The Virden Junior High Grade 8 students went on their voyage to Québec City and Montréal after three years of preparation and organizing.
The students, parents and five teachers did a lot of fundraising and received many donations for the voyage.
It all began with Mrs. D. Burke, when the students were in Grade 6. Ms. Woods and Mrs. Pitz jumped aboard in the fall and the following year, Mr. Thiessen and Mr. Corbel were on board.
Upon arrival in Quebec City, the first event we attended was the parade. There were many floats, live music, dancing and singing. We stayed for about an hour and a half but all of us
were freezing and very tired.
The next day, our group headed out while our tour guide Sébastien gave us a tour of Old Québec. Everything he said was very fascinating and he had lots of funny stories.
Then we made our way to the Observatory where we went to the 31st storey and earned a panoramic view of New and Old Québec. There were artifacts and write-ups spread out
on the floor, and windows right around the floor, looking at all the views of the city and area.
Next we went dog sledding for about 25 minutes on a trail through the forest. Everyone got to drive the dogs and have a turn sitting in the sled. We were taught about the dogs and
the sport and we also got to pet Husky puppies. Afterward, everyone went tobogganing - even some of the teachers. It was such a fun time and we all made a huge train of tubes.
We then headed to the Musée Du Fort where there was a large diorama of Québec Plains of Abraham and the area. There were lights that made it appear as though the water was moving;
guns and cannons were firing; ships were on fire; and the ships were moving.
That night we had supper at Le Retos Spaghettini. Following our meal we headed to the Glissades near l’Hôtel Frontenac. It is a very long ice slide with three runs - it is 210 feet in length and very
scary! There was supposed to be another tour group, but with the -45 degree weather they cancelled. “Us” Manitobans toughed it out and had a great time!
On Monday, we had a guided tour of the Ice Hotel which was amazing. It was made totally of ice and it took six weeks to make with 25 people to make it. This was the 15th year for
the Ice Hotel and the theme was from the beginning of time to present day (the ice hotel changes themes every year). There were lots of ice sculptures and very “cool” rooms. The cheapest room
cost $200 a night and the most expensive cost $1,000.
Then we had lunch and headed to La Carnaval de Québec for a couple hours. There were more ice slides with toboggans and sleds, lots of Carnaval games, some of the students played live Fuzzball, raced in small wind up cars and played hockey. Again lots of snow sculptures, and we met the mascot Bonhomme de Carnaval.
For supper we went to the Sugar Shack and it was great! Our tour group won a bet within the tour guides because our group was the loudest and best. Mr. Corbel
even joined the band and played guitar while some of the kids played the spoons. At the Sugar Shack, we experienced a traditional Québec meal consisting of pea soup and tourtière with
the concentrated maple syrup, which Mr. Thiessen and Mrs. Burke liked a lot!
The next day we transferred to Montréal and got to shop for a little bit before we went to the Biodome which has four ecosystems in the old Olympic Stadium. That was really cool to see!
We then went to the planetarium with the past, present and future shows, and we watched them all in big comfy bean bag chairs!
After the planetarium, we went on a guided tour of Old Montréal which was quite interesting. We also had a view of Montreal from Mount Royal.
On Wednesday we went on a tour of the Notre-Dame Basilica and it was amazing; very detailed architecture. We then walked to Pointe-a-Callière - Montreal’s museum of Archaeology
and History - with a guided tour and a movie. We learned a lot about Montréal and how it began. It even had the dig under it where the first building was located 400 years ago. The students became French, British, First Nations and Métis people and were part of the presentation.
It was very interesting and made history come to life. Supper that night was at a very fancy steakhouse and the food was delicious. We then went bowling at the old Forum De Montréal with lots of
history of the Canadians, Rocket Richard, Guy Lafleur, etc., and we had so much fun.
For the last day, we had free time for about three hours then headed to the airport for our flight home. This was the best experience and getting to do it all with our friends was amazing. Everyone
enjoyed the dog sledding the most, but everything was interesting, fun, and we learned a lot - even in the cold!