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Helicopter Tour Over Québec City
Soaring above the crowds, we took in all the spectacular sights of Québec from the #sky. From the magnificent Fairmont Chateu Frontenac to the #active carnival, Québec looked like a #winter wonderland from our #helicopter ride.
I’m a big believer in the fact that the best way to see a city is from the air. Obviously, you will still need to explore the streets by foot, but why not start off by orienting yourself with your surroundings from above?
I love heights, and I always find a way to climb to the highest point in a city, whether that be a tall building, sky scraper, or urban mountain. Some cities make it even easier, when they provide a helicopter tour over the entire skyline.
In Québec City, Capitale Hélicoptère does just that, with never-ending views of dramatic mountains and rivers, thrilling swoops over the sprawling city, and an overall smooth and exciting ride.
Before the tour began, the people at Capitale Hélicoptère gave us a lesson in helicopter safety and made sure that we were fully prepared for the flight.
We met our pilot, and headed out to the heli-pad. The clouds had decided to work against us, creating a dark overcast sky, but we were still excited to get up in the air.
Before boarding the helicopter, we posed for a quick photo on the tarmac. You can just see our excitement!
Finally it was time to board. I skipped up to the door, and climbed inside. Shuffling across the wide seat, I took my place at the right window. This would be the perfect spot for looking out over the city.
We happened to have a little friend along for the ride with us… the Travelocity Roaming Gnome took the front seat! He didn’t have much to say, but I’m pretty sure he enjoyed the flight.
Whirr, whirr, whirr… the blades started to turn, and quickly picked up speed. Soon it was time to put on our headsets, so that we could communicate over the loud noise. Test. Test.
Everything was in check, and we were ready for take off. With one last look around, our pilot lifted us off the ground. I barely even felt the movement, but suddenly we were rising high into the air.
We left the airport airspace, and we were soon gliding over the suburbs and streets of Québec City. Down below, the tiny houses looked like little sugar cubes, lined in tidy patterns and rows.
I imagine that it would have been a very different scene in the summer, but the snow made it look whimsical.
The highways looked like strange pencil scribbles on paper, and cars looked like toys in the distance.
Next, we zipped along the icy St. Lawrence River. The river was thick with ice flows and slush, and the current moved it along slowly but surely.
Ferry boats chugged along through the frozen waters, creating short paths of open water. Much like the cars on the highway, they looked like toy boats in a sudsy bathtub.
Finally, we had reached the City centre, and I immediately spotted the iconic landmark of Québec City; the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac.
It rose high above the rest of the cityscape, and its colours made it pop out from the rest of the surrounding buildings. With bright red bricks and shiny green roofs, it is hard to miss.
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Interestingly, the roof of the tallest part had a brand new application of copper, which meant that it still shone in a light brown colour. Over time, it will turn green like the rest of the building.
With another smooth swoop to the left, we hovered over the Citadelle, which looked like a large star-design in the snow.
Having actually driven through it earlier in the day, it was pretty cool to see it from a bird’s eye view.
Directly beside the Citadelle, was the Plains of Abraham; the location of the Winter Carnival.
Looking like small ants, scurrying around a tiny circus, the people of the carnival were enjoying their winter activities far below. A miniature ferris wheel turned ’round and ’round, while even smaller rafts flew down the hill.
It was a Friday afternoon, so the carnival wasn’t overly busy yet, but this was the perfect view of all the action. I could see the entire festival grounds from up here.
I wondered where Bonhomme was in the crowd. Coincidentally, a tiny Bonhomme happened to be on our flight too :p
We took a few more laps around the city, and swooped higher and lower between the sights.
With two last dips to each side, we turned back toward the airport. At this moment, the helicopter almost hovered on an angle, and I felt like I was hanging in the air above the ground below.
With that final feeling of personal flight, the tour had come to an end. I took one last look toward Québec City and smiled at the magnificent view.
Check out this amazing video of the Capitale Hélicoptère experience.