The Travelling Student – Welcome to Quebec

My name is Philip Kirkbride. I’m a college graduate from Ontario studying at AU. I’ve always wanted to do an exchange program or study abroad but never found the right time to do so. This is part fifteen in the story of how Athabasca University has allowed me to create my own study abroad program. In part fourteen I left Longue-Rive and arrived in Quebec City. After several bad experiences with the service at a local hostel I hit the road in search of somewhere welcoming to sleep.

Having just left La belle Planet Backpackers hostel due to the extremely low quality of the room and service, I sat down and fired up my cell phone. It seemed all the hostels in town with good ratings were completely full. I found a promotional code for the website Hotwire after searching some forums. Hotwire is a hotel booking website which lets you book hotels cheap, but the catch is that you don’t know which hotel until you paid. After detecting my location a 4-star hotel popped up for $100, and my promotional code brought it down to $80. It was a bit more than I initially expected to pay but with all the other hostels booked it seemed like my best option.

I hit the purchase button and my hotel was revealed. I’d be staying at the Hotel Le Concorde Quebec. It was only a twenty minute walk away. If You’re travelling in Quebec City be ready to walk up and down a lot of hills. The city is built on a very large hill with half the city on the top and the other half on the bottom. Of course, the crummy hostel I’d left was on the bottom, and Le Concorde, like most hotels, was on the top.

On the bright side, the walk was quite scenic. As you reach the top of the hill You’re treated to a view towering over half the city. You also have a lot of old European style architecture which gives the city a bit of a nostalgic feel. Those features, in combination with the new experience of street signs in French, made the walk pass relatively quickly.

I walked into the lobby; it had a beautiful d├ęcor, lots of red carpets, and a large piano being played. The check-in was painless and in no time I was taking off my heavy steel toe boots and plopping myself into the incredibly comfortable bed. It was bliss.

My night consisted of a walk through the Plaines d?Abraham (a large scenic park directly beside the hotel), getting some Thai food, and bringing it home to eat while I watched some of the funniest stand-up I’ve ever seen broadcast out of Montreal.

Despite my initial experience at the hostel I was starting to like the vibe of Quebec City. I was aware I was in Canada still, but the city had a very distinct foreign flavour I wanted to explore. I knew Matt was still interested in going to Australia in November but that was still a few months away. I figured Quebec City could be an ideal place to focus on my studies thanks to its low cost of living, abundance of coffee shops, and unique French flavour. I soon found myself cruising Kijiji for short-term rentals in the area.