Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 77: Québec est magnifique et immense!

Yes, Quebec is magnificent and huge!
So far, getting around New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada has been pretty easy and driving days are short as places are pretty close.  But driving across New Brunswick and into Quebec, we discovered that things weren't going to be so condensed any longer.

Turns out that Quebec is twice the size of Texas!

We were making our way to Quebec City, which is on the St. Lawrence River, so over the Pierre Laporte Bridge...

...then under it and the neighboring Quebec Bridge, which has a very tragic history.  It took three attempts to complete it and almost 100 steel workers died in two construction accidents.
(Sorry for the bugged out windshield, Quebec has Texas-sized bugs too.)

And suddenly we were in Europe!

The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
No, unfortunately we didn't stay here.

The explorer Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City in 1608.

Once we were parked, we found the visitor's center, got a street map, and did a little exploring of our own.

Quebec City is quite beautiful and possibly the cleanest city we've ever seen.

You could practically eat off these streets!

The city still has its original fortifications, it's the only walled city in North America outside of Mexico.

Old and new architecture blend in seamlessly with the fortress walls.

Cannons o' plenty

Lots of pedestrian walkways...

...and more beautiful buildings.

A bird's eye view down into the oldest part of the city from the fortifications.

The walls are high so there're plenty of signs warning you not to fall off, which is good, but what's that on the left side of the sign, a flying monkey?

Isaac and Louise have camped all over the area and suggested a campground near the city on Ile d'Orleans, just across another suspension bridge.

The next morning, before leaving the island, we stopped at a nearby park and climbed this tower... admire the incredible view!

Quebec City, like most of the cities we've visited, is going on our "must visit again when we have more money" list.  But, we should learn some French first. Quebec takes maintaining its french culture and language very seriously.  Unlike the other provinces we've visited where the road signs are bilingual, Quebec is French only.  We enjoyed the city and found our way around, but some basic phrases would have been helpful so that we could have interacted with the locals more.

Next: Montreal!

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