It’s time to say goodbye to Montreal and start heading for Quebec City.  We don’t want to arrive there till Friday night, so we decide to stop at Trois Rivieres for the night at a Tourist Information Center. We take the scenic Chemin de Roy which is the first road built in North America (1731-1737).  Our first stop is Forges du Saint Maurice, the first ironworks company in Canada.  It was established in Canada in 1730 as an industrial village with the sole purpose of producing pig iron to export back to France. The 500 inhabitants of the village consisted of a few skilled ironworkers for the forge and a lot of support staff and their families. One of the most important and very labor intensive tasks was the production of charcoal.  This required harvesting wood, (a worker was expected to produce 10,000 cords a year!!), cut it to a precise length, stack it in a precise way, cover it with leaves and dirt, then slowly let it burn for 6 weeks while monitoring and preventing it from catching fire. For the 150 years this company stayed in business, besides producing pig iron, they also produced pots, iron tools, eating utensils, cannons and cannonballs.  What they were most known for was making wood burning kitchen stoves. The company finally shut down due to a lack of skilled workers.

We arrive at our final destination – the tourist info center – and spend a pleasant night in the parking lot.

Woke up this morning to the realization that we are almost out of propane and will need to find some before the end of the day. We continue along the Chemin du Roy passing through many little villages, each with its own beautiful church.  The nicest was the one in Saint-Anne-de-la-Perade. Our final stop of the day is at a sugar shack in Saint-Augustin-De-Desmaures, where they harvest the sap of the maple trees and make very yummy snacks, as well as other maple products. Hot maple sugar is poured over ice to harden, then you use a stick and wrap up the maple syrup YUM!!

It’s mid-afternoon and we still are looking for propane. Fortunately, we spot an RV campsite and, after checking in with them, head across the street where we discover that we have a problem with our propane tank and it won’t fill properly. That needs to be fixed! So for the next couple of hours, we go from one recommended place to the next in Quebec City trying to get our problem solved. Everyone is very helpful, if a little sketchy, At one point our RV is surrounded by propane cylinders with a gentleman banging on the tank trying to unstick the propane valve, but unable to fix the problem. At our last stop, the mechanic says he can fix it, but not till Monday, we shall see how that turns out. We finally make it to our camping spot here in Quebec City – an abandoned zoo. It is now a park-and-ride and RVs are welcome to park here.  It’s a short bus ride to Old Quebec City.

Old Quebec City consists of two parts, a lower part as well as an upper part that is enclosed by a wall.  The streets are very narrow with some cobblestones.  The buildings are very old and quaint, very European looking.  We feel like we are in France almost.  The whole city, upper and lower, is achingly picturesque at every turn.  
We take a guided tour of the Citadel, a star-shaped fortress high on the hill that actually never came under attack.  The tour also includes the second home of the Governor General of Canada with elegant meeting rooms and ballrooms.  We spend two days wandering old streets past churches, old forts, and historic buildings, as well as sampling poutine, crepes, and delicious chocolate dipped cones.  The chocolate dipped cones are soft serve vanilla, chocolate, or raspberry ice cream dipped in flavored white chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate – divine.  This is a business that could take off in Victoria! We have walked many miles up and down hills, as well as some very steep stairs so we can afford the calories.  
One staircase is called Escalier Casse-Cour or break-neck stairs!  We also walk along Rue Sous le Cap, which is supposed to be the narrowest street in North America, as well as being very old.  Because the road is so narrow, there are overhead walkways to access dwellings as the doorways would intrude too much into the roadway.  We watch two men try unsuccessfully to deliver a chest along a narrow passageway into a home.  Entertaining as this was, the rain was starting so we left for the old zoo.  

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