Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thoughts from la Belle Province

Walking through Haut Québec late in the afternoon.
I love the initial observations you notice when you travel. The things that immediately stand out because they are new and different from what you may be used to. Quebec reflects a different time and style of life in comparison to Toronto, and it is beautiful to explore! If you are planning to drive in like we did, I'll tell you upfront: yes it's possible, but watch out for those one-way streets. Confusing without our GPS and I almost turned the wrong way more than once. Also, you cannot turn right on a red light.
Walking down Rue Champlain with all the other tourists. The buildings are just gorgeous.
Jenna and I enjoying Montmorency Falls
Quebec city is rich with vibrant history and culture. Absent are the gigantic sky scrappers that populate other cities that I've visited (like Toronto, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei) and with the river running at its side, there are some stunning views. Plus like in Niagara there is a magnificent waterfall located a short drive away and a whole island of breweries, wineries, cideries, cheese and jam. Come enjoy nature! ㅋㅋ

For those of you who are not Canadian or for those Canadians who need a history refresher, Quebec is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) city in Canada dating back to the arrival of the French settlers at the start of the 1600s and stumbled (can a boat stumble?) down the Saint Lawrence River. The people of the time worked to make trade relations and treaties with the Native Americans of the time and while conflicts occur in any setting, friendships were formed.
Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine (just East of the Plains of Abraham)
The Seven Years' War (1756-1763) between the French and English occurred throughout the region. The turning point was fought on the Plains of Abraham in what was probably one of the shortest battles in history (under an hour; accounts vary). The English beat the French that day and were able to lay hold of Quebec City. Throughout the war, battles were won on both sides, but the French ultimately lost and in 1763, France ceded French Canada to the British in the Treaty of Paris.

The plains are now a beautiful park in old Quebec City with a really cool museum (worth a visit! Take a ride on Abraham's bus, too!). This was a decisive moment in the history of Canada. In school I often wondered what Canada would look like today had the French and their allies won the day... or if the two colonial powers thought, "Hmm... Canada is pretty big, why don't we share?" Ha. That would have been interesting.
Saying goodbye to the Plains of Abraham with one last walk~~
Definitely a cool place to check out if you can with some rad festivals and events throughout the year. See example links:
Carnival de Quebec (winter)
Festival d'Été de Québec (summer)

Here's to the next time I can visit la belle province. À la prochaine!

Bises xxx

Things I've learned about France (or at least Normandy)

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