my friends even beyond the time when we have to separate and go home.
Thursday’s activity was heading to Old Québec for a scavenger hunt around the city! We had a list of around ten different tasks that we had to complete and take a picture of on our cell phones. Taking a picture of the Champlain statue, the group with a Québec flag and someone drinking maple syrup was some examples of what we had to complete. We were split into two groups and then raced around the streets trying to cross everything off the list!
The heat slowed us down, but my group managed to complete all but one task, which was taking a photo of everyone blending into the famous fresco mural. I also finally got to try maple syrup toffee which is a Québécois delicacy. It is essentially boiled maple syrup that’s poured onto a bed of ice and then rolled up onto a popsicle stick! The syrup is thick and sticky and you eat it like a lollipop! It is incredibly sticky but incredibly delicious. After the scavenger hunt, we walked to an area of the city where there are many shops and restaurants to get dinner! Since it was so hot out, I decided to get a smoothie bowl from a juice bar called Blender. It was so refreshing!
Throughout this past week, we had been preparing in our classes to do a presentation to the entire group. The presentations were to be about what we’d been working on for the past few weeks, or about any projects we did as a class. My business class was given the task to create a brand of cereal as well as a marketing plan for it using everything we learned about in the class.
We conducted market research by doing a public survey on the boardwalk at the Château Frontenac, created a cereal brand complete with an origin story, logo, slogan, and ingredient list. We presented our cereal brand design and our findings in a Google Slides presentation. The group responded really well and they wanted to try Rick’s Maple Mix, which is the name we decided to give our cereal brand, inspired by the flavors of Québec and Canada!