August 19, 2019
When I made the last post on September 12 announcing that I was taking another brief “vacation” I stated that I would resume posting in late September. I suppose the afternoon of the last day of the month is as late as I can get….
Monday, August 19 was a travel day as I would say “au revoir” to Québec City and head southwest, ultimately to my next overnight stop in Trois Rivières. Before leaving the city I thought about giving Parc Nationale de la Jacques-Cartier (the “National Park” that isn’t a National Park) another chance but the weather wasn’t conducive to sightseeing at elevation (foggy with a threat of rain) so I made a quick stop at the Vidéotron Centre which wasn’t far from where I had been staying for the past few nights (I could have easily walked there but was leaving town anyway so I took my car).
This entertainment facility was designed, and construction began, in 2012 and was completed three years later. It is primarily designed for ice hockey and was built with the hope of attracting an NHL franchise, or perhaps enticing the League to add an expansion team. So far that goal (pun intended) remains unfulfilled. In the meantime it serves as the home of the Quebec Major Junior Ice Hockey “Remparts,” as well as hosting music and other events.
If you have ever attended an event at this facility and felt there was something unusual about it your suspicions are not without merit. It was specifically designed with a very steep “bowl” of seats to make guests feel as if they were over the ice. As a result of the ever-increasing seat pitch the “nosebleed” seats literally have a safety rail in front of every row of seats – to satisfy local safety regulations and I suppose to keep rowdy fans from toppling down onto the ice. I would have thought arm restraints might have served that purpose as well but then they couldn’t enjoy their beer and would be even rowdier.
Next I drove down to the St. Lawrence River to head southwest. There was a park quite a ways out of town from which I hoped to capture a photo of the Québec City skyline but the tower I climbed at that park wasn’t high enough to provide an adequate vantage point (even without the aforementioned poor visibility). I continued southwest on a major highway before exiting in the little town of Sainte Anne de la Pérade. First stop there was the Information Center:
I am as puzzled as you are by the name on the building, though I can explain the fish.
While I was in the parking lot talking to some folks about to enjoy a picnic lunch I noticed a man examining (perhaps admiring) my license plate. We discussed where I was from and what I was doing in Canada which inevitably led to a discussion of the blog. He then informed me that this was the home of the world-famous “Tommy Cod” Fishing Tournament. People from all over come to ice-fish for tomcod fish. Silly me assumed that the name on the building had something to do with that but I just ran it through my “Reverso” app and found that Thématique means “subject” in French. I wouldn’t have thought that Center Subject would have anything at all to do with ice fishing….
Before speaking with the various folks in the parking lot I had walked up towards the road to take a photo of the church I saw as I drove towards the Visitor Center:
After getting the bulk of my conversations out of the way for the day I headed back out to the main highway, then drove north to Parc National de la Mauricie, which I had confirmed was, in fact, a Canadian National Park. There were several good sized lakes at the Park and one long, winding river.
I saw this frog to the left of the dock as I walked down to the lake:
And another, smaller one had jumped out into the water as I approached, presumably to avoid capture:
Deeper in the Park I drove through a series of switchbacks in the road and when I finally stopped as an overlook was challenged by a sign there to determine if I knew which direction I was now looking (honest, officer, I’ve only had two drinks…). The correct answer was southeast and I was released on my own recognizance.
As I exited the Park I stopped at another one of the lakes to take another photo, this time free from interrogation.