Day 2! (See Day 1.)
First thing we did was visit La Citadelle De Quebec, a fortress built by the British in the early 19th century primarily to defend against American attack. This is actually a relatively new pedestrian entrance, just to the left of a drive that had been, from the beginning, the only route into the fortress.
That is a view from inside the pedestrian entrance, where they had some historical information available. I got the impression Canadians were more familiar with US attacks on Canada than citizens of the US tend to be! After that we reached the traditional and, I understand, unmodified gate into the heart of the citadel.
Cars actually drive, very carefully, through that entrance. We are standing here in a “ditch”, an area interior to some of the walls, but exterior to the innermost walls.
Another view of a “ditch” above. Mainly used for parking now, as you see.
And then we were heading into the citadel. The above is a view looking through one of the firing holes a soldier could have used in actual defense of the citadel. And then we got a delightful tour of part of the interior.
We are now in the “courtyard” area of the citadel, if you will. That a WWI memorial for the regiment stationed here still, click to see larger text. It is the only French-speaking regiment in Canada.
And then we were off to a tour of a building that functioned as a military prison for a time. Note the slits in the walls, as (should the citadel walls be breached) it was also envisioned that a sort of last stand (or last attempt to repel the enemy) could be made from within the building.
And here we have Rebecca and our tour guide inside that building, no doubt looking better now than it used to. An entrance to a prison cell is at left.
But perhaps one of the best parts of visiting the citadel is because it gives you a view like no other. Behind, the Chateau Frontenac dominates the city skyline. At right, note the full-of-frozen-chunks St. Lawrence river. We were told it freezes solid enough to walk across, but not today. It was actually quite cold and windy up there, though you can’t tell from the photo.
And here I am conversing with another tour guide representing a British soldier! They did razzle us a little bit for being Americans (I mean golly, Americans attacked the city when it was under the French and when it was under the British!). Genuine cannon kept at the citadel behind, range of 4 km I believe they said.
And now you can just imagine those American ships coming up the St. Lawrence, eh.
And then we headed back to the museum.
Behold some French, WWII propaganda from inside the museum for you!
And eventually we were back out in the city. I really like these crosswalk “buttons”, because they weren’t buttons and thus (presumably) weren’t as prone to mechanical failure. “All moving parts break eventually.” I like seeing how other cities do things.
Random city view heading back into the heart of downtown. Quebec probably is one of the most European-feeling cities in North America.
Lunch! This place also charmed me because the waiter said my French was very good, “better than the others”. Let’s not dwell on who the others might be. I did actually notice that most of the other customers here were speaking, including ordering, in English. Note that almost nowhere in Quebec can you find free soda refills – the soda comes in a can or bottle with a glass (or just in a glass). And it’s pricey, usually $3-$4 Canadian.
And the crepes here were interesting and very tasty – thicker than you might guess but very easy to cut. Don’t see bechamel sauce as often in the United States.
And then we were off to checkout the Basilique Cathedral de Notre Dame de Quebec. This particular building, we were told, was built in 1925, although some kind of church has been here since 1647.
The interior was also quite impressive.
I am glad I snapped a photo of one of the windows, turned out nicely.
Here lies Saint Francois de Laval, first Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec – a parish that, by my understanding, originally covered much of the US and Canada. (Britain wasn’t sending so many Catholics to America, you know.)
Just a close-up view of the front of the church.
Uh…, some of the sculptures in the back may have been less flattering. Supposed to be Laval in the middle there. But, a nice documentary about him playing at left, alternately in French and English.
And then we headed outside, down toward the Chateau. Lots of statues in Quebec, especially to its French history. There is even one to Montcalm, the French commander who lost the city to the British. Here is one of Laval. Generally I appreciated that Quebec had a… conscious culture in a way that many Americans would be uncomfortable ever endorsing for themselves. More than once we even read something like “sure the British conquered us, but we kept our language, our religion, our culture”. It is impressive how persistent both the language and the Roman Catholicism are centuries after conquest.
And here is a statue of Champlain.
And here is a better view of the frozen-chunks St. Lawrence with me, adjacent to the Chateau.
There was a funicular down to the old port area we would take on a later day.
Here is Bec on a very windy Terrasse Dufferin in front of the Chateau Frontenac.
Here a child threatens to defend the city by cannon fire, in front of the Chateau. It was amusing to see the children playing on cannons almost buried in snow.
And there a really nice photo of Bec in front of the Chateau.
And we actually went briefly inside, here is the lobby area.
This old house used to belong to the first Premier of Quebec, now it is Cool as a Moose souvenir shop! The lesson is, no matter how awesome you think you are, eventually you’re Cool as a Moose.
Different souvenir shop, here Bec does her very best attempt at being Canadian.
And… of course we had to photograph a candy shop built especially for Bec.
Final model shot of Bec. All models are photographed in front of McDonald’s.
[Day 3 link once available]