Winter 2006, Quebec Winter Carnaval
The Quebec Winter Carnaval is a fantastic event. Here, in the depths of the Canadian winter, is a large group of people gathered together to celebrate, not avoid, the cold, the snow and sharing it as a group. It’s not an exagerration to say it’s a unique event in my experience. Take out of Quebec, change the month, it’s just a very friendly version of a lot of city festivals. But because it’s in one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited, and because the people of Quebec are so special, it transcends anything even approaching great.
This was an excellent first official POG Road Trip. Given that it took place under what are, by anyone’s standards, some of the worst driving conditions possible, the Prius, once again, surprised us by not being affected by it siginificantly. Sure, our mileage took a small hit. We only averaged about 48MPG going north but what’s surprising is that we got there, after a twelve hour drive, tired, but safely and having never once been worried about the vehicle. I can think of a lot of other cars I’ve owned and driven that would not have delivered that and done so in a pleasant manner. The Prius continues to amaze in how comfortable it is and effortless it is to drive. If nothing else, after being in the same seat for twelve hours, one tends to be annoyed by little, trivial things. Those things are not present in the Prius. It just does what it does and basically, all I have to do is relax and keep it on the road.
It snowed most of the way up to Quebec. Up in the Adirondacks it got very heavy. Visibility was maybe 100 feet. The warm air kept the snow from building up on the road but it was dangerously slippery. We never once lost control, skidded or fishtailed.
Driving in Quebec City itself was a different challenge. The first night we were there 20cm of snow fell. It’s a big, heavy snow up there. And given that there was already a good 10cm of snow on the ground, I was impressed with how well we managed to navigate through it all. Slush, ice, piles of snow, we just plowed through it all without all that irritating wheel spinning some of the cars seemed unable to avoid.
We didn’t drive much in Quebec City. It’s a delightfully small, very European feeling, walking town. So we didn’t drive the car at all for first or second day. On the third day, of course during another heavy freezing rain and snow storm, we drove to the Ice Hotel and to the Parc Chute Mont-morency. About ninety kilometers worth, roundtrip. The Prius performed admirably even maintaining a steady course through the 30cm or more deep snow of the parking lot to the Ice Hotel.
It was a trip of superlatives. Quebec City lived up to it’s reputation in every way. The Prius made the 1300 mile trip as effortless as possible we’re already planning next year’s trip.
Below are links to three pages of images. Each page contains thumbnails with captions. Clicking on the thumbnails opens a higher resolution version, usually between 200k and 400k. There are few larger ones, they’ll have a warning on them. No matter what, a good, high-speed connection is very beneficial for browsing the galleries. Please do so. We welcome your comments at:
And we hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed being there.
Click on the links below to visit each page.
Quebec Winter Carnaval 2006, Day One