Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quebec City

I am so glad we decided to make Quebec City a stop on our trip back to PEI. We have spent the past few days walking around Vieux Quebec, visiting the fortifications of the Citadelle, the Governor General’s second residence, the Farmer’s Market, and thoroughly enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of the city. A highlight was the Saint Louis Forts and Chateaux National Historic Site which opened in 2010. Under Dufferin Terrace in front of the Chateau Frontenac, these ruins show the first floor of the first dwellings on this site, dating from the 1600s.

Not only does Dufferin Terrace offer wonderful views of the St. Lawrence River, but in front of the Chateau Frontenac there are often buskers. We took in several shows. The Funiculaire also has an entrance onto the Terrace, linking Petit Champlain with Upper Town. This was a favourite way for us to reach the Terrace (and avoid a steep uphill walk and the 124 Frontenac steps).  A ride costs only $2.25 a person in this glass enclosed outdoor railway. Originally opened in 1879, a ride on the funiculaire is not to be missed. The view is beautiful as you rise up the cliff.   
Every street seems to boast a new artisan or musician to discover. And sidewalk patios are a great place to watch the world go by. There were several art shows happening during our visit. On August 6th we also got to see the Opening Parade for Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France. The costumes were amazing. After the festival, we took in one of the best fireworks displays I have ever seen. It was part of the Lotto Quebec series and lasted 25 minutes. We stood on Dufferin Terrace, as the fireworks were set off from a barge in the river in front of us. It was amazing.

My only regret is that we cannot stay longer as there is still so much to see and do here. The Cirque de Soleil has a show happening right beside the marina, and we have not had time to get there.  Although we explored much of the old town, there are still several museums to visit, many shops to check out and lots of great restaurants. I am astonished how often we drive by Quebec without stopping on our way between the Maritimes and Ontario. It really is delightful.

 However, we must continue moving east. So this morning it has been time to do laundry and a few other small chores on the boat to be ready to leave at 2pm to catch a favourable tide.

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