Les salutations de la Ville de Québec! The seventh grade is pleased to present the first ever travel diary/blog of the Quebec City trip!
Each day of our four day trip, groups of students will be covering the various activities and places we visit.
Students will encapsulate the experience in words and pictures to share a little bit of this amazing experience with friends, family, and the entire Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School community.
Le Journal de Voyage de Ville de Quebec 2013 de BFCCPS
Jour Une/Day One
Le depart et l’autobus trebuchant (Departure and the Bus)
Blog post written by Danny A. and Cedric F. – A dense fog covered the BFCCPS parking lot as the first cars pulled up early Monday morning. Excited students poured out of their family cars to load their luggage on the shining luxury bus waiting to take them to the Great White North. After checking in with teachers, visiting the bathrooms to at least “try” and use the facilities, and saying final goodbyes to parents – the students finally were able to board.
At 6:38 a.m., after well wishes from Head of School, Mrs. Zolnowski, and final waves from family members the bus was off. The faces of students were awash in the gentle light illuminating from seemingly hundreds of iPhones and iPods. Practically every pair of ears on the bus were filled with earbuds as students settled down and got comfortable in the cushy, leather trimmed seats.
The bus made three stops – a bathroom break in Vermont, a lunch stop just before the border, and the actual border crossing (see future blogs for more information). To pass the time we heard Mrs. DiMartino’s jokes, sang “O Canada”, played “Crocidilly O’ My”, listened to music, and watched several movies including: Mr. Bean’s Vacation, The Pink Panther, and Wreck-It-Ralph.
The movies made the time go by quickly and eight and a half hours later we arrived in an overcast Quebec City.
As our bus pulled up to the beautiful hotel in the center of the city, we were excited to meet our tour guide, Marie-Michelle. According to Madame, Marie-Michelle’s hair color changes every year and she was a red-head today. We were all very excited to get off the bus and there were many sighs of relief and “Finally!” heard throughout the bus. Overall, it was a long – but good trip!
Crossing the Border
Blog post written by Lauren L., Elizabeth S., Larin H., Jillian M., Mme. Malouf, and Ms. Kelly – After four and a half hours on the bus, we rolled into our second stop of the day- a McDonalds ten minutes away from the US-Canadian border. After a quick and hectic lunch (60+ students and adults in a rural restaurant), we boarded the bus for the short ride to the border station. The station was very similar to a large highway toll booth, except this one had a Canadian flag and a large red sign reading “Canada”. Madame Malouf instructed us on the procedure and we quietly lined up and entered the station.
We were greeted by two large, yet friendly and polite border patrol officers. We quickly lined up and each student was asked to present their Passport or photo id and paperwork. The officers welcomed us with many, “Bienvenues” and wished us, “Bon Voyage”. The whole process took less than 15 minutes and the patrol men were nice enough to stamp all of our passports and scraps of paper for those who had passport cards/birth certificates. As we pulled away from the station, Madame Malouf led the bus in a rousing rendition of “O Canada”.
Larin commented that she thought the process would be much more complicated and scary. Elizabeth thought the room would be red, but it looked more like a ticket station than an interrogation room. We can only hope the rest of our trip is as easy and relaxed as our entrance into the country.
La Randonnee à pied de la Ville Fortifée (Walking Tour of the Fortified City)
Blog post written by Will C. & TJ D. – Old Quebec is called the fortified city because of a giant wall the city inhabitants built to protect the city from attack. The original burned down in 1804, but has been rebuilt with more modern doors to allow traffic and pedestrians to have easy access into Old Quebec.
Walking through the gate was like travelling back in time. The city streets are narrow and shops of all types line the sidewalks.
One of the highlights of the tour was the monastery and the story of the Nun who wrote over 12,000 letters, six books, two autobiographies (because one copy had been burned in a fire), and the history of New France in addition to building schools for girls. Her statue sits in front of the Ursulines monastery.
We also quickly learned that commuters in Quebec City do not stop for pedestrians. When walking the streets of Quebec, make sure to follow the signs and only cross when directed – cars don’t stop! The group got a work out climbing the steep hills of the Old City as we made our way through the shopping district to the Le Grand Café for dinner.
La visite des Tours de Martello (Martello Towers Visit)
Blog post written by Olly F. & Evan G. – After our delicious dinner at Le Grand Café, our group took a short five minute walk to the Martello Towers.
Four towers were built in 1806 to protect the city from attack. The British and French citizens of Quebec were worried about attack from the Americans and the Native Americans. There are only three towers left today, two of which are used as museums. Our school was divided into two groups.
At Tower two, we learned how to be good British soldiers, unfortunately we failed many times. We learned how to stand for attention and to load a musket. Poor Brendan was voted to learn how discipline was administered to British soldiers and we were very glad to have him take the punishment for us.
We were split into teams and raced each other to prepare our muskets. Then the groups went on a scavenger hunt to find as many French and English terms as possible on the three floors of the tower. The losing team was charged with being slaves for the parents and chaperones for a 24-hour period.
Evan really enjoyed our guide and her ability to joke in both English and French. She made fun of all of us and our inability to perform as soldiers and we laughed many times.
Olly’s favorite part was watching Brendan receive the punishment of the wooden horse. Overall, we had a great time at the Towers!
View the full photo gallery below!