By Filippa Fernandez '23, Sophie Miller '23, and Vincent Lebrun
Over the years, the Québec Trip has become an institution for Middle School French students. Although it usually is an 8th grade trip, this year's trip included 7th graders as well. The 2018 trip to Québec certainly lived up to its expectations and was nothing short of an adventure. The ten hour bus ride may seem insane but it goes by quickly when you're with your friends, singing your favorite French chansons, and watching French movies and cartoons.
For breakfast every morning we explored new restaurants with different classic French meals, such as crêpes and croissants. Everyday for lunch we had lunch boxes with a few different selections. By dinner we were tired and hungry from the day's festivities. We usually ate a traditional meal at a sit down restaurant. One of those dinners was a hearty lumberjack meal eaten at a sugar shack, known as a cabane à sucre.
During the daytime we explored Québec City and visited historic sites. We also had two free times to roam around the upper and lower parts of Québec where we could explore, shop, eat and practice our French with locals. We visited the magnificent Canyon Sainte-Anne where we went zip lining and rock climbing, and we hiked and biked in the Parc du Mont Sainte-Anne. We enjoyed several beautiful waterfalls, especially the chutes de Montmorency on the last day. We canoed in a rabaska, a large, traditional Algonquin birch bark canoe. At the sugar shack, we learned how maple syrup is made and we even made our own maple syrup lollipops. We also rode the funiculaire up the cliffs of Québec.
Every night after dinner we had a interactive activity to end the day. We visited a native (called First-Nation in Canada) Huron Village, took part in an improvisation workshop, rode a ferry (traversier) across the Saint-Laurent, and did a night walking tour of Québec.
Prior to the trip, we learned a lot of the history of Québec in class. Experiencing first hand and from local guides what we had learned in class really helped us connect the dots and solidify all that knowledge.
Although we were disconnected from the internet and the outside world, it was nice to relax and enjoy time off from electronics. We also shared rooms with people who we could become closer with. Most of us had to share a bed with someone else and learn how to adjust staying in a foreign country without family. We spent five days without parent contact, which was challenging to some, but we grew from the experience.
Overall, the Voyage à Québec was an incredible adventure and it helped us to practice and connect what we've been learning in French class to the real world. We will always have great memories of the fun times we had with our friends in Québec!