Originally, I thought Quebec City would be a less expensive and easier trip than going to France- a poor woman’s Paris. Quebec City did have many of the things I loved in France- Quebecois speak French, the historic district has beautiful old world architecture and interesting restaurants, the landscape is dramatic, and there’s lots of art and an appreciation of painters in the street.
But Quebec City was not a shadow of Paris- it has its own robust, colorful personality.
Most Quebecois are equally fluent in English and French, and their interesting restaurants (some with wild animals on the menu) and art are decidedly Quebecois.
Old Quebec is a UNESCO historic site. The city is divided ito an Upper Ville and a Lower Ville connected by a funicular. The Citadel surrounding the Upper Ville preserves the early military history of Quebec. The Upper Ville is dominated by the huge Frontenac Hotel.
These two sketches illustrate a lesson learned in my urban sketching adventure- less is more.
We stayed in a lovely old row house converted to a small inn in the Upper Ville. There are some surprises when old buildings are put to new uses. The closet bathroom for our unit was so small that the shower had to be placed in the main room next to the beds. But we had a lovely garden just a step out our door.
Adjacent to the Upper Ville is the Quebec governmentParliament building, where you can lunch in the legislators’ dining room- it has especially good wines!.
In the Lower Ville, a favorite restaurant was Le Lapin Saute, which translates as Jumping Rabbit OR Sauteed Rabbit.
The Vieux Port next door to the Lower Ville is surrounded by upscale shops and condos in repurposed historic buildings, and hosts the Farmer’s Market. in the St. Louis district.
This sketch shows the historic buildings which are being preserved through new businesses, restaurants, and housing for young entrepreneurs in computing.
Nearby is the beautiful Montmorency Falls (I almost skipped this because I thought Western North Carolina had a lock on waterfalls- I was wrong), and the Ile de l’Orleans winery, chocolate, and crafts villages were delightful, just to name two excursions outside the city.
Each of my sketches reminds me of the wonderful people, places and experiences I enjoyed in Quebec City.
Quebec City is known as the City of Churches, predominantly Catholic. There are SO many churches that. due to a decline in church participation, some of the beautiful old building exteriors are being preserved when they are converted to loft apartments.
and a street in the vibrant newly revived St. Louis area.
These all remind me of the wonderful people, places and adventures I had in my “Poor Woman’s Paris.”