Well, let's see. Claire was correct! We were somewhere very cold. Ms Sunshine was also correct. We were in Quebec. But Jane was bang on. We spent the weekend at the Winter Carnival in Quebec City, aka Carnaval de Québec!
The little snow guy is Bonhomme, the Carnival mascot.
A real Bonhomme wanders the city in his Bonhomme suit and sash. The little plastic version is your admission to events. They call it the "effigy" ("effigie" in French.) This always makes me laugh, because I constantly imagine Bonhomme in flames.
Every year they create a different effigy. You can see them all here. Gordon read somewhere that the little plastic dudes are made in Quebec. They managed to match the prices of some Chinese supplier! I think it's great that they can make them in Canada.
Quebec City is beautiful at any time of the year, and walking around the old city is like walking around Europe. The city was founded in 1608 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Bonhomme in ice! That's the St. Lawrence River behind him.
Across the river is a refinery.
I adore the old part of the city.
We spent quite awhile walking around the main site. There are lots of amazing snow sculptures...
As I recall, this is a Canadian entry. :) A moose stepping on a car, in front of a "moose crossing" warning sign. You see "moose crossing" signs around here and all around Quebec! Gordon saw a moose by the side of the highway near here this winter. You never want to see one in front of your car!
Cool crab sculpture.
I like it but I forget what it's supposed to be! :)
And on Saturday night...
We went for a calèche ride around the city, with Fred the Belgian horse pulling us and Winston the Jack Russell Terrier snuggled between us to stay warm.
I'm not keen on horses and calèches in busy cities, but Quebec City is fairly quiet (traffic wise) and they have good by-laws to protect the horses. We had a really nice tour and it was fun having our own dog. He snuggled under our blanket and acted like a little space heater.
More pics tomorrow! If you've never been to Carnaval, I highly recommend it. It's hugely popular with tourists from all over the world. Just take good winter clothing. Even though the temps weren't too bad this weekend, I always find it damp there (the city is on the St. Lawrence), which always makes it feel colder.