We set out with the plan of visiting the Citadel this day, but in true vacation meander fashion, another great opportunity popped up while we were en route. On our way through old Quebec, we were drawn in by a town crier- like invitation to come and watch a firearms demonstration. Who can say no to the possibility of a shoot-out at high noon?
They were very disciplined, and quick! Some volunteers tried to match the experienced guys later- it was quite funny!
After the firearms demonstration we were told of a more thorough tour of the old fort armoury and artillery museum. We learned a lot about the cannons that are all over the old town, and Avery participated in a drill to prepare one for firing. We learned it took 4 people to work each cannon, and that everyone had a specialized job.
We learned more about life on the base- about the recruitment practices and soldiers who stayed here. About the conditions and hardships. We toured officer's quarters and Avery got to try on a French officer's uniform- a wooly and heavy contraption wore in all seasons. We learned that they never took baths because they believed that a layer of dirt and sweat and yuck acted as a barrier to disease. It reminded me of a story my Grandma told from her days as a young nurse, where some old bachelor dude would come to the hospital once a year for a bath, and his underwear would be actually stuck to his skin. Those poor nurses had to soak him and peel the layers off....
Fortunately the tour guide was not authentic in all practices. Avery was quite engaged with him, and chatted his ear off...
We spent so much time at the artillery museum that time got away from us. We made it to the citadel just after the last tour was allowed in. That gave us the chance to head for an early supper at a restaurant we had our eye on right from the first day we were in Quebec City. Restaurant aux Anciens Canadiens is housed in one of the very oldest building in Quebec City, built in 1675. The interior is all stone and old wood and low ceilings. It is a very expensive place to eat, but is well regarded and serves traditional Quebec fare. We could go because they have a (relatively) more reasonable dinner offering before the main supper rush.
Our meal was marvellous! So glad we could eat here. Mark had meat pie (naturally!), I ate a duck confit, and Avery had.... wait for it.... poutine!
Well fed, and pleased with our day in Quebec City:0)