Wednesday, September 9, 2015

quebec ~ the city...

Let's start with a city tour today.  Quebec City is known as the crown jewel of French Canada.  For good reason! 

Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America....founded by Samuel de Champlain  in 1608.  It is also one of Canada's most visited cities. 

The best way to see it is on foot! But first it's a good idea to learn a little about the city...the history, the landmarks and the layout.  We did that...on a double-decker bus with an excellent tour guide named Daniel.

Who knew that Quebec is three times the size of France? We learned that churches are to Quebec what castles are to Europe...architectural marvels.  (Pictured above....the Saint-Roch church which is the largest in Quebec). We also discovered that 'hotel' means 'gathering'...and if you check in at the Hotel-Dieu de Quebec you are booked into a hospital room. Canada's oldest continuously operating hotel is the Clarendon.  We learned a lot from Daniel!

Old Quebec is surrounded by fortified city walls (the only North American city north of Mexico that has walls) ...and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Port St. Louis gate is one of four gates into the walled city.

Standing tall as the centerpiece of the Quebec City skyline is the Chateau Frontenac. It is the grandest of the grand hotels in Canada...built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1893 as a luxury hotel. It is apparently the most photographed hotel in the world!   Though we were not guests at the hotel...we walked about and had our own little tour of the areas that are open to the public. The hotel has been totally restored and is now part of the Fairmont family of hotels. It is also designated a Unesco World Heritage Site. 

It's a lovely old hotel in a great location on the St. Lawrence River.  A boardwalk is all that separates the hotel from the river.

We walked 'many steps' while we were there...past beautiful old buildings...through neighbourhoods that looked like they belonged in Paris...

 ...and along ancient cobblestone streets.

We climbed the 386 stairs from the boardwalk to the Plains of Abraham. Now called Battlefield is the scene of the greatest battle in Canadian history...when the British defeated the French in 1759.  It is now a sprawling park...a great place to relax or have a picnic in the sunshine. Apparently it also a great place for outdoor concerts...with the Rolling Stones performing there earlier this summer.

No visit to Quebec City would be complete without checking out the parliament imposing structure built between 1877-1886 and inspired by The Louvre Museum in Paris.
Let me take you to one more site...a wonderful spot just outside of Quebec City.

Montmorency Falls is about a 15 minute drive from the old city...and so worth a visit. It is the tallest waterfall in 275 feet high.

We climbed the 487 steps to the top...and crossed the bridge suspended over the crest of the falls. From there we had a wonderful view of the surrounding area and the city in distance. Below the falls a few fisherman were fly fishing.  If you go to sure to visit the falls! And if you aren't into climbing stairs...the gondola is an option as well.

Though there is so much more to be said about Quebec City...I'll leave it at that!

If you ever have an opportunity to visit...take it. Day or's charming and unforgettable!

Next we'll meander along the St. Lawrence River...a scenic drive along roads that hug the waterfront on both shores. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your visit to charming Quebec City. I was only there once with our daughter's Grade 9 class trip way back in the early 90's and really enjoyed the old architecture and ambience! On our trips to Ontario we have driven by but never stopped to visit and I would dearly love to see it again. You captured the highlights beautifully in your photos. The class trip also visited Montmorency Falls but I didn't climb to the top, something else I should do while I'm able. :) Excellent post!

  2. This is a journey I look forward to seeing through your lens. I have been to Montreal once but would love to explore more of Eastern Canada. I think your idea of making photo books for each trip is wonderful. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to share a lot of photos of Italy after our trip.
    Sunshine Always !

  3. You give the best "travelogues" ever! Beautiful pictures and words.

  4. You sold me on this beautiful old city! I'm always happy to hear that there are good tour buses loaded with information.

  5. Wonderful post and photos ! I have never been to Quebec but you brought it to me thanks for that and for sharing , Have a good day !

  6. You have convinced me... if the opportunity should ever arise, I am taking it! What amazing sights there are to see in Quebec City. That hotel is amazing as is the waterfall. Love how you captured the rainbow in your photo.

  7. That chateau is just beautiful! And so are all of your pictures giving is such a nice tour! We were there many years ago but it must have been a rushed visit because we did not see half of what you did!

  8. I had no idea that it was such a beautiful and interesting city!!! Wonderful to see it through your eyes. That waterfall is amazing isn't it!!! So glad you had a great time! xx

  9. Quebec City is definitely on my list of places to visit. Your mini-tour here has whetted my interest even more. Beautiful sights.
    You might find it interesting that Hotel-Dieu originated in the middle ages and literally translates as a house/hotel/gathering place of God - a place where the needy can find help and healing. It was the monks who began the first hospitals.

  10. This post brought back so many memories to me, Judy! We visited Quebec three times when we lived in NYC. One of my fondest memories was when we traveled on the Queen Mary 2 and it docked in the port right across from the Chateau Frontenac. What a wondrous view that was! We also liked the in nearby bucolic island of Orleans.

  11. For years, I used a desktop photo of Quebec City at beautiful. Europe is just a hop and a skip away! =D Amazing hotel...just gorgeous. (I haven't been to Quebec since 1969. A favorite aunt and uncle made their home in downtown Montreal. They and the Expo were why we were visiting. I was a mere infant.)

  12. We visited that city probably about 10 years ago...but mainly spent time with some French Canadians who gave us the tour of the country and gave us the experience of the Sugar Shack.... how rich and intriguing. Quebec makes me think I'm in Europe.
    It's wonderful how you did your homework and gleaned so much information from your new blogging friends.


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