Quebec City

Posted on 19 January 2013 by Sammy

Driving to Quebec City was a heck of a long journey. We decided to do the trip over a long weekend in the peak of summer of 2012, when the weather was at its best. The majority of Torontonians take advantage of the extra sunshine and warm by heading up north to their cottages, but we took a different route more east to the historic Quebec City. Even with leaving work early, the trip took a treacherous 11 hours to get to our destination because of the horrific traffic. It took us over 3 hours for us to just out past Oshawa, which usually takes 45 minutes. Nevertheless, we couldn’t complain – we ended up reaching Quebec City in one piece, but just awfully tired having finally being able to hit the hay at 2 in the morning.

We woke up early in the morning to make use of the little time we had here. We grabbed a quick bite at our hotel, but we had the most amazing breakfast at Le Hobbit (click here for my restaurant review).

Although we brought our bicycles all the way to Quebec City and rode down to the Ramparts (the fortified walls), we were made to lock our bikes at the entrance and walk inside. The Ramparts of Quebec City are the only fortified city walls that remain in North America (north of Mexico). These walls were fortified by The English after they took Quebec City from the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.

Even if we were allowed to ride inside the walls, I don’t think we would have been able to! Firstly, the streets were extremely busy – filled with tourists almost everywhere. The other thing that was everywhere – was the hills! I couldn’t believe how hilly the city was and it sure provided a workout to my thighs anyway. Some roads were cobblestone paved which would have made riding a pain in the ass, quite literally.

So I printed off a walking tour of Vieux-Quebec and we toured the city completely on foot. The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac was as stunning in person as it is in the photos. It stands looking over the St Lawrence River which was built in 1893. It’s beauty dominates the skyline, especially when it is lit up at night.

My second favourite place in Quebec, is Place Royale and Quartier Petit Champlain. There is something about small little alleys that bring such character to a city. Because Quebec City is such a highly visited city by tourists, sometimes the original atmosphere of the city is lost. But here in Quartier Petit Champlain, you will touched by the romantic European atmosphere and the cute boutiques and cafes. Here, I ate a traditional French/Quebec dish – rabbit at Le Lapin Sauté and iced maple taffy, freshly made on the street.

My third favourite place in Quebec is found about 20 minutes drive north outside the city – Montmorency Falls. We came here at sundown, when the temperature was quickly depleting but we ended up spending quite a bit of time here regardless. These falls is renowned as the waterfalls higher than Niagara Falls. Having known that, I must say – it is not as magnificent as the mighty Niagara, but you cannot deny the beauty of any waterfall. Here, you can walk down really close and feel the mist rain down on you.

Of course, I can’t forget that we had such a lovely time at the free nightly show in the summer by Cirque du Soleil. Make sure you arrive here early, because there is no shortage of people who make sure they obtain a great viewing spot of the event. The free show is standing-room only, unless you pay for reserved seating at the back. Personally, you can get better views if you stand, but if you’re coming with children you may want to consider the reserved seating because it’s difficult to see over everybody’s heads!

Overall, Quebec City is a magical city. The combination of the European atmosphere and architecture, and delectable food is truly an experience you must make.

Quebec City

Old Quebec (Vieux Québec)

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  1. Le Hobbit Restaurant Review (Quebec City) | Sammylicious - food travel & the life of sammy Says:

    [...] My hotel promised a continental breakfast, but when we had made it to the kitchen there wasn’t anything left but bananas and pieces of toast. At first thought, I quickly regretted waking up late but we grabbed a banana to go and decided to get ourselves a proper breakfast once we made it into Vieux-Quebec (Old Quebec). [...]

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