20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Vieux Quebec

Our first visit to Quebec City took place twenty years ago and when we returned this week I had to wonder why it took so long to return!

Rather than stay in Quebec which is located on the north side of the St. Lawrence River, we opted to spend the night in Levis which makes our trip to the east coast a little more direct. It helps, of course, that the two cities are connected via a short ferry ride and when we learned upon arrival at our hotel they offer a package deal of a prepaid taxi ride to and from the hotel to the dock as well as prepaid ferry tickets in both directions we snapped it up. No muss. No fuss. And no more driving for the day!

First thing on the agenda was to ride the Funicular, something we did not do on our first visit.


View of Levis from inside the Funicular
Upon reaching the top one steps into the shadow of the remarkable Chateau Frontenac. We stayed here years ago and would love to do it again, but this time round time does not permit. In front of this majestic hotel is a sculpture by Salvador Dali. 

At first the crowds were a little overwhelming, but as we walked around to get re-acquainted with the city, we soaked in its ambiance and all but forgot everyone else. This water playground reminds us of the Promenade du Paillon in Nice, France.

Just a few steps away from the water park is this sculpture. Notice the light at the base. Can you imagine how it looks at night? Hopefully not scary like holding a flashlight under your chin!

This one pays homage to a log driver and is wedged between two buildings across the street.

Quebec is far from a concrete jungle. There are flowers everywhere - even this flower pot is alive!

Way back when we hired a horse and buggy to tour Vieux Quebec and John (bless him) offered to do it again. I declined, but will definitely take him up on it the next time we're in town.

The Restaurant aux Anciens Canadiens features traditional Quebec cuisine and as per usual John remembers what he ordered two decades ago. Me? I recall eating there and a few fleeting images of the quaint decor, but as to what I ate I don't have a clue!

Next, we explored the streets that lead up to the Plains of Abraham. 

Many are boutique hotels and restaurants.

I love this balcony.

Looking toward the St. Lawrence River and across to Levis.

While this next building is rather lacklustre compared to some of the surrounding ones, the window box flowers are spectacular.

Close up of window boxes
There are countless stairs to climb to reach the Plains of Abraham, but the view is well worth the effort.

Pierre Dugua de Mons (born 1558, died 1628) was an explorer, trader, governor of Acadia and founder of the first permanent settlement in Canada. His statue overlooks the river and lower town.

Lower Town is where it all began and yes it is filled with shops and cafes that cater to the tourist, but they're a delight for the senses.

And if one is patient and waits for a lull in the foot traffic it's possible to get a photo that suggests we had it all to ourselves!

The decor of the front of this restaurant with all of those flower pots that are actually a string of lights makes me want to return to see it at night!

Lamb flower pots outside shop of woolly items.
One of many Art Galleries
This next shop reminded us of one in St. Paul de Vence and it is the only shop we actually explored. Like the one in France it features French made Beauville linens - including the one we purchased in France. 

Our Beauville tablecloth
Doors always attract me and these were very hard to ignore. 

When it comes to innovation I had to smile at these maple syrup containers strung by lumberjack plaid ribbons above the entranceway to La Petite Cabane a Sucre de Quebec.

This mural on the side of a building is incredibly detailed and lifelike. 

Of course, no visit to Quebec is complete without a meal at a restaurant. Kudos to Tournebroche Bistro for an incredible lunch.

Mixed Green Salad
Duck Leg Confit
Organic Chicken de Charlevoix
Poor Man's Pudding
We loved every minute of our afternoon in Quebec and hope to return soon.

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