Friday, 6 February 2015

America/Canada Adventure Part 6....

Day 7  already and a very early start for a day visit to
which took approximately two and a half hours, not including comfort stops along the way.

The heart of French Canada, Quebec City is the only walled city in Canada, it stands proud on the St Lawrence River and is an enticing blend of winding cobbled streets, ancient churches, Norman-style houses, stone buildings, public squares and the horsedrawn calaches..

We were enchanted with the different architectural designs of the houses

and this fun sculpture, which the people seem to be mimicking.

French explorer Samuel de Champlain chose the name Quebec in 1608 for the colonial outpost he would use as the administrative seat for the French colony of new France.  Our tour took us past this beautiful fountain forming a roundabout
 and the military museum (Musee les Voltigeurs de Quebec Manege Militaire)
on our way to Cape Diamond, the highest point in Quebec, to the Plains of Abraham, a historic area within The Battlefields Park.
The land is the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which took place on 13 September 1759,  part of the French and Indian War.. On that date, British soldiers under the command of General Wolfe, climbed the steep cliff under the city in darkness, surprising and defeating the French, through a single deadly volley of musket fire, causing the battle to be over within 30 minutes. Both Wolfe and the French commander, the Marquis de Montcalm, died of their wounds, but the battle left control of Quebec City to the British, eventually allowing them to take control of Canada the following year.

Hundreds of acres of the fields became used for grazing, housing, and minor industrial structures. Only in 1908 was the land ceded to Quebec City, though administered by the specifically created and federally run National Battlefields Commission. The park is today used by 4 million visitors and tourists annually for sports, relaxation, outdoor concerts, and festivals.

The Joan of Arc Garden, is located in Battlefields Park, where a statue of a defiant Joan of Arc on horseback adds to the atmosphere.

A huge drinking water reservoir lies beneath this part of the Plains.

We boarded the coach to continue our tour to the magnificent Parliament Building
An eight-floor building designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché was built from 1877 to 1886. With the frontal tower, the building stands at 52 metres or 171 feet in height. 

The building's east-facing facade is adorned with a series of scultures that hearken back to significant events and figures in the founding of Canada and Quebec, if you zoom in on the picture above you will see them. Right in the centre is this Sculpture
of  General Wolfe and the French commander, the Marquis de Montcalm, who died at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.  Carved above the main entrance is Quebec's motto, "Je me souviens", a reference to Quebec's evolution since 1534.

Back on the bus to the next part of the tour we passed this interesting sight
the Cannonball eating tree!  Legend has it that it has been there since 1759.

We alighted the coach near Chateau Frontenac, which you can see to the right on this photo.

Prior to the building of the hotel, the site was occupied by the Chateau Haldimond,  residence of the British colonial governors of Lower Canada and Quebec. The hotel is generally recognized as the most photographed hotel in the world, largely for its prominence in the skyline of Quebec City.

The next part of our tour took us down Rue St. Louis to Old Quebec
and down toward the St. Lawrence river,
passing the historic cemetary, the Côte de la Montagne Cemetery in Old Québec, marked with a simple cross.

This harks back to the days of early French settlers in North America. Nearby, the Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica-Cathedral houses the funeral chapel of New France’s first bishop, François de Laval, and a crypt containing the remains of about 900 people who have been buried in the Cathedral over the years, including four governors of New France and almost all the Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops of Québec.

At the bottom of the hill we found this mural on the side of a building.
Fresque des Québécois on Côte de la Montagne. This mural recounts the story of Québec City, weaving in visual allusions to its unique architecture and fortifications, and its larger-than-life personalities.  Looking closely at the building's windows: you can see some 15 historic figures and nearly a dozen of Québec's leading writers and artists,

isn't it beautiful?

