Monday, November 15, 2010

Quebec City Expedition

Quebec City is in the province of Quebec, in Canada. It is situated on the St. Lawrence River (upper left photo), and has been a strategic location for that country for centuries. Quebec City is considered the "cradle" of French civilisation in North America, and French, is in fact, the official language of the province of Quebec. Most travel brochures of the area will use the "signature image" of the famous Chateau Frontenac (a Fairmont hotel property) to identify to the viewer that they are looking at Quebec City. Because the hotel's history is so tied in with the history of Quebec City, I would recommend visiting Chateau Frontenac, even if you are not using that property as your lodging. I was extremely thankful to be able to participate in one of the guided tours of the Chateau. It is such a popular activity, that the tours are offered on the hour, with a duration of 50 minutes. However, even with so many departures offered, reservations are still recommended. Check their website for details on this and other services offered:

The historic district of Quebec (referred to as "Old Quebec) is renowned for a unique European charm and its beautiful, and well preserved, architecture. In fact, Place Royale (lower left photo) was the site where a, supposedly European street scene, from the Leonardo DiCaprio movie-- Catch Me If You Can--- was ACTUALLY filmed! Quebec is also known for its fine cuisine, and some statistics show it to have the highest number of restaurants per person of any city in the world! Many of these fine culinary establishments are located in Old Quebec.

A short distance from Old Quebec, the city's growth to the north is highlighted by the Parliament Buildings (top & lower right photos). Since Quebec City is the capitol of the Canadian province of Quebec, one might think of this Parliament building as you would think of the capitol of one of the states in the USA, (e.g. like Little Rock is the capitol of Arkansas.) The fountain on the left of the photo collage was a gift to the city in more recent years from one of the province's largest retailers, and makes a beautiful addition to the stately Parliament Buildings.

The upper left photo in this collage shows the entrance to the City Hall of Quebec City. It was adorned with beautiful autumn decorations when I made my visit there back in November. The upper right photo shows "The Plains of Abraham" which was Canada's first national historic park. It was the site of the confrontation between the French and the British Empires, including the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham, and the 1760 Battle of Sainte-Foy. The middle photo shows one of the "gates" of the original fortifying wall, that is still in use on the street entering into Old Quebec. The lower left photo shows the unique sculpture that designates Old Quebec as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the reasons it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is because of the wall (fortification) that forms a 4.6 kilometer-long defensive belt around the old city, and the fact that it is the last fortified city remaining north of Mexico City. On top of the wall is a sentry path (lined with interpretation signposts) that runs atop the ramparts and gates, allowing the visitor to understand the evolution of the defensive wall system. One can also get a historical perspective about the importance of a wall around a city, by reading the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. The story is about a people who worked diligently to rebuild a wall that had been destroyed by attacks of their enemies. They were so intent on getting the repairs done, that they rebuilt it in record time because, as Nehemiah 4:6 states: "So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart." Likewise, the tourism officials of Quebec City work "with all their heart" to make your experience in their beloved city a most memorable and enjoyable one. Read how to get the most out of your trip to Quebec City by visiting and as they say in their part of the world "BIENVENUE QUEBEC"!! Miles of smiles! Tricia
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