Doors of Quebec

rustic doorGreetings all, it’s time for more Thursday Doors. I have to start by telling you it’s not easy being a door aficionado.  When I was taking this picture I heard  a male voice shouting with laughter, saying “- photo la porte!” Which since we were in Quebec, Canada translates into something like, “Look at that crazy woman taking a picture of a door!” I know, I know, but while some may mock, I now have a  picture of this lovely and dignified old door which, by the way, refuses to be diminished by the tacky graffiti in its personal space.

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Quebec was packed with interesting doors. This pretty green specimen is the entryway to two apartments #33 and #35.  It’s a well-tended doorway in an upscale neighborhood and, speaking of green, no doubt the rent here is astronomical. We looked into real estate prices in Quebec and they were pretty steep. From what we were told, the closer you get to the Saint Lawrence river the larger the dollar sign$.

Q red door

This door was the side entrance to a very old church.  The church itself wasn’t much to look at, but it did have this one redeeming feature. Wait, I’ve just noticed there’s no doorknob. That’s odd . . .

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Look, is this an attractive and sophisticated Quebecer entering the front door of her charming home? I so wanted to see the inside of this residence because the street is on an extreme angle. Hopefully, the floor doesn’t follow suit.  Another concern, they get a lot of snow here. While this would be a fun place to go sledding, I can’t imagine trying to get your car up and down it every day.

 

We spent one afternoon touring a fort called the Citadel, in Old town.  This battered door led to  . . . the potty, circa 1850. Battalions of soldiers lived in this underground bunker and believe me it did not look cozy. the bathroom was certainly not a place I’d want to linger.
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And the windows were covered by ill-fitting shutters like this one which wouldn’t do much to keep the cold out. There was a good-sized brick oven/heater in there but Quebec gets really cold in the winter (6 – 14 degrees Fahrenheit in December and January).                        Brrr.

 

q leaves door

Is this the entrance to a secret garden, or just a garage? I’m going with the first guess, especially since it has a door within a door and the secret garden idea is more fun. It looks like this entryway hasn’t been used in a while, probably because the owner couldn’t bear to disturb the beautiful leaves growing in front of it. We visited Quebec in October, which as it turns out, was good timing. The leaves were changing and I frequently had to gasp at the beauty around us.

Qblue door

This home was also in the high rent district, not far from the Citadel. I loved the fun blue doors and matching window frames, and even on a rainy day like this, there must be lots of natural light inside due to all the windows.  The only thing I can’t figure out is the short door on the left. Was the street previously lower? Does a person of small stature live in the basement? Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to knock on some of these doors and ask.

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Well, I can certainly knock on this door. It’s mine. While it was fun to visit this spectacular city, it’s always nice to walk through my own front door again. While it’s not ancient or exotic, sparkly or shiny, and I  doubt anyone will stop in their tracks to take a picture of it,  it’s my favorite – because it’s home.

For More fun doors, see Norm’s Thursday Doors at Norm 2.0.

 

Library Lady’s Favorite Travel Books

Because I’m here, I am not there –  Paddington Bear

 

The Library Lady is on the road again, so watch for some fun new posts about Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and more. I shall return, but until then, I thought I’d share some of my . . .

Favorite Travel Books

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A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside – By Susan Branch
This is my all time favorite travel book and it ranks high on my list of favorite books in general. A Fine Romance is a combination diary, travel journal, artist’s sketchpad and step by step itinerary  of a ramble through the English countryside. My favorite destination was her visit to Beatrix Potter’s home. (I must see it in person someday.) This book reads like a letter from your best friend and is illustrated by the author’s own whimsical watercolors. I’m hoping you’ll love it.

 

rudy good

Rudy’s Rules for Travel
By Mary K. Jensen
Rudy is a die-hard traveler, and one who refuses to spend a penny more than is absolutely necessary. His #1 rule for traveling is “adapt”.  His wife, who prefers four star accommodations, makes a valiant effort, but at times  even she rebels. In one episode she discovers Rudy has booked  them at a budget hotel which isn’t even built yet.
Despite the challenges, Mary K. Jensen adores her husband and brings out the humor in his eccentricities.  Rudy’s Rules is a fun read about a Green Acres-esque couple and their globe trotting adventures. Their stories range from laugh out loud funny to down right scary, and I couldn’t stop reading. This book will make you want to hit the road (but maybe not with Rudy).

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Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, the Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail
By Ben Montgomery

Grandma Gatewood is a tough cookie.  After enduring years of abuse at the hands of a cruel husband, she decides to take a walk – a long walk – and proceeds to hike the entire 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  This inspiring book tells of her amazing adventures, her unexpected celebrity and why at the age of 67 she decided to take a hike.

