So first off I was extremely excited to go to Québec City because it’s something like 98% Francophone. It’s also one of the oldest cities in North America. Which is why a lot of people say that the city has a European feel to it. My friend, Cathrine agreed to be my wonderful host and guide to Québec City! At first I was going to take a train but then they were basically sold out so I ended up taking a bus- Orleans Express instead. Not bad for $68 CAD round trip for a three hour ride each way. After I made absolutely sure I was getting on the right bus to the right stop I was good to go.The bus was actually quite a bit quicker than the train, clean, quiet and had good WiFi. For the most part Québec city kinda felt like stepping back into an old European city but with North American charm.
We took a late night walk around old Québec and had a pint at the “Sacrilege” which was right across from an old church (Presbytère Saint-Jean-Baptiste). Also pictured is St. Jean’s (Saint John) gate which is part of the old walls of the city, rebuilt several times but the oldest one dates back to the late 1600’s.
It had been snowing in Montréal before I arrived but when I got to Québec City the amount of snow was basically double. This wouldn’t stop me from sight seeing but it would make things a little harder with all the hills. I also learned the French-Canadian word “fret(te)” which is colder than just ça caille or Il fait froid, more like freezing.
We trekked down to the older parts of town near Le Château Frontenac which was built in the 1890’s overlooking the St Lawrence River. Which you can get a fancy drink in at the top. You can also see the The Golden Dog (Le Chien d’Or) which is set in the wall of the old post office which is supposed to represent an old legend. Don’t mind the mountain of snow in the post below, those are some of the oldest buildings in the city however many have been reconstructed.
In town I decided to buy a student pass to three museums for 15.50 CAD which was cheaper than buying them individually and then decided to do all three in the same day. The Musée de la civilisation, Musée de l’Amérique francophone and Musée de la Place-Royale.
The Museum Chapel which is part of the Musée, a chapel was originally on the site in 1750 and was rebuilt after a fire. It used to house the tomb of Blessed Francois de Laval. It also has the largest collection of relics in Canada.
The museum I was most excited for and ended up being the most relevant was the museum of Francophone America. It was great to see Michigan and especially Detroit and the Detroit river region represented in some of the exhibits.
Let’s talk about food for a second because I ate copious amounts of delicious food. I probably ate poutine the most maybe 3 or 4 times…First at Frite Alors in Montréal and another few places in Québec and I even bought the cheese curds, “Skouik Cheese”. It’s called that because it’s the sound your teeth makes a squeaking noise ‘skoooouik’. I also got to enjoy some pastries and got reunited with my beloved kinder surprise. I even had french onion soup and hot wine in a restaurant that was once a merchant’s vault.
Also this place called the Snack Shack had a Michigan hot-dog that apparently came with some kind of meat sauce (Sauce Italienne Maison) on top. Which reminds me of a coney dog but not really what it was apparently. While at the Snack Shack the woman taking my order misunderstood something I said and she called my French cute. She said that her French was “wrong”. This would not be the first time that my accent was called “cute” or something a long the lines of that.
After this I have one more blog about Montréal and another about the cultural and linguistic differences between the Québécois and French so look out for that!