Quintessentially quaint Quebec City gives off a far more European feel than all of its North American cousins combined and arriving at St Jean’s gate we were instantly transported back to life across the pond. Upon entering the gates you are steered down the pedestrianized thoughourfare of Place d’Youville through the throng of tourists and street performers. Some are good, some are horribly boring, though we did find this fella quite amusing and having first read it in French we were left scratching our heads for the English translation. Let us make it easy for you – http://missplump.net/
Having parked up out of the central district we thought it a good idea to once again explore the city on our bikes – WRONG!!!! This place has some gruelling hills that even a doped up Lance Armstrong would struggle against. Lucky for us we stumbled upon one of the many elevators transporting us up a couple of stories and thus saving Matt from having to wait for slow Sarah. Having locked up the bikes outside the city walls we set off on foot.
Arriving at the fort on the waterfront side of the old town, with the soft rising sound of a street performers organ gently dancing up the hill from the walkway below, we were spoilt by the beautiful sunset over town sharply followed by the awakening rise of the moon opposite. From here you can take in the revered Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and the Price Building that possess the skyline to the west.
Taking the winding path down to Dufferin Terrace we were again amongst various street performers, tourists and locals taking their evening stroll. Walking on we came across a Medieval gathering in Plaza Royale (the Fetes de la Nouvelle we believe, a celebration of 17th century life) which looked like fun though knowing us we would definitely, not maybe, have gotten caught up in the revelry. Moving further down to the waterfront we came across Rue du Petit-Champlain, supposedly the oldest commercial (and narrowest) street in North America, filled with tourist shops and restaruants. Watch your step on Breakneck stairs, they were built in 1635 for people with smaller feet than today, and they’re steep.
Walking along the harbour front there were more squares filled with the same excitement as before. Quebec City prides itself on it’s acceptance of street performing as a legitimate art form, and you’ll find several small ‘stages’ scattered around, complete with lighting and seating. We have to congratulate QC for this as it really does give it a unique summer evening vibe. The people watching is also one of a kind, from nuns wearing their sunglasses at night whilst eating ice cream, to the guy sat on a park bench all alone in full zombie getup, you’re never short of a WTF moment here.
Finally reaching the bikes we rode back to the car, which was now parked in free street parking until the morning (money saver!!), via a pitstop at La Korrigane brewery, where we spent a couple of hours getting reconnected with cyber space whilst sipping on Korrigane red and Cornick black beers.
For more photos of Quebec City and Montreal you can click here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/124085300@N05/sets/72157647077656597/