Parc de la Chute-Montmorency Today we are doing a group activity with our guide, Guy and the three other American couples we met on Sunday. We are going to Montmorency Falls, about seven miles NE of Quebec. We meet at the designated place and walk to the bus stop as we will be using the public transportation system to get there. The weatherman has warned that there may be showers "on and off" showers today. We bring our umbrellas just in case.
It was an interesting bus ride on a regular route with passengers getting on and off. We saw neighborhoods in and close to the city that most tourists never see. We got off at the last stop, taking a gravel path into the park. Was that a raindrop we felt? We didn't wonder too long as the rain came down a little harder. The decision was made that we would have our lunch first then walk up to the falls afterward. Hopefully, the shower would be over by then.
The Montmorency Manor was built in 1871 as a private residence, later served as a hospital, monastery, and a hotel. Today the manor houses a fine restaurant with a panoramic view from it's outside terrace. We had a wonderful lunch; great food, good company and interesting conversation. When lunch was finished, the showers had moved on and we set out on the path to see the falls up close and personal.
Montmorency Falls are 272 feet high; 90 feet higher than Niagra Falls. These falls however, are much narrower.
We followed the scenic path up to the steel suspension bridge which spans the water just where it tumbles over the cliffs. It is a very impressive site! The noise and mist from the water demonstrates the power of the falls. Halfway across the bridge we notice the dark clouds coming our way and feel a few raindrops. By the time (about 2 minutes) we reach the far side of the bridge ,it is raining! Up go the umbrellas! On this side of the bridge there is a cleared area with picnic tables which must be great on a warm sunny day....but not today. Four of us had decided to walk down this side of the falls along the wooden stairs with platforms along the way.
Stairs along the side of the falls with viewing platforms. Anyone choosing to walk up should have strong legs.......there are 487 stairs! Much easier going down.
By this time it is raining harder and harder. We stop on the covered platforms to get a good view of the falls and a quick respite from the rain. We need to be cautious on the stairs and not take a tumble down. We had not gone too far down before some sudden gusts of wind added to the adventure. I had visions of a good blast of wind uplifting my umbrella and me "Mary Poppins style" right off the stairs. By the time the four of us reached the bottom, the rain had stopped and we were all soaked! We waited for the cable car to bring us up to Montmorency Manor where the rest of our group were waiting.
Two Untourists, slightly wet from their adventure in the rain. It was a fun day!
We retraced our route back to the bus stop and before we knew it were back in Quebec. Norm and I stopped at the grocery store for a few things and headed to our apartment. All wet clothes went into the dryer!
We had walked 5.08 milestoday.