July 7, 2010

Chutes de Montmorency, Quebec City, Quebec

Just outside of the beautiful and historic city of Quebec are the Chutes de Montmorency. These huge waterfalls are common across Quebec as large lakes and wide rivers drop off the escarpment of the Laurentides down toward the Saint Lawrence seaway.

Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. It was celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2008 while we were visiting and is the only city on the continent that still has its original stone walls. The city is most definitely the most "European" city I have ever seen outside of Europe.

Perhaps it was the combination of the arcitecture, French language, wonderful cheeses, and excellent foods that made this city so enjoyable to visit, even in the rain. The people were friendly and very proud of their heritage. The Musée de la Civilisation is a must see while in town. It gives a great overview of the cultural and natural history of Quebec from the 11 Native American tribes of the region, early French influence, and later evolution of the province.

Downtown park in Quebec City

Downtown Quebec City

The old wall, the city, and the Laurentides in the distance

Quebec City streets

The Saint Lawrence with a the ferry coming from the town of Levis

About 10km to the east were the Chutes de Montmorency. This waterfall is 275 feet tall and the volume of water exceeds anything I've seen out west (except maybe Yellowstone Falls). We hiked up the sides of the canyon to the top of the waterfall.

We then walked on the suspension bridge that crosses the river

The view looking down the falls

Since it started to rain on the way up and the trail was slippery, we decided to take the cable car back down to the station. Here you can see the trail we went up going up the steep and loose sedimentary material.

There are some neat photos of what this looks like in winter. When the river freezes, there is ice all the way down the sides of the cliff. In addition, the mist that rises off the falls freezes and piles up into a 100 foot hill next to the waterfall.

No comments: