Tuesday, February 12, 2013


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.

And look!

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.


  1. Great pictures and it look lika a lovely place. The dog is so cute.


  2. I love carnival!!
    We were there in 2000..it was amazing. A must see!
    Did you go to the parade? Drink Caribou?
    Jane x

  3. Love the snow sculpture!

  4. What a beautiful city and the ice/snow sculptures are amazing--I love the pic of the dog in the carriage. How adorable! XOXO

  5. Thanks for taking us. Snow sculpture is new to me.

  6. Wow, Quebec was founded in 1608! Minnesota didn't become a state until 1858. Your Carnaval looks like a good time.

  7. Quebec City does look wonderful.

  8. Amazing photos. What a wonderful trip. So, do the revelers dance in the streets in string bikinis and stiletto heels, just like Rio? The snow and ice sculptures are unbelievable. I love the Old City of Quebec. I haven't been there in a really really long time (I think it was right after it was founded).

  9. Beautiful place! I'm with you on horse-drawn carriages in traffic, I've lived in a city where there were loads in among the cars and they were a menace to everyone and to themselves! The horses often got bored waiting at traffic signals and just either barged their way through (doing lots of damage) and bolted (causing accidents).

    That dog looks cold!!!

  10. That looked like fun! I like the old city tooo!

  11. How novel to have a Jack Russell as a carriage heater!

  12. Awesome to be at the winter carnival. I would like to go someday.
    Canadians are becoming masterful ice carvers. Each year the sculpture gets more detailed, more elaborate more expressive. I like what they're doing with colored lights.

  13. Hey Natalie, wonderful pics of the old part of the city.....despite the sunny pics, it does look might cold.
    Great that the Bonhomme effigies could be made in Canada, too many things are made for peanuts in China.
    I agree with you on horses/carriages in cities, always makes me feel uneasy, but how nice for WInston to be snuggled up between you and Gordon....
    The Winter Carnival sounds like a wonderful event and the snow sculptures are amazing......love the 'mooses revenge'...just as well it's only a figment of someone's imagination......

    34deg. here today, not a beanie or jacket in sight, hehe.....

    Claire x

  14. I have great memories of Quebec Carnival. Fantastic photos!


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!