Now this part of Canada really stirs the opinions of locals and the rest of the nation. In a country touting its bilingually inclusive practices, Quebec holds out! The traditions are steeped in the historical roots of the French settlement and maintaining its cultural/linguistic core, while its geography and contemporary situation lean towards the mainstream. Love it or loathe it, the Quebecoise don’t care………to them you can lump it!
Old Quebec city, new Quebec, the suburbs and the outer suburbs – we tasted a bit of all of this. This is what we learned: the old city is very hilly, and unless you do the taxing climb to the Citadel, you can’t really get a good perspective of the size and dimensions of the fort and its remains. The old city has retained its quaint appeal, though many of the international franchises have taken hold. The churches and museums are many and to be marvelled at, and there are plenty of public parks, street performers are encouraged, statues abound, including the 3.8 milliom dollar Dali elephant, and the boardwalk along the portside is very pedestrian friendly.
The Tall Ships were here for a Regatta, and the weather was perfect for the families to enjoy this rather special event.
So it was back to the burbs (2 bus changes and a dodgy map later) and our first encounter with an airbnb…….what fun, but having a car would have been easier. The spiral, narrow stairs were a challenge with whopping heavy suitcases, but inside we were wowed by the attention to detail of the retro 50s decor and the incredibly thoughtful appliances and pantry supplies. It was a relief to be able to wash and have fresh clothes.
The streetscape as we explored the neighbourhood was very French and it yielded some smiles along the way. Faltering French and friendly bus passengers and drivers have been part of the adventure.
Looking for something a bit different from the crowds, we taxied (very reasonable prices compared to Brisbane prices) to Wendake (pronounced Wendarki) to potter around the native Canadian village of the Huron Wendat peoples. A lovely historical stroll, picnic with our mate Finn and beetroot chips, caught the “show” which had a very strong Irish/Bretonne influence in the songs and dance, then the museum and the longhouse……..learnt lots.
Thanks Canada, we’ve loved your diversity!