21 March 2014

A Visit to Quebec City, September, 2013

High on Cap Diamant, Chateau Frontenac looms over the old city.

We arrived in Quebec City at suppertime, a bit late, changed euros for Canadian dollars and grabbed a taxi to take us to Hotel 71, in the lower part of the city. A day later, we learned we were staying on the very site of Benedict Arnold's defeat in the Battle of Quebec in 1775. We could see Chateau Frontenac, looming over Cap Diamant, from our window.



Place Dufferin provides a sweeping view of the St. Lawrence River.

First order of busines:  Find some food. As we stepped away from our hotel and began to explore Lower Old Town, a large cruise ship entered the harbor. It was nearing dusk and the air smelled like woodsmoke. We were enchanted. At Bistro Sous le Fort, we enjoyed onion soup and a baguette. On the way home, we ran into a "ghost tour" in the Old Town - a month before Halloween. This added to the mystery of Old Quebec.


The lower part of the old city offers charming shops.


Murals in the lower city draw crowds.

We found lots of art galleries and shops we hoped to explore over the next few days. Murals like the one below added to the magic. The people in the murals could have been my ancestors. Perhaps they were.

Art galleries abound in the Old City.

I love this painting of the funicular. One hike up Cap Diamant and that was enough. We took the funicular several times a day. The view is spectacular.


Although a tourist spot, Old Quebec offers secret places...

...and hidden passageways to explore.
Hidden corners and passageways always intrigue me. I follow them as much as possible. You never know where you will end up.

Quebec City is like a piece of Paris in North America.
In the morning we walked to Quebec's Old Marketplace, an indoor market on the northern coast of Lower Old Town. We bought cheese, sausage, bread and fruit. The neighborhood reminded me of the Butte aux Cailles quartier in Paris.  We found bakeries and shops in Upper Old Town, too.

Le Quartier Petit Champlain offers shops and restaurants.

I would love to spend more time in the boutiques here. As I expected, the clothing was a mix of high fashion and rugged outdoors. I bought a wool cap and some maple sugar candy for gifts. I'm more interested in bringing home local food!

Intriguing galleries are everywhere.
France is never far away.
Sidewalk performers keep tourists entertained.
I loved the sidewalk performers. Some of them live in the Lower Town and must lug their instruments and other equipment up the funicular every day. They trade off spots, we've noticed. They sing traditional music, and seem to be much respected here.

Bring walking shoes.
Finally on our last day, the sky was blue and the sun was brilliant. Still, it was a memorable week. To use the official motto of Quebec, Je me souviens. I remember.


No comments: