Quebec - Quaint And Touristy

Central Station
Sitting in Ottawa thinking about my time in Quebec or should I say Quebec City because people get annoyed when they think that you are speaking about the province. And I am not sure exactly what to say, but the hostel I stayed in (HI Quebec City) was quite nice and while you were in the room you could hear the clip-clop of horse-drawn-carriages go by outside. The city was also very clean and unlike any other which I had come across in northern America. At times it seemed like I was in France. But it was VERY touristy, the streets were filled with them, especially school groups of which there were at least two whichever street you turned down. And being touristy things were a bit more expensive and the shops were filled trashy souvenirs.

Parliament BuildingHaving said that, I only spent time in the old town, Quebec City is the fourth oldest city in Canada having recently celebrated its 400th year of existence and it has some amazing history and buildings. It was founded on July 3 1608 by Samuel de Champlain (champlain was also the wifi password and I thought they had misspelled champagne until I walked the streets :)). The city walls apparently are the last remaining city walls in America north of Mexico, and for this the old town was declared a world heritage site in 1985. I walked along the city walls which are lined with cannons and the whole trip takes just over an hour to complete. Most of my photos were taken from the walls. The walk also takes you past the Chateau Frontenac which is a hotel "the most photographed hotel in the world", it dominates the Quebecan skyline. It is quite pleasant walking around, the only thing that spoils it is that the entire city was built on a hill and going along the streets often times means going up and down a hill. This was only really a problem (or proper workout) when I was carrying all my luggage to the top, a 15 minute uphill walk.

The only other thing I tried while I was there, was poutine which is basically a bowl of chips served with cheese curd and gravy. I was told that it was traditional (this seems to be the excuse for quite a few things) and I absolutely had to try it. Well the cheese squeaks when you chew it, but other than that, it is not the most revolting thing I have eaten. It looks quite horrible and i must confess that I did not complete mine as it had way to much gravy on for my liking and I could feel my arteries constricting,so I only ate the chips that had survived the drowning. Incidentally my meal looked almost identical to the Wikipedia picture.

So in summary, I think Quebec City is worth a visit but I would not spend more than a few days (max 4) there.

Here are some photos, again I did not take enough.

P.S. Still can't get used to the surprise tax, it always feels like you are getting a raw deal.


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