Quebec City - Day 1

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I thought it was supposed to be cooler at these Northern latitudes. Yeah, right. It's almost 90 degrees and about 75% humidity, and I spent the day walking around the Old City, the Upper Town, the Lower Town, and I think every town in between.

And have I mentioned that the wireless service at this place blows? I've had to call them about it twice already, and I haven't even been here 24 hours. Which would be one thing if it was free, but it's not - I paid extra for it.

Okay, the requisite bitching is over.

Quebec City is awesome. It's perhaps one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen, and almost as clean as Singapore. The city has made an effort to maintain the flavor and authenticity of the architecture (more on that tomorrow), so the city has an ancient aura to it, without all that "open sewage" and "amoebic dysentery."

Today's activities included short lectures and walking tours. Before lunch we did the "upper town," which is the military and religious epicenter of the city from an historical perspective. I was not aware of just how influential the Catholic Church was in terms of cultural legacy in French Canada. Pretty much the entire upper town was dedicated to spreading Catholicism and educating the natives in same, or defending the river. Both of these activities permeates every aspect of the historical life of this place.

After lunch we did the "lower town," which was basically the ghetto district of the city during the early years. Workmen, primarily the Irish fleeting the Potato Famine, would enter North America through Quebec City, and some would stay in order to work as Stevedores, Longshoremen, and Masons. The lower city is where they lived. The streets are hilly and narrow, hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The main street is now primarily an artisan's colony, and the Merchant and Financial Houses have been restored for the purposes of tourism.

I was really tired this afternoon after a stressful day yesterday and a short night, so I ate dinner here at the hotel. Coincidentally, the hotel's restaurant appears to be one of the better restaurants here in Quebec City. It's one of those rotating restaurants at the top of a tower with a 360 degree view of the peninsula. Plus the salmon was excellent, and I had a lemon creme brulee for dessert. 

I understand that the people of Quebec City consider their city the epicenter of French culture here in North America. While I have a typical American's contempt for all things French, this trip may make me change my mind. Except about their military, of course. With the exception of the WWII French Resistance, I still think their modern military are a bunch of pussies.

I hope you all are having a fabulous week, too.

9 comments:

CkretsGalore said...

Many french men across the country are pussies.

Tee hee. I make fun of the Quebecois as often as possible. They're pretty easy targets. In general I make fun of everyone.

BTW, I'm Metis so I'm even more of a bastard.

Nathan said...

I'd suggest you go down that giant ice slide they put up in front of the Hotel Frontenac, but I don't think it's there in July.

D'oh!

Regardless, Quebec is a great city to spend some time. Tres Kewl.

WendyB_09 said...

That part of the world is not always as cool as latitude and seasonability would predict.

In 1967, Montreal hosted the world's fair known as Expo67. The week we went was the hottest on record for those dates, 95+, high humidity, and a moving mass of hot, sweaty tourists in long lines waiting to get into air conditioned pavilions. Toasty!!

Needless to say, the Italian ice vendors did a land-office business.

Anne C. said...

Architecture, Yay! ;)

Glad you're having a good time, hon. Tell the SM that I finished the E Moon book and am eager to borrow the second. Am tiding myself over with the first book of the Temeraire (Naomi Novik) series.

Hugs.

kimby said...

The Great White North is neither Great or White when it comes to July temps. Here in Southwestern Ontario we had 109F the other day.....and people wonder why I love winter.

吳婷婷 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janiece said...

*TONG*

Jeri said...

Your photos are utterly lovely - it looks like a slice of Europe on the continent. :)

CkretsGalore said...

Yes it gets quite hot!

Check this out though, Jasper got 18cm of snow yesterday!

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/imagepopup.php?imgname=JasperSnow2.jpg&title=18cm+of+snow+piling+up+-+The+Weather+Network&lang=en

The weather forecast for Ft. McMurray calls for Smoke, on environment Canada.