It would be hard to find a more picturesque spot that Old Québec in Québec City. A United Nations World Heritage site, this spot is the only still preserved old walled colonial city north of Mexico. You can see portions of the wall that once surrounded the city, plus ramparts, cannons and defenses of the 17th century.
We wanted to take the funicular, which would have zoomed us back and forth up the château’s hill, but it didn’t seem to be working when we were there. So instead all of four of us tromped up several flights of stairs, getting great views of the St. Charles River.
We had a blast wandering around the pedestrian- only very narrow streets in Quartier Petit Champlain. It’s filled with shops selling souvenirs, expensive clothes and gifts and works of art. The boys loved the street performers that we could enjoy every few blocks. There was man dressed in 17th century costume playing a mandolin, jugglers and fire breathers and a fiddle player singing very catchy Québec folk songs. We liked them so much we bought his CD.
We stopped in at the Parks Canada (the Canada national park system) visitor center and learned some American history Lee and I never heard in school. The British built the Levis Forts on the St. Lawrence River to protect Québec from a possible American invasion after the Civil War. Since the British supported the Confederacy, I guess they thought the Union would retaliate.
Through talking to other parents here, I also learned about Québec’s amazing benefits for families. One mother told me the province subsidizes daycare so she only spends $7 a day. She also told me Canada pays for a whole year of paternity leave that either parent can take. Travel is so good to remind you that there are many ways to live.