After travelling for hours we finally arrived in Tadoussac to grey skies, making me unoptimistic for the boat ride the following day. This trip was my first hostelling experience and I loved it. The hostel was like a big home, random people playing the guitar and piano made everything feel so chilled and everyone helping out with the washing up made me feel like I was part of some big family!
Had a brilliant evening drinking a box of cheap wine and awful local beer (it had a polar bear on the bottle so obviously had to try it), meeting people from all over the world, dancing the night away in an obscure little bar. Finished the evening sat around a campfire. Was a very cool Canadian moment!
My fears for the weather were unnecessary, waking up to glorious blue skies. Everyone layered up in waterproofs till we formed an army of Michelin Men and hopped onto our zodiac boat.
The St Lawrence river that runs through Quebec is home to numerous species of Whales but its all down to the time of year and luck to which you see. At first I was a little disappointed, stupidly getting my hopes up for seeing whales popping their tails up left, right and centre, as we had only seen seals. Was so pleased when we saw a Humpback, you know which one it is because every time it dives down into the water, it brings its tail out like you see in all the distinctive photos. Not that I managed to get a good shot; was far too slow every single time that they made an appearance! Was amazing when we were just floating on the water, and you could tell if a whale was below you by all the air bubbles that were rising to the surface! The most spectacular part of the day though was seeing a Blue Whale (Yes that is the largest mammal in the world). The boat driver knew it was around so turned off the engine and we all scoured the waves trying to spot it, first we heard it then all turned around and saw it spray out of its blowhole. Now when I have told this to people upon my return, some have been unimpressed because surely what else did I expect on a whale watching trip but see whales? Valid. However its actually very rare (apparently) to actually see one, especially so close to shore. I know I found it impressive. When they see a blue whale I will accept whatever their opinion.
That night we travelled to Quebec City and spent the following day there. Unfortunately the weather did not prevail but this did not stop me adoring this quaint place. Quebec by Canadian standards is old, and so for a history student this was very much appreciated! The old Victorian part of town with cobbled streets down to the riverside was lovely to explore. The ornately decorated parliament and the imposing Chateau de Frontenac (the most photographed hotel in the world according to my guidebook) add to the gorgeous architecture of Quebec. Luckily the weather improved allowing us to sit back, have a coffee, and just appreciate being somewhere new – which is my favourite thing to do.