Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Chapter 28 - Quebec City Day 2

July 19th, Day 53: This morning when we arose at our usual 5:30 am, the skies were already blue but the temperature was only a cool 60 degrees. A good day to again view Quebec City but we had best wear a jacket or a sweater. Today we are going to walk through a different part of the old city, a section built down below the city walls and near the waterfront known simply as the Quartier Petit Champlain. This area consisted primarily of one long narrow cobblestoned street filled on both sides with wonderful stores in old 19th century buildings. As we slowly walked down the narrow street we felt like we were in some old European city in a much earlier time.

Rather than let words try to describe what we saw, I will simple provide a few photographs that we hope will show the beauty of this street and why we have fallen in love with Quebec.
There were several murals on the walls of the buildings here in this area of the old city but this particular mural was by far the largest and the best.
Unlike many of the shops in the "Old Quebec" area that we visited yesterday, these shops on Rue du Petit-Champlain were selling mostly higher quality items such as fine clothing, crafted arts, and the like. Kathy immediately fell in love with the artsy cat driving a golf cart and she went into the store and made a purchase. The wheels of the golf cart were spinning in the light wind and Kathy felt that this would be perfect out on our outdoor lanai overlooking the golf course.

One of the views that we loved from this lower street was looking back up towards the top of the walled city, into Old Quebec, and seeing the view of the famous and huge hotel named the Chateau Frontenac. This fine old hotel is said by some to be the most photographed hotel in the world. The hotel is 18 stories high with 600 rooms.  Yesterday we were only a few feet away from this hotel when we were stood by the Statue of Champlain, and we did not even realize that it was there. I guess we just failed to look up.

We spent quite sometime wandering in an out of the shops (taking turns holding on to Cabo who mostly had to remain outside) before we finally decided to go back to our car and move on to our next stop. On the walk back to the car we passed one of the ferries getting ready to transport passengers across the St. Lawrence River. It seems that everywhere we go in the City of Quebec the government has done a magnificent job with the maintenance of the streets, the landscaping, the historical features, and nothing seems to be left to chance.

The next spot that we had to visit was Quebec's huge city park known as the Plains of Abraham (Plaines d'Abraham). The site of this park is the original site of the 1759 Battle of Quebec where the British forces fought and defeated the French forces and gained control of Quebec and ultimately of Canada.  This park was so lovely and so beautifully maintained that I am afraid that no photograph can totally transmit its beauty. We took a number of photographs but this one was the best. Surprising the park was very quiet. All of the tourists were currently shopping.

After leaving the park we decided to drive back across the St.Lawrence River to see if we can find a good spot to take a photograph of Quebec looking back across the river. We were quite surprised to discover that the road directly along the river was loaded with homes that in most cases blocked the view of Quebec. On the few occasions when a view was exposed the two lane road did not always provide us with a safe place to pull over.  We finally arrived at what was labelled as a Private Do-Not-Enter parking lot which fortunately offered us a good view of the city, so we pulled in and took this photograph.

We finally arrived back at out campground by early afternoon convinced that we had seen the best of Quebec.  Obviously it is not possible to see everything in only two short days, but considering our age and the distances that we are traveling to explore the east coast of America, we are more than pleased with this visit. Tomorrow we are headed southwest along the St Lawrence River to another one of Canada's great cities, Montreal.  As always we are looking forward to this new adventure.  

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