Once we were settled into our suite in Levis, Quebec, we drove to the Ferry Terminal, parked the car, and did a walk-on sail across the St. Lawrence River to Old Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Leaving Levis for Quebec City
We’d both been there before, once together when we did this trip on our motorcycle, but it’s always interesting. Like many tourists destination, it has become more commercialized and, being a long provincial weekend, it was crowded on that very hot day. It’s situated on the side of a hill, overlooking the river, meaning a challenging number of stone steps to climb if you wish to walk All the way to the top. This time, we took the cable car to the top and walked back down when we were done exploring.
The first time I journeyed to Quebec City was as a chaperone when my daughter, Ann’s grade seven (or maybe eight) class went on a bus as their special end of year field trip. That one was very different from this trip. That time we spent the night in a beautiful historical home that had been converted to a Bed and Breakfast, and we toured historical buildings, and the Plains of Abraham, where the British Army and Royal Navy battled the French Army during the Seven Year War. It was the pivotal battle that saw the British claim the land known then as New France, which later influenced the creation of Canada.
I don’t recall any major shopping trips or crowds of people that time, but we did visit a few little gift shops.
This trip, like the last one, was mostly to enjoy the atmosphere of the French culture that now dominates the Province of Quebec.
There are many levels to this interesting city. When we disembarked from the ferry, we walked up one block where there were a number of restaurants with outdoor patios. But it seemed we weren’t the only ones hungry for lunch. We had a shorter wait on Petit-Champlain, a pedestrian street hosting many local shops and bistros. It’s also a great place to people watch and enjoy the music provided by a few buskers.
When we’d finished our fish and chips, we caught the cable car that took us up to another level and a wide, wooden board-walk, offering an interesting stroll. Looking up, we admired the colourfully painted wooden homes, or hotels on the next level, and the quaint stone buildings further up.
Chateau Frontenac, the most famous landmark, which has been completely renovated since our last visit, majestically overlooks the boardwalk. This stone hotel is a beautiful place to stay, if you can afford it. We didn’t even step inside, but watched some more buskers perform in the courtyard outside. The view down and across the river is also incredible.
It was a long day. We’d heard there might be fireworks somewhere that evening, but the people at the information kiosk new nothing about it. We were tired anyway. We took the ferry back to Levis, found a place for dinner and returned to our hotel room. We would be on the road again early the next morning.