Quebec City – Two days in Old Quebec and Free Cirque du Soleil show!

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Traveling alone to the province of Quebec in August 2011 I spent my first week in Montreal then traveled to Quebec City on an afternoon train with Via Rail. It was an enjoyable journey of 3 1/2 hours or so from Montreal to Quebec.

I arrived in Quebec to a sunny afternoon and made my way to the Hosteling International Auberge Internationale De Quebec on Rue Sainte Ursule in the old city. Now I know why people say Quebec City reminds them of Europe. The cobbled streets and beautiful architecture make Quebec City a charming place.

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If you prefer a hotel you can find the latest rates and availability for hotel rooms in Quebec City here.

 

Fountain and Via Rail station in Quebec City - La Belle Province

Fountain and Via Rail station in Quebec City

 

The historic district of old Quebec is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Old City walls in Quebec Canada - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Old City walls in Quebec surround the historic district of old Quebec

 

My first night I walked around Old Quebec and along the St Lawrence River – strolling along the Samuel de Champlain Promenade and watching the sky turn pastel shades of pink and blue as the sun was setting.

 

Samuel de Champlain Promenade overlooks the St Lawrence River in historic Old Quebec

Samuel de Champlain Promenade overlooks the St Lawrence River

 

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and statue of Samuel de Champlain in Old Quebec Canada

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and statue of Samuel de Champlain

 

The restaurants around Old Quebec seemed quite expensive to me and I thought maybe they were just over-priced due to Quebec being a busy tourist location. I decided to try out some seafood and selected a restaurant with outdoor seating so I could people watch.

 

Portrait artist at work next to restaurant in historic old Quebec

Portrait artist at work next to the restaurant

 

I enjoyed the most exquisite seafood dinner – described on the menu as: lobster and sauteed scallops, black tea & shiro-shoyu miso pureed white beans, braised radishes, edamame, shiitake mushrooms. It was an exceptional meal.

I decided Quebec restaurants were not over-priced after all.

 

lobster with sauté scallops, black tea & shiro-shoyu miso pureed white beans, braised radishes, edamame, shitake mushrooms

Lobster and sauteed scallops, black tea & “shiro-shoyu” miso pureed white beans, braised radishes, edamame, shiitake mushrooms = Divine

 

At the hostel I had been informed that 2 free events were taking place during my stay. My first night I attended a wonderful outdoor video presentation along the harbor. The film depicted the history of Quebec and it was displayed along the harbor structures.

I wasn’t certain how to get to the event so I asked a couple walking along the street. They spoke only French but we managed to communicate sufficiently and I understood that they too were going to the free event so I followed their lead.

 

Quebec port where the video history of Quebec was displayed in the evening - historic old Quebec

Quebec port where the video history of Quebec was displayed in the evening

 

Poster for Le Moulin a Images 3D - depicting the history of Quebec - historic old Quebec Canada

Poster for Le Moulin a Images 3D – depicting the history of Quebec

 

Quebec is wonderful city to go walking. Stroll around Old Quebec enjoying the sites and stop at a café for some lunch. If you enjoy shopping visit Simons – started as a family business in 1840 and moved to the current location in 1870. I’m not much of a shopper but I went to Simons and bought two beautiful blouses, both on sale so the total was just under $40 CDN.

 

Flower boxes along thecobbled streets of historic Old Quebec Canada

Flower boxes along the streets of historic Old Quebec

 

Street scene in historic Old Quebec City Canada

Street in Old Quebec

 

"Bienvenue," sculpture by artist Nicole Taillon in Quebec City Canada

“Bienvenue,” sculpture by artist Nicole Taillon

 

One of the highlights of my trip to Quebec was getting to see a free outdoor performance by the spectacular Cirque du Soleil which originated in the village of Baie-Saint-Paul just east of Quebec City.

The performance Kingdom of Tin was part three of the five-part series entitled Les Chemins invisibles (Invisible Paths)  – shown over a span of five summers from 2009 to 2013. I have yet to see any listings or information about current free Cirque du Soleil shows in Quebec City.

 

Cirque du Soleil performer - Les Chemins invisibles (Invisible Paths) Quebec city 2011

Cirque du Soleil performer in Kingdom of Tin – part 3 of 5 part series

 

Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

Another major attraction in Quebec is the Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral which was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989.

 

Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral - Quebec City Canada

Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

 

Pipe organ at Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral - designated National Historic Site of Canada

Pipe organ at Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

 

Beautiful ceiling of Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral in historic Quebec City Canada

Beautiful ceiling of Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

 

What is the official motto of Quebec?

The official motto of Quebec is Je Me Souviens which means “I remember”.

 

Je Me Souviens - official motto of Quebec - Coat of Arms of Quebec

Je Me Souviens – official motto of Quebec – meaning “I remember”

 

Quebec is a beautiful historic city and having already visited in the summer I would like to some day visit in the winter to experience the Quebec Winter Carnival, visit Bonhomme, and stay at the Ice Hotel! I’m fond of stating that I’m allergic to winter but I have seen photos of Quebec in winter and it looks absolutely gorgeous – La Belle Province!

Check here for the latest prices for hotels in Quebec City now

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

12 Replies

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  1. I’ve been to Montreal – twice, actually – but I haven’t made it to Quebec City yet.

  2. Thanks for the amazing tour of the Grand Old City.
    Someday I may finally visit it.
    Terrific photos.

    • Glad you enjoyed it! The photos were all taken with the camera on my little Blackberry Tour mobile phone. Hope you do visit Quebec City – it’s really beautiful and people are friendly, and the food is amazing!

  3. Nope, never been but it’s in the top 10 list of the places i’d like to see. i think quebec and montreal are darling, from the pictures i see online. glad to hear that you can sit down to a “fancy” restaurant and people watch and not go into debt.

  4. Rajesh says:

    Beautiful shots of the city. I like the ceiling of the cathedral.

  5. Joy says:

    Wow that is some train station, I love an ornate railway station, adds to the journey experience. Love your capture of the fountain.

  6. Leslie says:

    We were in Montreal back in the late 80s and then drove through Quebec City. I wanted to stop in QC but we had another destination in mind. Would love to go back and explore more, though. Not Montreal, because it seemed like just another big city – saw enough when there.

    Leslie

    • Montreal, just another big city?! No, no!! it’s one of my favorite cities – in the summertime anyways :) I think I could live in Montreal if not for the harsh winters.

      Quebec is a lovely city – but very touristic so I think it’s great for a weekend trip.

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