Riding the train from Montreal to Quebec City was a very relaxing and enjoyable way to begin our remaining three days in Canada. Rather than book a hotel room in Quebec, we again opted to rent an apartment, this time at http://www.airbnb.com .
Melanie and Angus were there to greet us upon arrival, an easy task for them since their home was located just above our rental. Immediately, we knew we had made the right choice, because they were as warm and gracious as could be, and their apartment was as cozy and comfortable as we could hope for. What a perfect way to begin our visit in Quebec, the city that topped my bucket list for several years!
Quickly, we checked out the amenities, hung up our clothes, and off we went to explore the city. A short walk up the stairs and there we were at Rue Saint-Jean, the street that would take us to the Old City, just a ten-minute walk away.
Along the way were many inviting restaurants, shops, markets, and even a chocolatier with a chocolate museum!
My heart skipped a beat and my eyes lit up, though, when we arrived at the walls surrounding the Old City. I couldn’t wait to explore what awaited us on the other side.
Quebec City, the capital of Quebec perched on the hills above the Saint Lawrence River, is one of the oldest settlements in North America. French explorer Jacques Cartier built a fort at the site in 1535. That was a long time ago!
To us Americans, any structure that is more than 100 years old is old. In Quebec, homes at the Old Port dated back to the early 1600’s and appeared no worse for the wear. They just don’t build ‘em like they used to! (Too bad the Atlanta Braves don’t subscribe to that point of view, because they are abandoning Turner Field for a new stadium. Turner field was built for the Olympics in 1996 and still looks perfectly fine!)
Being in Quebec felt like being back in France. In addition to the beautiful European architecture of the Old City, about 95% of the city’s inhabitants are native French speakers.
Many Americans would find that intimidating or uncomfortable, but I am like a magnet when it comes to foreign cultures. Drop me in the middle of anywhere foreign and I love the challenge of communicating with the locals and making myself at home.
I don’t speak French, but it didn’t take much effort to learn a few simple phrases that proved to be all that was needed to enjoy our stay in Quebec. Check this out on Trip Advisor; it’s all you will need if you visit Quebec: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-s604/Canada:Important.Phrases.html
“Bonjour! Parlez-vous anglais?” Asked with a smile, the locals unfailingly responded in perfect English. We never once experienced the unfriendliness that Americans often speak about when it comes to the French or French Canadians. Avoid playing the “ugly American” role, and Quebec City is thoroughly enjoyable.
The following are a few of the photos I shot in Quebec City. Visit http://www.ExquisiteCards.fototime.com to see more, and check back for my next post for more about Quebec City.