Where We Be
I can hardly believe this magical city is only six hours
northwest of Bar Harbor. It feels like it must be across
the ocean in France. From the 95% of the population
who speak French as their first (or only) language, to
the exquisite French cuisine, to the stone walls that
surround Old Quebec like a medieval European town,
this place feels wholly different from any other city in
No wonder Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site –
it's the only walled city north of Mexico! This is the
place to visit if you've always wanted to go to Europe
but aren't sure you can afford it, or don't like to fly.
The Chateau Frontenac (a hotel built in the late 19th
century) is at the heart of Old Quebec and stands
atop its rocky bluff like a castle fortress of old. It's
hard not to be impressed by this monumental building
with its castle-like turrets and distinctive green roof.
From here it's possible to walk all of Old Quebec
entirely on foot. You don't need a plan or an itinerary,
just start strolling around and you'll find picturesque
views at every twist and turn of the cobblestoned
streets. Our favorite spot was the Place Royale in
Basse-Ville (lower town), a lovely square surrounded
on all sides by stone buildings.
|The Chateau Frontenac from a closer vantage point at the Terrace-Dufferin boardwalk
|The Church of Notre Dame de la Victoire at one end of the Place Royale
|The cruise ship docked behind us on the St. Lawrence River is none other than Holland
America's Maasdam -- the same ship we sailed aboard to the Caribbean earlier this year!
|A horse-drawn carriage departs the walled city
of Old Quebec through the St. Louis Gate
|This is a great city to get lost in -- every twist and turn brings a charming view
|A small park frames a view of Basse-Ville (lower town) on the St. Lawrence
|Flowers on the window sills soften the hard lines of this stone building
|A small section of the stone wall surrounding Old Quebec
|A quiet street in the Haute-Ville (upper town) section of Old Quebec
|Quebec was founded in 1608 so this is a big year -- the city's 400th anniversary
|We followed the Chemin du Roy (King's Highway) along the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Quebec. Some of these small towns are nearly as old as Quebec.
|Chateau Frontenac towers above the city of Old Quebec like a medieval fortress of old
|Place Royale, our favorite square in Old Quebec. We sat at that little cafe in the corner and just watched the world go by.
|This maple sugar tartlette with berries on top was every bit as good as it looks
|We ate a three-course lunch at Cafe de la Paix (with flan caramel for dessert!)
|This street looks like it could have been transported directly from Europe