27 September 2013: Quebec City, Canada
Quebec City: A Coup de foudre
By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises
A Coup de foudre, indeed. That’s a French expression that literally means a bolt of lightning.
But figuratively, it is an expression of love at first sight.
We have been to Quebec City dozens of times; we’ll be here four times in the next month, and we’re still in love.
The portal to the sublime Seminary of Quebec, and a statue to women’s suffragists at the Quebec Parliament. Photos by Corey Sandler
Near our dock in Quebec City. Our ship’s funnel reflected in a building across the way. Photos by Corey Sandler
Our transatlantic crossing began in Southampton on September 12 and sailed in mostly gray skies and fractious seas to Cornwall, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, and ports on the outer reaches of Saint Lawrence River.
Our reward was superb weather in Quebec City, a Chamber of Commerce day with impossibly blue skies, warm sun, and (relatively) few tourists in town. Let us give thanks.
The Cultural Capital
Québec City region is home to more than 700,000 people. That’s about one-sixth the population of metropolitan Montreal, which has four million residents, two million in the city itself.
It is Québec City, though, that is the political and cultural capital of the Canadian province of Québec.
On this visit we chose to go to the Parliament where we took a guided tour of the beautiful interior and its two houses. It is a less-visited jewel of Quebec City.
Inside the Quebec Parliament. Photos by Corey Sandler
Europe in Canada
Québec City is the most European city in North America, more French than Paris in many ways.
While Montreal is a large city that happens to mostly speak French . . . Québec City is a defiantly French place.
Defiant despite the fact that the battle that broke the hold of the mother country on New France took place here on the Plains of Abraham.
Defiant in the face of the British who tried to change not just the government but also the culture.
Defiant against the Americans who rose to power to the south and who fought—first with armies and later with movies and television and McDonald’s.
And, it must be said, defiant in many ways against the First Nations who were living here . . . for centuries or longer before Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534.
Politics and history aside, Quebec City is one of the most spectacular cities in the world.
A portion of the skyline of Quebec, and river buoys on the bank. Photos by Corey Sandler
The Lower Town of Quebec City. Photos by Corey Sandler
All photos and text copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like a copy of a photo, please contact me.