Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cross Country Skiing World Cup Finals in Quebec City

It was recently announced that Quebec City will host the Cross-Country Skiing World Cup Finals March 17-19th 2017. Click here to read Cross-Country Ski Canada's announcement.

I visited Quebec City in March 2014 and it was incredible. With this event on the second weekend of March Break, it's a great time to visit this charming city and see the world's best cross-country skiers compete on the Plains of Abraham in the final competition of the season.

Alex Harvey and Len Valjas just won a World Cup sprint race. Click here to read CBC's article about their win.
"With double the points up for grabs, hosting the World Cup Finals will bring huge advantage for hometown boy, Alex Harvey, and his Canadian teammates’ quest to charge up the overall standings.
“You always have a small advantage when racing at home so it is really exciting that we will be coming back to Quebec City for the Finals,” said Harvey, who sits fourth in the overall standings with a gold and bronze under his belt in 2017."
[Source: Cross-Country Ski Canada]

When I first heard, I was so tempted to go that I looked at flight and hotel prices. Flights from Toronto were just over $300 while great hotels were $120-$150 per night with the legendary Chateau Frontenac $250 per night.

Although not cheap, the prices were still a lot more reasonable than I imagined. I wonder if prices will go up now that the announcement is made and hotels start filling up. I return from Mexico on March 16th so I can't commit to going yet but I wish I could.

There is so much history and beauty in Quebec City which makes this event even more enticing.

The Plains of Abraham may not be as calm as when I last visited. The cross-country trails were quiet and beautifully groomed. There was so much snow, the park benches were buried. I can just imagine the excitement of a World Cup event.

Photo credit: Phil Sewell

There are many sights to see in the city and surrounding area.

Quebec City's oldest stairs (Breakneck stairs/Escalier Casse-Cou) built in 1635 are worth climbing.

Photo credit: Phil Sewell

The Chateau Frontenac is visible from many different angles. From the quaint Quartier Petit Champlain, you can take the Escalier Casse-Cou or the Funicular (visible in this photo) up to the Chateau Frontenac.

Photo credit: Phil Sewell

One of my favourite places was the pub L'Oncle Antoine. It's located in the stone cellar of Maison Marie-Anne Barbel dated 1754. We went for an afternoon drink since kids were not allowed in for lunch. Even if I wasn't exactly hungry, I couldn't resist trying the French Onion Soup which was amazing.

Photo credit: Phil Sewell

I decided to post the following photo thinking that perhaps I didn't want our favourite photo of the two of us possibly being used by others. I have seen some of our photos shared on websites without permission or credit given.

Photo credit: Phil Sewell

I then searched on google maps to find the name of the pub and this is what popped up.

It took me a second to realize that this was not my personal search page, but the actual google maps page that included that photo of the two of us. I guess I didn't need to worry since that photo is already out there.

Although watching the world's best cross-country skiers is amazing, extending the holiday to include winter activities like ice skating, cross-country skiing or downhill skiing would make the holiday complete. March is also the ideal time to visit a sugar shack. 

Visiting or staying overnight at Hôtel de Glace would be a unusual experience and it is only a 40 minute drive from Québec City. You can read more about our day visit to Hôtel de Glace here.

Photo credit: Suzanne Sewell

The Chutes Montmorency are incredible in the winter in their frozen wonder. They are twice the height of Niagara Falls and can be enjoyed from many viewpoints.

Photo credit: Phil Sewell

Photo credit: Phil Sewell