greetings from quebec!

As men­tioned in my pre­vi­ous post, Mike and I took a short trip to Que­bec City a cou­ple of weeks ago. We thought it would be a relax­ing trip with few­er things to do than our trip to Chica­go last year, but it turned out being quite a busy trip with lots and lots and lots to see!

But it was still relax­ing, because we were being tourists and doing fun things, and things seem to move a lit­tle slow­er in Que­bec than they are in Toron­to. Cars share nar­row roads with horse-drawn car­riages and indecisive/lost tourists but I nev­er heard any­one honk. And Old Que­bec, where we stayed, is a tru­ly beau­ti­ful place. It’s impos­si­ble to share every­thing from our 5 fun-packed days, but here are some things that are par­tic­u­lar­ly mem­o­rable to me, and great places and won­der­ful local busi­ness­es to vis­it if you ever con­sid­er your tak­ing a trip there :D

The Mor­rin Cen­tre was one of the first places we wan­dered in. It’s a library that used to be the only Anglo­phone uni­ver­si­ty. Look at all the books!

morrin 3

I espe­cial­ly love its ele­gant light fixtures.

morrin 2


But the base­ment reveals the build­ing’s for­mer self — a jail! We were able to see it with the guid­ed tour, and the friend­ly guide has many inter­est­ing his­tor­i­cal anec­dotes and sto­ries to tell. High­ly rec­om­mend a visit!


On the same day we vis­it­ed the Artillery Park, the mil­i­tary quar­ter that is part of the for­ti­fi­ca­tion of Quebec. Note the sim­i­lar deep win­dows made by super thick walls.

artillery park


One of the gates into Old Quebec.

port st jean

Switch­ing gears, one day we took the bus to Mont­moren­cy Falls. Just 30 min­utes away from Old Que­bec, on one bus :D (I try to avoid bus trans­fers even in Toron­to :S)

View from the sus­pen­sion bridge across the falls.

montmorency falls

We took the very long stair­case on the right down to the bot­tom of the falls and back up again. It was­n’t exact­ly fun, but the cable car was over $10 per per­son per ride… so, the stairs.

montmorency falls 2

Back in Old Que­bec, we vis­it­ed Quarti­er Petit Cham­plain, the low­er part of the city. Note the stairs, again. We real­ized that Que­bec is quite a hilly province and there is a lot of stairs climb­ing involved to get around by foot. These stairs are appro­pri­ate­ly called the “Break­neck Steps”, but they’re actu­al­ly not that bad, com­pared to the stairs at the falls.

petit champlain

But a trip there at night is total­ly worth the sore calves!

petit champlain 2

My best attempt at pho­tograph­ing the night scene does­n’t cap­ture the mag­ic that was in the air. There was accor­dion play­ing and the warm glow of the lanterns in the trees. I could stay in that moment forever.

Over the week we stayed at a very quaint hotel, per­fect­ly locat­ed near every­thing from his­toric cites to touristy shops in Old Que­bec AND on a side street so it’s much qui­eter than the hotels on the main roads.

au petit hotel

And it was very afford­able, very clean, run by very friend­ly and help­ful staff. It even has break­fast ser­vice for a few dol­lars extra per night :D It’s a gem. We enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly rec­om­mend it if you are vis­it­ing Old Quebec!

petit dejeuner


Also enjoyed very much the Pail­lard bak­ery. Sur­pris­ing­ly afford­able (where else can you find $1 a cup of tea, not just in touristy Old Que­bec but any­where?), very good qual­i­ty tea and treats. Espe­cial­ly love its com­mu­nal long tables.



We had planned on only explor­ing in Old Que­bec because 1. we were on foot, and 2. we are the kind of tourists who pre­fer spend­ing time to know more about one place than quick vis­its to lots of places. But we end­ed up tak­ing a side trip to Lévis, a small city that is just a 10-minute fer­ry ride from Old Que­bec across the St. Lawrence River.

There we vis­it­ed the old ship repair­ing yard and house of A. C. Davie. The top lev­el of the house is kept the way it was in the 1950s. The low­er lev­els of the house have already been ren­o­vat­ed as offices and muse­um space. I sup­pose some demo­li­tion work has already start­ed when the last occu­pants left, so there are floors with lay­ers of lam­i­nate peeled back to reveal the dif­fer­ent floor­ings over the years.

AC Davie 2

I like win­dows in nooks.


AC Davie

If one is look­ing to buy souvenirs,  Lévis is actu­al­ly a much bet­ter place than Old Que­bec, I think, with shops run by local artists and arti­sans, and def­i­nite­ly few­er crowds. Unless you find your­self in Choco­lats Favoris in the mid­dle of August. But a lit­tle crowd­ed­ness and a few min­utes of line-up is noth­ing com­pared to 4 dif­fer­ent flavours of soft ice cream and an aston­ish­ing 12 flavours of sauces to dip the ice cream in. Here’s dip­ping in action!

chocolats favoris


And final­ly, a pho­to that sums up our trip: uphill climb­ing and look­ing at maps.



While we were in Que­bec there also hap­pens to be an exhi­bi­tion of pub­lic art instal­la­tions called The Unusu­al Pas­sages. But that deserves its own post — stay tuned! :D

Hope you were able to relax and re-ener­gize over August too. Wish­ing you a great start to September!






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