Old Québec: back to the 17th century


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.

IMG_4208Our personal favorite monument, which we called the castle, is Château Frontenac. It’s now a glamorous hotel but it used to be the residence of the British colonial governors.

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.   IMG_4189

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.

IMG_4185 There seemed to be a lot more French spoken here than in Montreal. Most of the other tourists spoke French. But most people also spoke some English and we never had any trouble communicating.

We stopped in at the Parks Canada (the Canada national park system) visitor center and learned IMG_4192some 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.

One thought on “Old Québec: back to the 17th century

  1. Hi Lisa, Lee and kidlets. Just got back from my own vacation and catching up on stuff, including what the Renners have been up to. Enjoy reading your posts here and the great pictures of all of you.
    Hope you continue to enjoy your travels and hope to see you soon on Skype!
    Cheers to you all. Love to everyone. Enjoy. – Brett


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