We continued our walk round the quaint cobbled streets

by which time we were more than ready for something to eat so we had a fun ride on the Funicular
back to the top of the hill and Rue St Louis. The funicular opened on November 17, 1879, and originally used the water ballast system of propulsion, similar to that still used in Germany and it links the Haute-Ville (Upper Town) to the Basse-Ville (Lower Town),   The line was converted to electrical operation in 1907. On July 2, 1945, a major fire destroyed the structure, necessitating a rebuild that was completed in 1946. Since then, major renovations have taken place in 1978 and 1998. In 2004 it celebrated 125 years of operating

We had a lovely lunch in Pain Beni

then after lunch we continued exploring the alleyways, little shops and market stalls, we even found a Christmas Shop - in September!
We had about 45 minutes before we were due to meet the coach for the journey back to Montreal and as it had started raining  we had a perfect excuse to take the opportunity to sit and rest in an Ice Cream Parlour, of course we had to sample one of the delicious ice creams on offer before our journey back.

Leaving Quebec, in the rain, we crossed the St. Lawrence river and were thrilled to see the Queen Mary 2 harboured in Quebec, if you zoom in you should be able to see her.

I hope you enjoyed our day in Quebec, we certainly did.  Join me in Part 7 when we pass through Ottowa for our two night stay in Toronto.


Cloudia said...

Marvelous tour! Sadly I never made it to Quebec City. That equestrian Joan has a twin in Philadelphia - except that Philly's is gilded

ALOHA from Honolulu [love to see you ]

MorningAJ said...

I LOVED Quebec, though it was many years ago and I only got to stay one night there. We managed to find a hotel in the old town and somewhere in my archives there's a photo of me in Rue St Louis.
Thanks for this lovely reminder.

Akelamalu said...

I imagine there are lots of 'Joans' around the world Cloudia. xx

I'm happy this brought back nice memories for you AJ. I wish had got to spend more time in Quebec, we really liked it. x

Ron said...

Outstanding tour, Pearl! I was eagerly anticipating this one because of my desire to visit Canada, particularly Quebec. And judging from your photographs it's lovely. To me, it looks a lot like a European country, with stunning architecture!

LOVE the shots of you and MWM standing by that painted wall because it looks like the street continues!

Thanks for sharing, m'dear. Looking forward to part 7!


Ron said...

Outstanding tour, Pearl! I was eagerly anticipating this one because of my desire to visit Canada, particularly Quebec. And judging from your photographs it's lovely. To me, it looks a lot like a European country, with stunning architecture!

LOVE the shots of you and MWM standing by that painted wall because it looks like the street continues!

Thanks for sharing, m'dear. Looking forward to part 7!


Winifred said...

Lovely photos. What a beautiful city.

Akelamalu said...

That's exactly what the mural looked like Ron, a continuation of the street! It does look very European too. X

it is very beautiful and interesting Winnifred. X

Valerie said...

Loved Quebec... especially the mural. It was so realistic, hard to believe at first sight that it was a mural. Isn't it strange that it stands out in my memory more than anything else.

Banker Chick said...

I am amazed at the 3-D street art, whether on a wall or sidewalk. If I could ask for anything it would be to have artistic talent. I come in at Zero!

Akelamalu said...

Yes you're so right Valerie, the mural stands out in my mind too! X

It was, is amazing Banker Chick, I so admire anyone with artistic talent. Xx

Vagabonde said...

Canada has so much history and beauty. In Quebec City some restaurants offer mussels and frites that are as good as in Brussels. The Joan of Arc you show looks like the one in New York City in the Upper West Side. The one I know better is a golden one in the Rue de Rivoli in Paris – Place des Pyramides (that you can see each year when the Tour de France ends in Paris.) There is an exact replica in New Orleans, near the water. I am happy that France did keep some land in North America after they ceded Canada to England. Most people don’t know that France exists in North America, it is called St Pierre et Miquelon, several islands in front of Newfoundland, and it is just like being in France (using Euros, etc,.)

Akelamalu said...

Wow that's interesting Vagabonde, thanks for that. I've seen the Joan of Arc in New Orleans.

Daryl said...

Quebec is high on my wanna go list … thanks for sharing .. its nice to get to see the sights

Akelamalu said...

I hope you get there Daryl, you will love it your camera will be red hot! LOL

Beach Bum said...

Great post! This is professional level travel writing.

Akelamalu said...

Aw thanks Beach, glad you enjoyed it. xx