Quebec Province and its French Charm

Crossing New Brunswick to Quebec

The journey crossing Canada from east to west started. We were on our own. We left Nova Scotia to reach Quebec province through New Brunswick. We felt equipped, sufficiently trained for wild camping, fairly aquatinted with Canada and excited about our next adventure.

In New Brunswick we visited our new friends we just met a weekend before in Brule, Nova Scotia. Tracy and Aiden live in Miramichi and Aiden is Tracy’s cute grandson. They didn’t want to leave us empty handed on our departure, therefore Tracy filled up our truck with delicious cakes and cookies supplied from her own bakery. This was the local hospitality we were embraced with since we arrived here in Canada. We couldn’t stop wondering how nice people are here. We are not sure why people are so generous and kind, but they simply are. For us it was a life lesson that gave us back the trust in people and in humanity. Thank you Tracy and Aiden!

Aiden sharing with us a box of goodies from Tracy's bakery.
Aiden sharing with us a box of goodies from Tracy's bakery.

The following day we geared up and followed the road from New Brunswick 600km to Quebec City. After 7 hours and an average speed of 90km/h we were reaching Quebec via the Trans Canada Highway. We were welcomed in Quebec City by a stunning view of St. Lawrence River.

Quebec City

Quebec City sits on the banks of St. Lawrence river that connects one of the oldest city in Canada with the Atlantic Ocean.The river brought throughout the years thousands of immigrants that crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Europe. People came here to find New France.

The city was founded in 1608 by explorer Samuel de Champlain and it was the first North American city found as a settlement and not just as a trading post. Now it  is a strategic harbor in Canada, a trading route, a military defense post and a picturesque and romantic scene. Quebec’s official language is French.

View to St. Lawrence River, Quebec City
View to St. Lawrence River, Quebec City

Exploring the city by bike

After we set our foldable bikes we were ready to explore Quebec City. We arrived almost next to the port, when a majestic old construction rises up on top of the Old Town, Le Chateau Frontenac. They say it’s the most photographed hotel in the world. And when we saw it too, we understood why. We parked the bikes and decided to go up the hill on foot to see the hotel closer and explore the romantic Old Town with its charming buildings, museums and churches. We felt for a while in France. It looked indeed how many people say, the New France.

Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City
Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City

It was wonderful to find picturesque corners, boutique markets, art galleries, old forts and local heroes statues. The city is defended by the star-shaped Citadelle, which is still an active base of the Canadian army and the residence of the Quebec’s governor.

Quebec City and its French influence is felt in every moment and every corner. There is a charm attached to it, besides the French cuisine and historic looks of the Old Town, you can find art in every corner, street shows, artists, singers and a french sophistication that blends with the atmosphere. The people are as nice as anywhere in Canada and the French style makes it even more appealing. I felt that here you can get both of the two worlds: the welcoming and modern Canada mixed with the sophistication, history and elegance of France.

The Tall Sail Ship Exhibition

Down the hills of the Old Town you could enjoy a beautiful walk through the port’s marina.

We were lucky to see a temporary exhibition of Tall Sail Ships that came from across the world. We’ve seen representatives of US, Chile, Holland, Spain, the Blue Nose II of Nova Scotia, Canada, to name a few. It was just wonderful. We were fascinated by the old school state of art tall sail ships and we spent a great time watching and photographing them, enjoying the artistic maritime shows performed by local artists: from life music played at the corner of wharfs, theater shows that will simulate the life of the mariners offshore, people costumed in different marine characters that would chit chat with you and make you laugh.

Montreal

The next day we headed towards Montreal, the most populated and largest city of the French speaking province.

We managed to see a bit Montreal. We couldn’t find any parking place. The city was packed and traffic was intense in and out of the city. We navigated through the traffic, arrived in the city center, to the port, we got the chance to see some parts of it and got an idea about Montreal.

The idea we got is that we wouldn’t like to stay too long here, the city was jam packed.

After precious time spent to get out of the city, we were finally out. We felt released. We realized we can reach Ottawa by afternoon. So we were on to another destination.

 

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