Continue reading

Valldemossa Monastery

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Valdemossa Monastery – Picture by Pixabay.

What’s more fascinating than an ancient monastery? Ghostly footsteps echo in the halls and vestiges of mystery and intrigue waft through ancient corridors.
                                                        (Name of the Rose, anyone?)

name of rose

One of my all-time favorite monasteries is Clon Mcnoise in Ireland, but today we were visiting the village of Valldemossa on the Spanish island of Mallorca.  The monastery was originally a royal palace but became home to a group of Carthusian monks in 1399. It’s known for its picturesque bell tower and gothic charm.

As we rounded the corner and the monastery came into view, I tried not to melt into a scenery induced puddle. (I’ve been told I’m an overly excitable tourist, but what’s the point of traveling if you’re not blown away by the sights you see?!)

The first glimpse of this ancient edifice was like something out of a movie set. Perched on a hill, the tower dwarfed the surrounding buildings, its white stone walls glowing in the morning sun. This was definitely my kind of place.

View of the village from Valldemossa’s heights.

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Cobblestones and rock walls. Photo by Pixabay

We followed a  winding road up into the hills and enjoyed the views of the local neighborhoods.  Upon arrival, we purchased tickets to tour the monastery for 8.50 Euros. Continue reading

Doors of Spain

Spain was never on my bucket list, but it should have been. I recently spent 10 days there and have at least that many stories to tell.  My husband and I love traveling, but my favorite part is coming home and writing about all our adventures.
Midevil yet modern, Spain is a country that percolates with positive energy – think  Flamenco dancing and Spanish guitar, yet it’s steeped in ancient and often controversial traditions like bullfighting.
We visited Madrid, Malaga, and the island of Mallorca (Majorca). We ate suckling pig at the oldest restaurant in the world, saw a medieval pharmacy at Valdemossa Monastery, and gaped at the magnificent bridge in Rondo. So much to talk about, but first . . . the doors!
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I spotted this Spanish jewel in Madrid. What would it feel like to walk through this door every day? Who lives here and what are they like? Doors make me wonder what goes on behind them.
As for this one, notice the lovely ironwork on the top and the mailbox on the left. This is not actually the door into the house, but into the courtyard which leads to the house.
In addition to this wonderful door, the roughed up surface surrounding it has a look that many people with new homes pay big bucks to achieve. Chip and Joanna Gaines are you seeing this?

 

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Here’s another residential beauty, I’ll call it Blue 22. Similar to the first, with the look of the middle ages, this has a nameplate which I could probably read if I enlarged the picture. Wait, I’ll do just that and now you can see it too. The name is still a little blurry, but the title says Notary Public, so this may be a home or a home office. Hmm . . . while this door is admirable – well-worn and rustic, if this is a business entrance it could use a spit shine. Continue reading

Questionable Food?

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I am a voice in the wilderness, a lonely tree falling in the forest, a distant bell tolling in the wind – oh, sorry, I got a little carried away. What I  meant to say is this: I am one of the few people I know who will admit to liking airplane food. There I said it.

Just look at that picture. What’s not to like? I wish the food that came out of my kitchen looked half as good. To be perfectly honest, since my kids are mostly gone, I rarely even cook anymore and if someone wants to hand me a plate of attractively presented, yummy, hot food, that’s usually O.K. by me.

But on our last plane excursion, there was a bit of a hitch.

My husband and I were traveling to Norway, and it was approximately Three A.M. my time –  heaven only knows what time it was by the airplane clock, but it was dark and everyone else was asleep. Since I have yet to master the art of sleeping on a plane, I’d been sitting for hours, reading, knitting, and doing crossword puzzles until my eyeballs were fried.  Out of the darkness loomed a stewardess who handed me a tray, presumably breakfast, and I mindlessly began to consume the pocket bread sandwich thing which was offered.  As I slowly came to my senses, I turned to my husband who was looking at me.

“What is this?” he said, mid chew.

I consider what I’m swallowing. “I don’t know.”  I scrabble through the litter on the floor and come up with the wrapper. “It says, Cheese Salad – shredded cheese mixed with mayonnaise and onions.”

We exchange a dubious look and threw away the remains of our sandwiches. Have you ever eaten something where the taste just won’t go away, no matter how much gum you chew? This was one of those times.

After disembarking and meeting up with our friends who were also on the flight, we began to compare notes.

“Did you eat that sandwich thing they brought us?” said my friend.

“Kind of,” I replied, ” It was gross.”

“I know, cheese salad.  Eeeew.”

I still like airplane food but,  wiser now, I carefully examine all offerings before eating.  Cheese salad, it’s out there.  Beware.

Do you love airplane food, or am I the only one?

Travel Blunders