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Travel Logs November 2017

Compulsive Traveler

Quebec City – The Heart and Soul of French Canada

By Sandra Scott

Montmorency Falls, which is higher than Niagara Falls, is often included in a Quebec City tour. There is a cable car ride to the top and viewing platforms.

Can’t make it to France? Then visit Quebec City, one of the oldest cities in North America with history, adventure and culinary delight. It is the heart and soul of French Canada and an all-season destination.

  1. Old Town: Old Town is the historic center of the city with Our Lady of Victories, one of the oldest churches, fronting the main square. Don’t miss the massive mural nearby which depicts Old Quebec and many of Quebec’s leading writers and artists. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A funicular connects the Old Town to the Upper City with the main entrance located in the historic House of Louis Jolliet (explorer of the Mississippi).

  2. Hop-On: First time visitors should consider the hop-on hop-off tour on a London-style double-decker bus which visits all the important sites in the city. It makes 12 stops, but those with enough time should consider taking it once around to enjoy the informative commentary and then decide what places they would most like to visit.

  3. Museum of Civilization: The museum is culture-packed, with traveling exhibits about everything from religion to Rome's history. It is the place to learn about the history and culture of Quebec but changing exhibits and the museum’s diversity makes for an entertaining visit, whether it's your first time or your hundredth. Topical guided tours are included in the admission price.

  4. La Citadelle: The star-shaped fortress perched high above the St. Lawrence River has protected the area since the 1750s. Once a formidable French fortress, it now hosts changing of the guard ceremonies every summer day at 10 a.m. and soldiers beating the retreat on drums every Friday at 7 p.m. in the summer. Their guided tour shares information on more than 300 years of history.

  5. Plains of Abraham: Located next to the Citadelle, this is where the fight for supremacy between the French and British Empires occurred. The park is the scene of the 1759 Conquest, which changed the fate of North America. Apart from its historical past, with over 250 acres of meadow and grassy knolls, it is the Central Park of Quebec.

  6. Museum of Fine Arts: Situated at the edge of Battlefields Park, the museum was once a prison but now holds art from around the world. Enjoy their Inuit art collection and the work of local artists. Free tours along with digital tours on mobile devices are available. During the summer, walk through the gardens to view some 25 sculptures and monumental installations adorning the outdoor spaces.

  7. Parliament Building: The 19th century house of government is fronted by statues of people and events important in Quebec history. There is a free tour of the building and it is possible to make prior arrangements for a reserved seat to observe the National Assembly. The gardens are a pleasant place to stroll.

  8. Notre Dame Cathedral: The cathedral has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The ornate ceiling glitters with gold leaf. Tours are available during the summer. Check out their schedule of concerts.

  9. Culinary: Poutine is Quebec’s signature dish – potatofries, gravy and cheese curd – that is spreading worldwide. Tourtiere is Quebaecois meat pie that can include minced pork, beef or wild game. Maple syrup is a good take-away gift.

  10. Nearby: Montmorency Falls, which is higher than Niagara Falls, is often included in a Quebec City tour. There is a cable car ride to the top and viewing platforms. There are also trips to the shrine St. Anne de Beaupre.

 

Sandra Scott travels the globe recording the top attractions at every destination.

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