Ah, Quebec City…..our third visit here, but certainly not our last. It is the only walled city in North America, and compared to, say, New York, it is small, intimate, and spectacular. It has so much history, being situated on the St. Lawrence River. Founded in 1608 by Jacques Cartier, it was held by the French until 1759, when it was permanently lost to the British in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham (which is now a beautiful urban park, where we saw a concert, shown in the last photo and the bottom video). During the American Revolution, in December 1775, the Continental Army attacked Quebec City, but due to inexperience with the severely cold temperatures in the city in December, the siege under Benedict Arnold was a failure.
Two things are most interesting. First, it is SO French that some people have difficulty communicating with us, even though all the rest of Canada speaks English. Signs in the Province of Quebec are in French only….no English translation at the bottom! Makes for tricky driving in places. Secondly, it is perhaps the most Catholic, and saintly, place we have ever visited. Many towns and streets are named after saints. There are towns around Quebec City named for…..St. Jean, Jacques, Catherine, Marie, Georges, Claire, Gervais, Cuthbert, Leon-de-Standon, Pascal, Irenee, Ignace, Marcel, Paul, Urbain, Prosper, Zacharie, Rene, Martin, Victor, Camille, Adrien, Joseph-de-Coleraine, Raymond, Stanislaus-de-Champlain, Simeon, Alexandre, and many more. And don’t even start on the streets! It is an amazing array of saints.
The first three photos were taken from our hotel suite’s window at different times of day, including a spectacular 5:00 am photo as the first. Following are some night photos of the gorgeous Grand Allee, which was buzzing with night life on a warm summer evening. After those are two photos of the St. Louis Gate into the walled city. The other two gates are St. Jean and Kent.
There are a few photos of the funicular, always a treat when going back up to the Upper Town from the Lower Town. It has been operational for over 135 years! It beats walking back up the hill, since the Breakneck Stairs, built in 1868 and via which we descended, consist of 398 steps. $2.50 was never better spent!
The rest of the photos were taken around the Upper and Lower old town, including the impressive, massive Chateau Frontenac Hotel, one of the grand palace hotels built by the Canadian Railway. Lots of playfulness abounds…you can see The Jumping Rabbit restaurant and the Crazy Pig! The free concert in the park we attended was Angel Forrest, startlingly similar to Janis Joplin. The video at the end shows a highlight of the concert….you can hear Angel singing, but the Dancing Man never stopped during the entire concert. It was likely his aerobics class for the day! He brought a smile to everyone.