Rather spontaneously, Justin and I decided to take an extended weekend away to celebrate our dating anniversary by heading to Quebec City. In one fell swoop we booked our flights and hotel and before we knew it, we were on our way. I barely had time to remember that I’m afraid of flying! Good thing too because our connecting flight was tiny (only 19 rows) and if I’d thought about it too hard, I might have chickened out!
I’m so glad I didn’t because start to finish this trip was a delight, from our taxi driver who told us to expect four seasons of weather in one day (true!) to arriving in the old city centre and seeing this little boo.
Then there was our hotel – beautiful! We were upgraded to this lovely room and though we were worried it was going to rain throughout the trip, this suddenly made cozying up and listening to the rain seem like not such a bad option! It was a perfect combination of old world charm and modern luxuries. We were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. We took a few moments to settle in and then immediately grabbed our cameras and headed out the door!
Steps away was this amazing artist’s row. Within moments we were learning about the popularity of copper etching in Quebec City and seeing all sorts of representations of parts of the city we would come to know and love.
Next we found our way down to La Promenade des Gouverneurs, a wonderful, wide walkway that gives you beautiful views of the city and the powerful St. Lawrence River. We walked the entire length of it and found ourselves on the Plains of Abraham.
This is the location of a pivotal moment in Canadian history. In 1759 the British defeated the French and took control of Quebec, changing the path of this land forever. While we were contemplating this place and our history, school groups were doing re-enactments – one group representing the English and one, the French. There was enthusiastic marching, yelling and charging! As with so many things during our visit, this felt so like home, so my culture, so my history, so a part of the fibre of our lives, from it being wonderfully corny to it being incredibly politically complex.
No matter how far we walked, the beautiful Chateau Frontenac was our landmark. No wonder it is the most photographed hotel in the world! We even managed to do a little exploration in the hotel, including discovering these amazing tiny circular hideaways for drinks overlooking the river!
As rain started to make an appearance, we decided to walk back to our hotel and passed by the incredibly impressive government building. It was full of statues of historical figures from Samuel de Champlain and the very beginnings of Quebec to more recent politicians like Maurice Duplessis and Robert Bourassa.
We’d only been in Quebec an afternoon and already we’d walked miles and miles and fallen in love with the beauty, the history, the character of the place
Despite the grey and the rain, we knew we had picked just the right place for us to visit.
We ended our day at the D’Orsay, enjoying steak frites and locally brewed beer. Perfect. And that was only day 1!