PLACE #52 – Québec City, QC

I’ve always heard only great things about Québec City, so it was a very easy and spontaneous decision to explore this city over a summer weekend.

My hubby and I packed our bags and the journey began. We left Toronto from the Billy Bishop islan airport in the heart of downtown on Thursday night. The plan was to enjoy lovely summer weather and rich Québec history over 2.5 day period and come back home on Sunday.

The weather forecast noted it would rain all weekend long, but thankfully it only rained on Friday which worked out to our advantage! It didn’t rain hard, but it was enough to keep most visitors away from downtown Quebec and my hubby and I roamed the wet cobble stone streets of the old town by ourselves. To be honest it was very beautiful and poetic – the old city was quiet, foggy, and full of saturated colours as the water ran down the old roofs. Very picturesque.

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We spent all day exploring the old parts of the city with its numerous churches and beautiful old structures. In the evening we went to see a comedy show – ComediHa! – which was spontaneous and a very nice finish to our first day in Quebec.

Our hotel – Palace Royale – was located right outside the old city wall and our windows were overlooking the entire old city – what a spectacular view. We could see the famous Hotel Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and most of the old cobble stone streets directly from the hotel windows, so even when we were inside the hotel it felt like we were part of the old city.

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On Saturday, the weather was perfect. It’s wasn’t too hot or too cold, and there was no rain. So we decided to hop on the good old tour bus – which was very informative and relaxing (as we just sat and enjoyed the scenery and a bit of history lesson). I actually like taking tour buses because they give you a quick overview of  city and you can decide for yourself which areas you’d like to explore in more detail later.

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Sunday was our last day in Quebec and my hubby and I decided to rent a car to drive to the Montmorency Falls  and to the Île d’Orléans island, and then all the way to the airport. It turns out that renting a car out was way cheaper than taking a bus tour to the falls and then a cab to the airport.

The Montmorency Falls are higher than Niagara Falls but not as wide and are very picturesque. The island consists of a large farming community and driving through the local farms was very relaxing.  We made a few stops to try out locally grown strawberries and to have a quick bite at a local restaurant. From the west side of the island  you get to see the old city and it’s very beautiful.

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As we drove to the Montmorency Falls, we saw a moose swimming along the highway in the St. Lawrence River.

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Quebec cuisine is very different than any other Northern American city that I’ve been to. The portions are very small and ‘European-like’ in size. There are a lot of French flavours and dishes – which makes sense, and tons of seafood.

Once we arrived it felt like we were transported from North America to a tiny European town. Old narrow cobble stone streets reminded me of Porto and Lisbon. There was stark contract between busy Toronto vibe and a relaxed Québec City vibe. Even the language was foreign to us, which added to the experience. I loved the old town charm of old Québec City. What a beautiful place it is.

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