I don't know what associations you have with Quebec City.
Maybe you plan to join the half million people expected to come hear Neil Young on the Plains of Abraham this summer.
Or you like old buildings and good food. You're a military buff interested in the fortifications. Or history. In 1759? The Battle of the Plains of Abraham when the English beat the French. That's why the dominant language in Canada is English, not French. It all happened in Quebec City.
Over there... that building used to be a Kresge's where he sat with his high school buddies at the diner counter, hoping to see the women who worked at the brothel across the street. And up the street there... was where you came to have the best smoked meat.
There is a lot of up and down since the city climbs between the port and the military fortress that overlooks the St. Lawrence River. You can wend your way up the streets slowly, take the funicular or one of the many stairways. R was aghast that the funicular now costs $3. It always used to be free.
Even at the top of a long flight of stairs, the streets continue to climb.
Another reason to come to Quebec City: cardiovascular workout.
I wish I could apologize to Tante Geneviève for questioning her wits--especially since she was quick to recognize R. She exclaimed, reached out arthritic hands and pulled him into the house where we had to sidle through corridors piled high with newspapers. There was nowhere to sit.
Back to 2018... We walked downhill to a less chichi part of town where one of R's uncles used to live. This uncle had one leg shorter than the other, which seems to be the only identifying factor recorded in family memory. But, R added, that didn't stop him from having kids.
That's such a nonsensical sentence and so unlike anything he would normally say that I understand he is ventriloquizing one of his mother's tales about family.
It was either this uncle or the one-leg-shorter uncle who was in the hospital when R's mother was on the bus on her way to work. The bus was passing the hospital (that was on a hill of course) and she had a vision of her brother. She demanded the driver let her off. She had to get into that hospital where her brother lay dying! She ran into the room breathless, he sat up in bed and said her name--first word he'd pronounced all week--and fell back onto his pillow. Dead.
Toward the end of their lives, R's mother, Tante Geneviève and Anne were moved to residences when it was decided they were no longer safe to live by themselves.
Anne was at the top in a corner room with two windows. Maybe the mansard roof looks a little too "mad sister in the attic"?
She did escape a few times, trying to find her favourite store--or any store where she could make a heist.
We walked, had a few good meals, visited the Inuit collection and the Giacometti exhibit at the museum which is partly housed in the old jail.
Here Robert is demonstrating how small the prisoners' cells were.
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