Walking through Quebec City brought back fond memories of old Europe and of France.
We chose Camping de la Joie RV park for its proximity to Quebec City and were delighted to find a quiet spot for the night. The wooded campground even offered a sneak peek at the city on a clear day!
What caught my attention immediately as we headed into Quebec City was how the city was built in harmony with its natural surroundings, building and trees interspersed in an organic pattern, without the usual rigor of straight lines and planned planting typical to US cities. The fall colors gave the landscape extra charm and the crisp air promised an invigorating visit.
We headed to Old Quebec, the historic neighborhood dating back to the 1600s, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring traditional French architecture and old world charm.
We followed the tourist buses unloading waves of visitors to the Parliament Building and dodged the selfie-takers around the imposing Fontaine de Tourny. The Parliament gardens were in bloom as we strolled through and headed toward La Citadelle.
The Citadelle of Quebec or La Citadelle is an active military fortress built in the 1800s, which serves as the home of the Royal 22nd Regiment, and the secondary official residence of both the Canadian monarch and the Governor General of Canada. In typical Quebec City style, the buildings seemed to merge with the ground, green tops of grass beautifying the austere grey stone walls.
Descending from the fortress, we followed the cobblestone street to Le Chateau Frontenac, a majestic 19th century hotel, perched high above the river. On our way, we passed by charming shops, quaint hotels, café terraces packed full with visitors, and we stopped to rest for a while on a park bench, eavesdropping on a historic tour. A group of excited teenagers on a school trip asked me to take a group selfie with them for a project. I hope it ended up in a good place…. We continued our walk toward the castle and passed by the Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec), which connects the upper town to the charming Quartier Petit Champlain, featuring a quaint collection of boutiques and cafés. We took a promenade down the wide Terrasse Dufferin, wrapping around the chateau and overlooking St. Lawrence River, before heading back into town in search of a croissant and hot chocolate.