A travel journal
to Quebec City by Lulu Byrd
Quote: The vibrant capital of Quebec province is anything but provincial. From multifaceted history, sophisticated, world-class nightlife, dining and shopping, I must say, it's simply fabulous.
La Grande Allee: Just outside the walls. Outdoor dining and cafes, great people-watching, bit overpriced though.
Le Chateau Frontenac: pretty and the building everyone associates with Quebec. Nice view of the Saint Lawrence River. It's actually a hotel and is only about 100 years old. Snap your photo of it and move along. Actually, often there's great entertainment around here in the evening: mimes, musicians, firebreathers, and jugglers.
Le Vieux Port: Go down les Escaliers Casse-Cou (Breakneck Steps) or take the funicular. Some houses and churches here date from original settlement times. Gorgeous architecture that brings you to a long-forgotten time. Many festivals take place here.
Plains of Abraham: Great views of the Saint Lawrence River, great for roller-blading, playgrounds, frisbee, hackeysack. Musee du Quebec showcases high quality Quebec art here.
Ave. Cartier: chi-chi cafes line this street away from the tourist district. Abuts Plains of Abraham.
Rue St. Jean: Great shopping from le Vieux Port, vibrant Gay community, world-class nightlife.
Basse Ville: Working-class Quebec City but drips with local charm; some great reasonably-priced restaurants can be found on Blvd. Charest or Blvd. St. Joseph.
Learn about Quebec government by going to l'Assemblee Nationale right outside the city walls by la Grande Allee. For those of you who live in Quebec province, you can see where all the heated political debates take place and where the premiers meet with the press. We heard guided tours in French, English and Spanish.
There is no subway but there is a Metrobus (Bus #801 and #802) has its own lanes with specific stops, very much like a subway. The Metrobus is specifically useful if you want to check out Laval University (.25 each way).
The Quebec City train station is an architectural delight with a copper roof and high vaulted ceilings with engraved walls. Train & bus station are right next to one another in la Basse Ville...taxis wait out front AND the stations are within easy walking distance of just about anywhere you're likely to be staying (particularly close to le Vieux Port).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2001
Cafe du Clocher Penche
203 rue St. Joseph Est
Quebec City, Quebec
Attraction | "Le Drague"
804 rue St. Augustin
Quebec City, Quebec
Attraction | "L'Amour Sorcier"
Amour Sorcier Cafe Bar
789 Cote Sainte-Genevieve
Quebec City, Quebec $zip
Attraction | "Fetes de la Nouvelle France"
Elsewhere erstwhile soldiers on stilts (1 1/2-2 feet at least) and noses a la Cyrano de Bergerac danced skillfully (I don't see how they did it in the Old City's cobblestone streets) and entertained onlookers with their playful, fun-loving antics. On another day, peasant dances were the theme, with fast-moving twirls, clapping, dancing in a line to a ever-quickening musical entertainment (musicians and dancers all dressed accordingly). I found myself giddily swept up in the heady atmosphere, clapping along and dancing myself.
Stands a la epoque (of early New France) sold goods from fresh fruit to popular dishes of a long-forgotten time, from caribou to a potato/veal cake to fresh fruit/vegetables to modern dishes. Other stands had names of the earliest New France settlers so people could trace their roots.
It seemed that the whole city had come out to proudly present the rich intricate historical scene. Apparently the mayor is a strong supporter of preserving and celebrating the culture and history of la ville de Quebec, one of the oldest cities in the Americas. Combining the gorgeous historical architecture with a rich history and life-loving populace, the festival will be a memory I will treasure for a lifetime.
Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France
Quebec, Quebec G1K 4E9
+1 418 694 3311
Attraction | "Musee du Quebec"
There are several permanent exhibits. Jean-Paul Riopelle has a whole section containing birds in a whole assortment of positions. A unique style and sometimes compelling.
There's local art showcased in the Quebec, Art d'une Capitale exhibit. This has some gorgeous landscape and historical paintings.
The Tradition et Modernite au Quebec exhibit traces the changes through painting in the province as people moved from a Catholic church-dominated society to Quebec's Quiet Revolution and beyond.
Jean Paul Lemieux is a very talented painter whose artwork portrays sadness and despair in a very poignant manner.
Temporary exhibit: Presently, there is an exhibit showing the sculptures and bas reliefs of Hebert. Some of his sculptures were quite powerful: one stand out that showed a battle to the death between a European and Native American. Others were lifelike representations of many historically important people in Canadian history from John A. McDonald to Sir Georges-Etienne Carter.
Musée du Québec
1 Wolfe-Montcalme St
Quebec, Quebec G1R 5H3
+1 418 643 2150