Quebec City

July 21 - July 23



Saturday - Day Two

This morning we went down to the hotel restaurant for their continental breakfast what is included as a part of the cost of the room. It is here we get our first idea of what the food might be like in this city. The pastries are very fresh and it's not at all like the food to which we have become accustomed in our previous 'breakfast included' hotel stays on this trip. We leave, after breakfast, and start our walk exploring the old city. We have decided to forgo the tourist tours and explore it on our own. Our walk takes us through many small side streets as well as past the main wall which surrounds the city. This city is beautiful and it's the first place on this road trip that I actually feel like a tourist. I guess that David has started to rub off on us because between Nico and myself the digital camera does not get a lot of rest.

We set out on our own walking tour of the old city. There are parts that we skip, but we decide not to join an official walking tour. Nico has been to Quebec City before (the summer after the last time she left Pearson :-)) so she gives me her own little bits of information. We explore the Citadelle and the Plains of Abraham, and look at the plaques riveted into the base of the Chateau Frontenac.

Chateau Frontenac

What most fascinates Nico is the way in which these address history. As the recipient of a British colonial education, Nico's understanding of the battle fought between Wolfe and Montcalm has always been in the context of the wonderful sacrifice given by Wolfe for the greatness of the British Empire - in terms of glorious victory for the British in the history of their possession of the North American continent. The same event is given a very different cast here. The entire city is a monument to unlawful conquest, to the loss of sovereignty, the forced severing of administrative ties with France. Even though the coats of the Citadelle guards are red, and their furry hats symbolic of London, the French blue and the fleur de lys are ever-present, reminding visitors that even though the English captured it, they did not build this city, and her beauty is French. Je me souviens.

After sightseeing for a while we see that the sky is getting darker and decide it might be best to stop in somewhere and have lunch, in hopes of avoiding the impending rain. The question in this city is where to stop? There are so many choices for food and we stop in many doorways looking at the various menus and are solicited by the person 'working the door' to come in and try what they have to offer. After looking at a number of these places we settle on one and go upstairs to have a light lunch. Again it's another sample of what the city has to offer in the way of its cuisine. Lunch is good and we head back to the hotel in what is now a close to, but a little stronger than, a Victoria rain. We rest for a while and wait for the rain to subside before venturing out again for dinner.

We have made reservations at a four diamond (CAA/AAA TourBook) French restaurant. This place is called Guido Le Gourmet and it's in the heart of the historical old city. We head out into continuing light rain for our walk to the restaurant which is not very far from our hotel. Actually, nothing in the old city is very far from our hotel. I will start right out by saying that this was the best meal we have had, in a restaurant, on this road trip so far. It was a full French dinner, with several courses, none of them overwhelming, warm and dignified service, and fine wine - and in the end, not at all expensive for the quality and type of food we had. It was not just a good meal but a wonderful dining experience.


 back to boston
back to day 1
 on to day 3



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los angeles
new mexico
new york city
quebec city