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Thursday 24 October 2013

Québec City

Our last stop on our Canadian trip was the picturesque city of Québec. 

Now, I'd thought that the Old Town of Montreal was beautiful with it's mixture of quaint row houses and stately buildings, but Québec took the whole "Old Town" thing to a new level. Montreal's Old Town  had quite a European feel to it, however somehow Québec's Old Town felt more European. Maybe it was the street layout. Maybe it was the style of buildings. I can't really put my finger on it, but as we walked around the Old Town I really felt as though we had been transported into a European town.

Maybe what made Québec feel more European was the fact that it rained almost the whole time we were there! Unfortunately it rained a little too much for us to get out and see everything that we had hoped to see. I'd planned to stroll through the narrow streets down by the port but instead we had to suffice with driving through them in the shelter of our rental car. We had also planned to visit the nearby Montmorency Falls but the rain but a dampener on that plan too. Kind of ironic that we skipped out on seeing a waterfall due to water falling! Unfortunately though it was just too wet and cold for us to do all that much for a lot of the time that we were in Québec. However we did see enough to appreciate what a beautiful little city it is. 

We spent most of our time in Québec visiting the Old Town where tourists are drawn in droves to the picturesque port area. One of the main tourist draw cards to the area is the imposing Château Frontenac which perches atop a hill above the port. Built in 1893, the Château is in fact a very grand hotel. While spending a night at the Château was a little out our reach, stopping by the (not so grand!) Starbucks on the ground floor was definitely within our price range! A nice warm latte (or hot chocolate for the girls) was just what we needed after braving the cold walking along the boardwalk in front of the Château.

Château Frontenac

Ava and the Château

The girls and I on the boardwalk

Looking over the port from the boardwalk
Ava and Lola with the Château

Heading down the boardwalk

Next to the Chateau we found a row of old cannons. Québec is in fact a walled city, or at least the Old Town area is. Québec is the only fortified city on the continent north of Mexico. The cannons that dot areas along the edge of the port are remnants from the days of fortification. They're also fun to pose on!

Ready, aim, fire!

Looking into the cannon might not be such a good idea!

Kim didn't look too worried about being shot with a cannon ball

From the boardwalk we made our way up a grassy hill to part of the fortifications. We had hoped to walk along the wall a fair way however we could tell that the brief break in the rain wouldn't last too long so we decided not to hang around in the open for too long.

Kim and the girls up on the wall

Looking down from the hill

Family shot with the port

Family shot overlooking the Château

Kisses for Daddy

Ava and Lola sitting of the wall

That hill sure was fun to run down!

Down the hill we go

Lola's little legs just couldn't keep up with Ava

Heading back up to run down again

Walking up the hill I spotted something that had intrigued me as I'd seen it quite a lot throughout the province of Québec: a fire hydrant with a sign featuring a picture of a fire hydrant on it. Umm... isn't it obvious that it's a fire hydrant even without the sign? I guess there must be another meaning to it, maybe for parking laws, perhaps?

In case you didn't know here's a sign to tell you that this is a fire hydrant! 

Back down from the hill it didn't take long before the rain settled in again. And I don't think it stopped until after we left Québec the following day. We explored the paved streets of the Old Town a little more before heading off to a restaurant for dinner - and to keep dry!

That's a big vase!

Old Town streets

We had a  little time to post letters before the rain started 

Lola posted half and Ava posted half

Uh oh... here's the rain

The single spire in an odd architectural feature

In the square outside the town hall

Quebec flags everywhere

Strolling in the rain

Château Frontenac again

Happy despite the rain

As I mentioned earlier we didn't get to see as much as we'd hoped due to the rain. We were all also feeling a little unwell with colds so decided to keep out of the cold and rain. Our next few days would be filled with driving back to Ottawa to collect our passports (with our shiny new visas) followed by flying to New York. Not something that we wanted to be feeling sicker for so it was an early night all round and some much needed rest in a warm hotel room.

Au revoir Québec! We hope to make it back again another time. Maybe next time during the warmer and not so rainy time of year!


  1. Beautiful photos, Sally! Looks like you had an amazing stroll through town despite of the rain:-) Lola sure looks radiant amongst the raindrops! Too cute!

    1. The pictures of Lola in the rain are my favourites :) The little red coat looks so cute with the wet stone street.


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