First stop in my Canada journey: Quebec City! To kick off my journey and try something I didn’t do in Europe, I took an Über from the airport to my Airbnb. Public transportation was by bus, and it would have taken 1.5 hours versus 20 minutes, but I was anxious to arrive. After settling in, I ventured off to go eat a late lunch.
Le Paillard is famous for their croissants, so I had to try it. 10/10 recommend.
Afterwards, I wandered around Old Quebec, enjoying the architecture of the buildings. I also hid under my umbrella while it rained sporadically throughout the day.
The Governor’s Promenade (Promenade des Gouverneurs) had some pretty views of Levis and the Chateau Frontenac, but nothing impressive.
Quebec used to be a fort, and has been at the forefront of wars like the Seven Years’ War, so I understand the cannon guns… but they took it to a whole new level. Below are just a few of the many guns I saw.
On my walking tour the following day, I learned that the Tourny Fountain (Fontaine de Tourny) was a 4$ million gift from Simons department stores for its 400th year of independence (and Quebec City spent 2$ to prepare). QC also received a one-of–kind Swiss monument made by Richard Mile as a gift from Switzerland’s Canton of Jura for its 400th celebration, but it took 6 years to arrive. And of course, to make sure everyone would know its origin, it has Switzerland’s time on the clock as well. I wonder if it adjusts for Daylight Savings Time manually or automatically… Also, who knew that there were a donkey and goat being kept as pets within the old city walls?
My favorite part of the tour was Lower Town, aptly named because it’s by the riverfront. I got some pretty skyline views when I explored along the St. Lawrence River afterwards.
And a beautiful small library (Morrin Centre) that used to be Quebec’s first prison.
On my last day, I spent some time in the Museum of Civilization (Musée de la Civilisation). Quite humorously, the museum gave me a sticker as my “ticket” to enter. The exhibitions did a great job in covering the history of Quebec’s people (especially the First Nations) but I would have liked a little more information on the European settlement of Quebec and today’s main political, economic, and social issues. Overall, a good start to learning about the history of Quebec.
I also went to Érico, a local chocolatier that has a chocolate museum! See the below photo for some fun “benefits” about chocolate, especially dark chocolate.
Next, I discovered that the Quebec Parliament offers free tours inside, where you can see how the 4 different countries (France, Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland) impacted Quebec’s legislative rooms. Fun fact: The House of Representatives and the Senate rooms used to be green and red, respectively, but they changed it to blue and raspberry pink when they started TV broadcasting in the room. Additionally, green is supposed to represent the people & lower house (hence the HoR), and red, the higher power (which is the Senate, all appointed by the Canadian Prime Minister.
If you go to Quebec City, I hope you have time to check out my absolute favorite part of QC, Montmorency Falls (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency)! Absolutely breathtaking, 83 meters higher than Niagara Falls, and worth the ~20 flights of stairs I climbed up and down on to get the best view. Please avoid my mistake by bringing exact change onto the 800 bus, or you won’t be able to board. The bus driver was nice enough to tell me where to go to purchase a prepaid bus ticket since I didn’t have exact change on me. Also, highly wouldn’t recommend biking around the falls like the drenched poor souls who had to haul their bikes up all the stairs. [insert pictures of Falls]
As a total foodie, I love trying the food native to the area. Poutine is a Canadian dish originated from Quebec. It’s a combination of fries, cheese curds, and gravy (composed of a mix of beef and chicken stock). Let’s just say it’ll be my first and only time to try poutine.
On the other hand, I got to divulge in my love of buckwheat crépes. Below is my meal from Le Billig, again a restaurant I’d recommend. It looked like it served a variety of beer and cider on the chalkboard menus.
Before I left, I had to try out L’Affair Est Ketchup, a restaurant that I read as must-do’s on blogs and reviews. I was impressed by the restaurant. They did a fantastic job balancing out natural flavors with the garlicky sauces that accompanied the dish. I had the pleasure of trying out fiddlehead ferns. They were harvested at farms in Quebec. and to my understanding, is viewed as a delicacy in Quebec. Additionally, I ate some of the freshest sea scallops, locally sourced as well. Another solid recommendation for anyone traveling in QC in the nearby future.