It is a welcomed challenge and privilege every year to research provinces, territories and their communities in our country for Canada EH Tourism (www.CanadaEH.net).
Every year we visit as many communities as we can as we criss cross Canada. Most meet our expectations, some fall short of our expectations and a few are all hype and no substance. Every country is the same.. you have the big money destinations and then the hidden gems and then the duds.
Quebec City is one of those hidden gems. It is a community where the present meets the past. Time stands still. One moment you feel like you are walking in history and then the next moment reality hits and your bill arrives for your lunch.
In Quebec City romance, culture and history are the attractions. It is the history which creates the atmosphere for romance and culture. Much of that history is found in Old Quebec.
The community was once an old fort fighting battles on the Plains of Abraham off the coast of Canada. Today, the fort still stands and the old stone buildings still line the cobblestone streets. The rest of the community built up around the fortification.
The walls of the fortification still stand today. The city streets of Old Quebec City pass under them and people pass over them. Walking the wall is a great way to sight see Old Quebec high above the streets visiting with attractions and unique stores.
Stores in Old Quebec City are housed in the old stone buildings. They line up and down the streets, side by side, shoulder to shoulder. There are few with big display windows – most settle for flower pots, sandwich boards and narrow entrances welcoming curious shoppers.
The narrow streets lead to courtyards, gardens, sitting benches and monuments. Here and there there are busy alleyways jammed with artists and vendors selling their talents.
On our last visit there was a festival going down and street performers were out in force. They danced, sang and played tricks causing us to stick around, late into the night, so to enjoy the talent. Just another reason to get lost in our dreams and smiles.
For those planning a visit to Quebec City plan to visit some history like the Artillery Park and the fort at the Plains of Abraham Historic Site.
Make sure to plan for some time to explore on foot too. There is a walkway that begins from the fort. It follows a boardwalk pathway along a cliff leading to a waterfront promenade and the downtown of Old Quebec City. Hook up with the fort wall and you can circle back to where you started.
If you like sightseeing, a side trip to consider would be the Ile-d-Orleans. The loop road circling the island visits with small villages, farmers markets, wineries and sightseeing parks.