Quebec City — It’s just as beautiful and captivating as I remember it. Maybe a little bit more. In the 12 years since my last visit, Quebec City remains one of the most stunning and alluring cities I have been lucky enough to inhabit, if even just for a few days.
Between the history, culture, language and the joie de vivre of the Quebecois people, this is one stimulating and unique slice of the world. Just a few hundreds steps from our hotel sits Old Quebec, one of the oldest European settlements in North America.
Dating back more than 400 years, it’s Canada’s cradle of architectural, cultural and religious history.
Largely surrounded by the Fortifications of Quebec—the only fortified military city north of Mexico—a walking tour is a must for anyone who appreciates raw and historical beauty.
From the Chateau Frontenac to Place Royale to the Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica to the Plains of Abraham to the narrow European-like streets, Canada’s past oozes from every nook and cranny of Old Quebec.
If you come, be sure to use your camera liberally. I found my memory bank is only capable of absorbing so much.
Then there’s the modern-day Ville de Quebec. There is a bustling spirit and night life in this city of more than 700,000 that is unmatched anywhere in Canada—a point Montrealers may dispute, but no matter.
There also seems to be an open, friendly and gregarious nature in most Quebecers that is both endearing and infectious.
Even though this is their home, most Quebec City folk I have met understand why their provincial capital fascinates the masses and why people from all parts of the world flock here to experience all it has to offer.
Jennifer Roy, who grew up in Quebec City and is fluent in both English and French, is one of those people.
“Our culture is different than anywhere else in Canada,” she said. “I’m definitely proud of my city and proud to be from here. People come here and say that it’s so beautiful. I know that it is.
“I do love living here.”
Mais oui, Jennifer. Just being a visitor here is pretty nice, too.