Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Hello Quebec City
Pic: Night view of Old Quebec City
A BRIEF HISTORY OF QUEBEC CITY
Welcome to Quebec City, the Parliament Capital and the Fortified City! Quebec was founded in 1608 by the same Samuel de Champlain in whose honor there stands a monument on the magnificent Dufferin Terrace, which looks out over a spectacular view of the St. Lawrence River. With more than 165,000 in habitants (and some 575,000 in the metropolitan area), this is the heart of French civilization in North America. The city was built on an escarpment and this fact has led to the use of the expressions “Lower Town” and “Upper Town”. Certain streets here are very steep and narrow, sometimes with a sharp incline. The Hotel Chateau Frontenac , silhouetted above the bluff of the Lower Town, is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Located on the top of the Cap Diamant, the National Battlefields Park, better known as the Plains of Abraham , contains the Quebec Museum and the Citadel.
Pic: At the top of Plains of Abraham.
The old City of Quebec, this jewel among the World Heritage Sites, is surrounded by ramparts, fortified walls with access through the St. Louis, Kent, St. Jean and Prescott Gates, The Petit-Champlain Quarter , the oldest in North America, is enchanting; it is made up of the Petit-Champlain, Sous-le-Fort, St. Pierre and Notre-Dame Streets as well as the Place Royale.
Pic: The petit-Champlain Quarter. Such a picturesque little town.
Pic: At the center of the Petit-Champlain Quarter.
Pic: Everywhere you go in this city, day and night, you will always be able to enjoy live performance by local artists.
Pic: Chateau Frontenac at the top of the hill behind us.
The Montmorency Falls Park , the Parliament Building, the Citadel, the historic sites and museums, the churches, the holidays of New France and its festivals are just a few of the attractions that will capture your imagination. The Quebec Carnival, the third most important in the world, enlivens the winter season from the middle of January until the middle of February with its festivities and parades, providing a most welcome break. Enjoy!
Pic: In front of the Parliament building.
From Montreal, Richard drove our van to Quebec city for about 2 hrs. It was a bit confusing for us when we were still inside Montreal but once we hit the highway, it’s just a straight drive on the same highway.
The first thing I notice when we arrived in Quebec City was how much quieter this city is compare to Montreal. People are walking around and talking to each other like they know each other forever. Children can ran around without much supervision because I guess the streets here are safe.
Pic: This building is the oldest building in Old Quebec City.
Then we reach rue Grande Allee Est we were face with a completely different city. The houses are probably a couple hundreds years old but the whole road was converted into restaurants. If you want to see a McDonald Restaurant in a 100 or 200 years old house, you can come here! It was cool because tourists who came to find a great place to dine jammed this whole street. Each restaurant tried to separate them selves from other. They each serve different type of menu and if that’s not enough, they also have their own unique feature such as a musician that will serenade you while you eat. Or waitresses in a very old traditional French costumes, things like that. This is not the only street where you can find great food. Later we find a whole lot of other great amazing restaurant that served traditional French food.
Pic: Grand Allee Est around dinner time
Pic: Dining on French food while being serenade with live music performance on some of the restaurants in Grande Allee Est. On another restaurant, I saw a violinist.
Pic: The houses that these restaurants use are very old.
Pic: Crepes Restaurant that we went to eat on our last day in Quebec City.
Another road that has tons of restaurants are located at rue Saint Louis, rue Saint Anne, boulevard Champlain, and rue Saint-Jean.
Pic: Saint Jean street at night are always full of people shopping
You can go to the famous Csse-Cou escalier, that is so attractive with its three restaurant-terraces.
We also went to see Le quartier Petit-Champlain that has les rues Sous-le-Fort and Petit-Champlain Streets, and the Our Lady of Victory Church on the Place Royale. You can reach this area by taking a funiculiare or some sort of gondola from the upper town area to this lower town area.
Pic: We are at Rue de Tresor where local artists sell their arts. It's a great place to get your souvenir.
On rue du Tresor you can find local artists that sells their painting. This is a good way too to buy your souvenirs. I had my face and Kai Kai’s painted by a local artist in cartoon style. It cost about $30 plus tip if you want to give him tip. That was fun.
Pic: KK couldn't wait to see his face painted.
Also we found an excellent French restaurant there too on our first night, I ordered a Caribou Stew, my mom ordered Quebec style meat pies, Richard ordered sausages, and my father ordered the traditional seafood gratin and escargots for his appetizer. It was a lovely restaurant!
Even Kai Kai enjoy his escargot so much. That place feels so romantic, a great place for honeymooners.
