Thursday, 22 August 2013

Amazing Race Canada - Week 6: YQR, YUL, YYZ, YQB

Another week, another 4 airports! In Week 6 of The Amazing Race Canada, the teams moved between two cities, via two different routes.

Teams lifted off for this leg of the race from Regina International Airport (YQR). We wrote about this airport - and it's transportation issues - in our Week 5 blog post.

Some of the teams connected through Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Canada's 3rd busiest airport.

YUL U.S. Departures Sector
Just a few teams passed through Montreal's airport...
Too bad the visit was so brief. Named a UNESCO City of Design, Montreal is one North America's liveliest cities, with historical buildings dating from the 17th century. Maybe they will come back?

Other teams connected through Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), not the first visit here during the race!

The destination for the week was the amazing, historic Quebec City.

Bonjour! Welcome to Quebec City Airport!
The teams arrived at Quebec City Jean Lasage International Airport (YQB).

If you visit, you'll enjoy this airport, twice voted Best Regional Airport in North America by the Airports Council International's Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program (2010, 2011). That's a pretty high honour! You'll find a taxi the best way to get into the city from the airport. There is a bus, but it only runs Monday to Friday, a little too inconvenient for most travellers. Fortunately, the taxi ride is short: YQB is just 11 kilometres southwest of the city.

Predictably, upon arrival in Quebec City, the Amazing Race Canada teams were faced with several language related challenges, testing their French language skills, and creativity. Great fun to watch - but don't worry, you can get along here without French (just learn a few words, as a courtesy, and the locals will welcome you.

Historic Vieux-Qu├ębec (Old Town) is divided into two parts: the Haute-Ville (Upper Town) and the Basse-Ville (Lower Town).

The fabulous funicular in old Quebec City!
While there are staircases that connect the two (!), most everyone takes the very convenient Funiculaire (Funicular). It's cheap and fun.

One of old Quebec City's amazing murals
(image source: Rambling Traveler, cc on Flickr)
Down below, in Basse-Ville, is where you can find several wonderful murals painted on the sides of old buildings, one of which was featured on the Race (do you think you could have worked out that puzzle of missing pieces, described in French?!). This is also where the teams participated in ice carving, part of the winter culture here.

The stunning Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City
Up above, in Haute-Ville, is the stunning Chateau Frontenac. While this grand hotel only got a walk-on role in the race, it truly is a gem worth visiting, even if you can't afford to stay (try a drink in the little bar overlooking the river).

Whether you stay in the historic old city, or downtown (just outside the city walls, adjacent to the Plains of Abraham the teams visited), you'll find Quebec City to be pedestrian friendly, so no need to rent a car for your visit. Unlike the Amazing Race Canada teams, you will be able to stroll the streets at a leisurely pace...

Au revior!

Source: all photos wiki commons, except where noted

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