We have been very busy with the Escapade and are way behind with the blog. We are also out of order because so many people wanted to hear about Mado's birthday party. This post is about our visit to Quebec City three weeks ago on the way to Lac Ha Ha. We crossed the border on the Fourth of July and spent three days in Quebec City before heading further north to Camp Lac Ha Ha for our friend Mado's 80th birthday party. Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only walled urban area north of Mexico. The city is the site where the British defeated the French in 1763 on the Plains of Abraham.
Even though we stayed at Jean Paul and Celine's in Quebec six years ago, we only drove about 30 miles in the province. On this trip were planning to drive over 600 miles, so we needed to get used to the traffic signs in French. Most are pretty straight forward as you can see. We did like the cross winds sign and figured out the orange signs mean construction no matter what language they are in.
Looking down from Parc Montmorency on the Saint Lawrence and the lower city, the oldest part. A visit here is as close as one can get to a European city without having to cross the Atlantic.
The statue of Samuel Champlain on the Place d'Armes. This spot has a beautiful view of the Saint Lawrence River below.
Du Petit Champlain is lined with shops and restaurants and has a real European feel. Access to the lower part of the city is either by the Breakneck Staircase or a funicular, an incline elevator.
Beautiful Du Petit Champlain is like a step into an old European city.
There are many murals in the city. This one depicts life in the 1800's.
The Royal Plaza is surrounded by the homes of rich merchants, ship owners and shipbuilders. Old Quebec really is a step back in time in the middle of a modern city.
This is a salute to the French voyagers who explored much of Quebec while trapping in their canoes.
Notre-Dame-des-Victories Church is one of the oldest in North America. It was heavily damaged in the 1763 bombardment. The bust of Louis XIV, the Sin King, was placed here in 1686.
The mural of Quebecers depicts 400 years of Quebec City history. It shows fifteen historic figures, including Jacques Cartier, Felix Leclerc and Marie Guyart.
There are sculptures and fountains all over the city. The small fountain and statue is a tribute to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization that was founded in Quebec City in 1945. Top middle is a Dali and right is a whimsical bird man on a rooftop. The bottom two, the squeaky wheels and oil cans, were across the street from each other.
It looks like the U.S. political campaign is influencing people's thinking here. St-Roch is undergoing a renewal with new shops and restaurants.
This is a great city for walking but it is very, very hilly so be prepared. There was an elevator beside these steps but we opted for the climb.
The streets are lined with many wonderful restaurants and as you can see they are not all French. It is a great place to relax, enjoy a meal and people watch. It is great that the old city has preserved and maintained the old style.
Don't miss looking up because even the rooftops can be interesting.
The crown of the city is the Chateau Frontenac that is now a Fairmont hotel. It was built by the railroad in the late 1800's and evokes the chateaus of the Loire River Valley in France. The Walk of the Governors is a great place to see the river and access the citadel 310 steps above.
The Saint Lawrence River carries ocean going ships that can travel all the way to the Great Lakes. Quebec was built here because the river is narrow at this point and easy to defend. This is the last place that a bridge crosses the river.
WOW Nanc almost stepped into the paint.
The citadel on Cap Diamant, known as the Gibraltar of the Americas, sits at the highest point of the city. The guards are part of the Royal 22nd Regiment which is the only French speaking regiment in the Canadian Army.
The old lighthouse in the citadel showed the way for ships on the river far below.
The view is also one of the best for seeing the chateau and old city.
It was a bit blustery that day but well worth braving the wind for the view. You can only get to this spot if you take the tour of the citadel.
The Je me souviens (I Remember) memorial honors the past and present members of the 22 Regiment. These three soldiers are honored for their heroism during WWI and WWII.
Being a walled city, there are only a few access points into Old Quebec. Gate Saint Louis, one of gates that guarded the entrance to the city.
The chateau at night. Old Quebec is without a doubt the most beautiful and well preserved city that we have ever visited in North America. Even with the crowds of tourists, it is still like stepping back in time.