Canada 2006

Québec, 4 – 6 Oct 06

Québec City is the only place we have ordered take-away pizza with escargot (snails)! It is also the only walled city north of Mexico.

Jacques Cartier arrived in 1535 but it wasn’t until Samuel de Champlain’s arrival in 1608 to establish a fur trading post that European settlement prospered. The site is obvious since the wide Gulf of St. Lawrence narrows to the St. Lawrence River and the cliffs provided natural defence.

Stone fortifications were built in 1720 but they weren’t enough to keep out the British whose troops scaled the cliff just west of town and taking the defenders by surprise, captured the town in 20 minutes. The Treaty of Paris formalized the arrangement in 1763.

However, the walls came in handy when the Americans attacked in 1775. The Canadian War Museum site notes that although the British had lost control of everything outside the city walls, the Americans were "unable to harm, or even seriously inconvenience" those inside. Time was against the Americans as winter’s grip tightened and even if they could hold out till spring, the Royal Navy would be able to bring reinforcements. In a desperate move, 300 troops led by Richard Montgomery attacked the Lower Town at 4am on December 31st, 1775 through heavy snow and ice but they were ambushed. Montgomery was killed and his men fled.

Meanwhile, Benedict Arnold, later to become famous as a traitor, led 600 men into battle a little to the north in blinding snow. Arnold was wounded early and though many of his men got lost in the narrow streets, some pressed forward. Again, the defenders were ready and soon the Americans were forced to surrender with between 60 to 100 killed or wounded and 426 taken prisoner. Only 5 British/Canadian men were killed.

Eventually peace brought prosperity and the city became a center of shipbuilding, wheat and lumber trading.

Learn more.

Inside Quebec's provincial parliament.
The other end of the legislative chamber.
Intricate tiled floor.
Decoration symbolizing the French legacy in Quebec.
... and the three lions of England.
Montmorency Falls near Quebec.

Not recommended for those afraid of heights.

Water going over the threshold.
The view from the top.
The suspension bridge.
Entering the steps down.
The cable car.
Huge mushrooms!
A nice little bridge.
Attractive building.
Another beautiful building
View from city wall, 4 of 4.
View from city wall, 3 of 4.
View from city wall, 2 of 4.
View from city wall, 1 of 4.
A row of guns protects Quebec.
Pretty trees, pretty bridge as we go to the Lower Town.
Canadian attitude towards the President?
Thin, traditional building.
"Breakneck Stairs", the steps to Lower Town.
The "funicular" for those who can't take the steps.
Looking from the Lower Town up to Chateau Fontenac.
Public toilets. Look at the sign!
The Quebec provincial flag.
A church. Not sure which.
This could have been so dreary.
You are probably wondering why I took this picture.
Looking back across the square.
Beautiful stone building.
Chateaux Fontenac – a hotel.
Dufferin Terrace.
The city gate.
Nice building and Smart Car.
Town hall—rear
Town hall—side.
Town hall—front.
Another impressive church.
Quebec city from the southern side of the river.
Yes, it's a flower.
The weir at Montmagny.
In the carpark at Montmagny.
Big church, tiny town.
View across the bay.
Carved tree trunk.
Our car ferry!
Our car, a Toyota Yaris, waiting to board.
Leaving Rivière-du-Loup.
Reviewing our progress.
The Gulf of St. Lawrence opens to the ocean.
Cars on the deck below.
From the north shore.
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