Pic: Having our first dinner in this lovely French Restaurant. We ordered some typical French cuisines like escargot and local Quebec food like the meat pies and my moose stew ! They taste wonderful.
Another place that you have to visit is the Parliament Hill. It’s a magnificent building where you can take a tour inside for free to learn about the political situation in Quebec. That place also has magnificent stained glass windows. Inside you will see the National Assembly and the Legislative Council Room.
Pic: My parents adimiring the statues outside Parliament building.
Pic: Kidding around at the front yard of Parliament building.
Pic: At the Parliament building.
Pic: Posing at the front of Parliament building.
Pic: Beautiful stained glass inside Parliament building
Pic: The red room in Parliament building. I don't remember for which party.
Pic: The blue room.
Pic: Beautiful chandeliers inside the parliament building.
Pic: The Blue room.
Pic: The red room inside Parliament building.
For people like me who just crazy with photography, you can not miss the Cathedral Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec , founded by Samuel de Champlain, truly a journey back in time. Inside it has an amazing gold gilded room!
Pic: The Cathedral Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec.
Pic: Posing at outside the Basilica.
Pic: The amazing gilded room of the Basilica
Pic: Beautiful craftmanship.
Pic: The center stage.
Pic: Check the details, absolutely beautiful.
Pic: More detail from the Basilica.
Pic: Enjoying a night time walk in Old Quebec city.
The Citadel, build in the shape of a star, houses the Royal 22nd Regiment and the Changing of the Guard Ceremony just like what they have in Windsor Palace in London.
FIRST THING TO DO HERE
Pic: Waiting for the tour bus that will take us to the country side of Quebec city.
Based on my wonderful experience, I suggest that you take the city tour again. If your time is pressed, just take the old city tour, but if you have more time take the complete tour that also will take you to the countryside of Quebec.
Pic: Country side view of Quebec city.
Pic: Typical roof style that I saw of the country homes.
On the Countryside tour you can experience the charm of the magnificent natural and historical site of Montmorency falls ( 1 ½ times higher than Niagara Falls ). You can also travel back in time to rural Quebec and enjoy the view! As you ride along the 40 kilometers of Chemin du Roy to Sainte-Anne-de Beaupre, you will pass through the many traditional villages of rural Quebec. In Sainte-Anne-de- Beaupre, you will be given time to visit the world famous shrine. The view of the villages are just so picturesque, you will enjoy this trip very much.
Pic: Montmorency Falls.
Pic: You can go up and down either with a funiculaire or through this steps.
Pic: View of the Montmorency Falls lower part.
Pic: They build a dam in here to generate electricity for this state and even to sell it to NY too.
Pic: Enjoying beautiful view from Montmorency Falls.
Pic: Sainte-Anne-de- Beaupre
Pic: We are outside the Sainte-Anne-de- Beaupre.
Pic: Amazing artworks on the floor of this church.
Pic: Details of the glass window.
Pic: Very intricate design on the church's roof.
Pic: Many room to confess your sins
Pic: I think this shrines is famous for healing, that's why so many canes of people that has been healed are being shown in here.
Pic: Church of Jerusalem. Unfortunately we ran out of time but inside my bus driver said there is the largest painting on canvas in the world.
On this tour, the bus driver also took us to a local chocolate store to buy chocolate or to eat their delicious ice cream. Then he also took us to a local bread store that has been in the business for few decades already. He showed us the outdoor brick oven where the lady bake the bread and he also showed us that up till now, a lot of people here still use a cellar to store their fruits and vegetables. A cellar is either built underground or just above ground room that use the natural coolness of the ground that act like a natural refrigerator. Even at 30 degree Celcius, the cellar stays about 4 Degree Celcius. Amazing.
Pic: The cellar
Pic: Enjoying the cool drink while eating his maple bread.
Another thing we learn from this tour is everybody has maple tree on their garden because Quebec is the largest Maple producing state in Canada. In that local bakery, we ate Maple bread with Maple syrup. Mmm..mm..m... delicious.
We also get a lesson about the architectural of Quebec that is influenced by French.
Before we return to the city, we made another stop at the copper factory.
FOOD TO EAT
Don’t even think of eating junk food or Asian food. This is the place where you should eat only gourmet food at reasonable price. A French cuisine marathon! Another reason not to eat Asian food is, they don’t taste anywhere near like Asian food! It would be a waste of money.
Pic: The French dining atmosphere in Quebec City.
Pic: In a nice restaurant like this there is always a live music performance.
Pic: My father order frog legs!
Pic: I order this fillet mignon with duck liver pate ( foie gras ? ) on top.
Pic: That table is full with yummy dessert!
