I just got back from a 5-day vacation in Québec city.
From Gatineau it’s about 430 kilometers (270 miles), 2/3 of that on highways and 1/3 on smaller roads surrounded by smelly farms.
We rented a small studio apartment right on the edge of Le Vieux Québec (Old Quebec), a fortified part of town near a port that has been there since 1608 when the city was founded by Samuel de Champlain (I think he has a great mustache, but unfortunately we have no idea what he really looked like — all portraits and statues were created long after his death and nobody knows what he really looked like).
Wikipedia tells us that:
Quebec’s Old Town (Vieux-Québec), the only North American fortified city north of Mexico whose walls still exist, was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1985 as the “Historic District of Old Quebec”. It is also one of the oldest cities in North America. The city has a population of 528,595, and the metropolitan area has a population of 717,600 (2005).
We stayed 5 and a half days and walked everywhere. We only took the car once to go to the aquarium. We saw a Molière play, Le Tartuffe, visited the Château Frontenac, walked in the lower town, checked out the Plains of Abraham, the provincial parliament and we explored most of the fortified section of the old town.
I have taken many photos. I’ll put a few of my favorite ones below, but you can see almost all of them right here on Flickr.
(This blog has a limit of 450 pixels in width — if you want to see a higher resolution version of a photo, just click on it and then hit the “all sizes” icon above the pic on the Flickr page)
About halfway to Québec we saw this strange car on the road. At first I thought it was an electric car I had heard about, but looking at the picture I see that it has two exhaust pipes. Maybe a hybrid? Or maybe not.