After exploring Old Quebec City on foot for a couple of days, I felt like I got a good taste of what the city had to offer, and itched to explore more. For the first time in my life, i rented a car by myself and set off on a day trip to explore the idyllic island of Île d'Orléans and beyond. Miscommunication and the fact that we were still technically in the low season made the car rental process a tricky one, but a little patience went a long way and eventually, I drove off to my first stop - Montmorency Falls.
It was very windy and chilly, but the waterfall was a magnificent sight. This picture does it no justice, but I couldn't do any better.
Located only about 15 minutes away from Quebec City, Île d'Orléans is an easily accessed island, but to explore it fully you would need a car or go with a tour group. If you look up photos of the island online as I did, you will see scenes of pastoral bliss and lush meadows. When I arrived, what awaited was snow and more snow that was yet to melt. It was not what I expected but a breathtaking scene for a California girl. The island is known for its agritourism and galleries, but a lot of shops hadn't opened yet. I ended up driving all the way around the island, making a handful of stops along the way to enjoy the views and a bowl of maple latte.
After leaving the island, I kept driving away from the city to check out the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, a gorgeous Catholic church. I also walked and drove around the small town in which it situated.
What I love the most about traveling is seeing ,and hopefully feeling for a brief moment, what life is like in another part of the world. It's not always easy to come by as I'm sometimes too caught up in logistics, stuck in very touristy spots, or simply too focused on my own thoughts. Even though this was the first time I rented a car by myself, I was surprisingly at ease the whole time. I definitely felt like I got a glimpse to normal life that's distinct from my own, and for that I'll remember this day as a special one.