A lady of a certain age

We were blessed with incredible weather during our 3 days in Quebec City which was ideal, as the best way to explore and enjoy Quebec City is to walk, and to keep walking up and down the meandering streets until your calf muscles scream at you "No more!"

Chateau Frontenac Hotel

It's impossible not to be drawn towards the imposing Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Haute Ville (or Upper-Town). It towers over the city and every steep road and funicular leads to it's wonderful vantage point atop the old city walls, looking out to the St.Lawrence River.
(I couldn't stop thinking of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining!)
Terrasse Dufferin wraps itself around the Chateau, and in the sunshine it's quite spectacular. Despite the tourists it's very easy to imagine a bygone era of parasols and impressive moustaches, and a gentler pace of life.....

Foutaine de Tourny

There's a splendid walk along the wooden Promenade des Governeurs which hugs the cliff tops. Carry on and you'll find yourself at the Citadelle de Quebec, which is an active military installation built on an old fortress. It's a national historic site of Canada, complete with museum. A further stroll leads onto Parliament Hill dominated by the stylish Parliament building and Foutaine de Tourny.
So whatever your inclination, you can experience of myriad of impressive historical buildings and river views in a morning, at a pace in keeping with your surroundings.

If food is your thing, and in particular French food then head to the Quartier Sainte-Jeane-Baptiste and walk up Rue Sainte-Jean past the city walls boundary. All the best restaurants and cafes (with crepes to die for) are found here, sandwiched in between little, bespoke independent shops.
One exception is the restaurant Buffet de L'Antiquaire which is in the Viuex-Ville (Old Town) and serves comfort food of the highest order. There's no frills, and be prepared to queue, but I assure you the poutine is worth the wait.

Museum of Civilisation

The Quartier Petit Champlain is the picture book face of Quebec City, stuffed with independent boutiques, galleries, restaurants, but interestingly all cooperatively-owned.
Nearby you'll also find Museum of Civilisation which had a busy Herge and Tintin exhibition on at the time we visited.

If a more traditional shopping experience is more up your street then check out the gently sprawling La Maison Simons, a Quebec-owned clothing chain in the Old Town. Despite being a throwback to the department stores of old we managed to lose an hour in there, there was a great selection of clothes.
Head back towards the river and the Old Port is another lovely area to stroll round.
There's a great food market selling of course fresh fish, but lots of local fruit and vegetables. Excellent strawberries!

Quartier Petit Champlain

We found Quebec City to be compact, dramatic, and steeped in modern history.
It has the restaurants, but it has the right restaurants, so it doesn't succumb to it's pretty facades.
There is a strong feeling of independence and identity, and a community protecting a very French way of life. A very enjoyable European Canadian experience.


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