Pic: This restaurant is specializing in French style Game food, it means they use wild animals like boar, moose, phesants etc in their cooking instead of using the normal beef, pork, and chicken.
Pic: This is how lunch in Grande Allee Est looks like.
Pic: This place has so many restaurants to choose from.
Pic: Cool looking roof on one of the restaurant in Grande Allee Est
Pic: We have to walk back and forth twice before we can even made our choices on where to eat our lunch !
Pic: It's a nice warm day to have our lunch outdoor.
Pic: We finally decide to eat here.
Pic: Ah... what a nice cold drink I have. I love their portion size!!!
Pic: Enjoying our lunch.
Pic: That's is a very large Beer glass!
Pic: Chicken wings, French style off course!
Pic: The best bread I had so far!
Pic: Seafood gratin
Pic: Shrimps salad
Sure you can drive your car because there are some underground parking around here but if you live inside the Old City or very near it, you can just take a walk because the City is small and you can easily walk around and come back to your hotel again. And if you are just too tired, you can always take a taxi, it cost somewhere around $ 5 to $ 8 each trip. You certainly can take the horse drawn carriage as well!
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
This city is amazing. It’s small and packed with any thing that we might like. At the same spot, I can take tons of picture of very old buildings that the inside has been converted into shops, then my mom can shop inside, my son think this place is so cool like living inside a castle, my husband is going crazy with his camcorder too and my father never stop reading the historical information on almost every building.
Don’t worry if you are traveling with children in this city. The place itself will amuse them enough. And when the weather is just to hot for them, they can just jump into the
wadding pool nearby to cool down!
Pic: This is a great way to cool off on this hot day.
Pic: I let KK play in the water for 15 minutes just too cool off.
Take them to ride the funiculaire too; they will enjoy it very much. Also ride the horse drawn carriage is never fails to amuse them.
Pic: The Funiculaire that connect between the upper town and the lower town.
Pic: At the bottom of the funiculaire.
Pic: We were very much impress with the unique shopping style of Quebec city.
What ever you like to buy in the mall you can buy those things in this city. The different is only on where they sell. In the mall, you are going to be indoor all day long with nothing exceptional to see beside the merchandise. But here, not only you can satisfy yourself with the shopping itself, you also going to be entertaint by the building itself because most of the building here are over 100 years old. I can't imagine how beautiful the view of this city in winter time. I found some pictures on internet for the view of this place in winter time and they look like in Harry Potter movie in winter time. Absolutely gorgeous.... that's if you can stand the cold off course....
Pic: Walking to the busiest shopping area.
Pic: One of the shopping area in here.
Pic: Patiently waiting for mama finish shopping.
Pic: Bicycle decorated with candies in this candy store. If you see clearly you can see KK's reflection on the window store, drooling probably....
Weather you are indoor enjoying your meals or you go outside on the street. Day and night. There is always someone who will perform something. Just like in Europe where the street is always alive with live performance, Quebec city is like that too.
Pic: Juggling with the fire sticks.
Pic: Belly dancing.
Pic: Saxophonist with a singer, my father's favorite since they sing jazz.
Pic: It's obvious that Kai Kai loves drawing. Look at how serious he is !
NIGHT TIME STROLL
There is something about strolling around this city at night time. The old buildings combine with the flickering lights are just hard to beat. I can't imagine how they look in winter time. It must be so winter wonderland. In summer time like right now, with the warm air, the smell of great food coming out from the restaurants, the romantic atmosphere, and the music being played at every corner, how can you not falling in love with this city???
It's hard to capture the feeling of this city with my camera, but at least I try to show you what I saw through my lens with these pictures below.
Pic: Rue the Tresor
OUR LAST DAY IN QUEBEC CITY AND MONTREAL
Because we have to drive back to Montreal, return the car and go straight to the airport, we decide to have a quick lunch and then go back to Montreal right away. We had a nice lunch in a Crepes Restaurant in Grande Allee Est Street. But when we return to our car, another car park too close and blocked our way. So we got stuck for about 20 minutes. But we use that time to take some more pictures.
From then, we drive slowly back to Montreal. When we were on the highway, we saw a restaurant that show off some dinosaurs statues and some monster trucks. Since Kai Kai loves monster truck very much, we stopped there for about 20 minutes so he can look around.
We were right of going back to Montreal early because the traffic was pretty bad near the airport. But since we had lots of time to spare, we were doing just fine.
Pic: KK making goofy face.
Pic: Today is our last day in this state.
Pic: KK wants me to take his picture sitting on the canon.
Pic: Starting to act goofy.
Pic: I love this house!
Pic: KK proudly pose in front of this SUPERFOOT
Pic: ROCK ON!!!
Pic: Admiring the machine!