Our summer trip was during Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebration in 2008. Lucky for us, we got to stay in the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac thanks to a big travel media/industry event taking place at the same time. Our room high up in the hotel had walls four feet thick and deep set windows overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Glenn figured a celebrity would have loved the place. Even a long range camera lens wouldn’t have stood a chance snapping a pic of our room’s interior.
Quebec is the only walled city in North America. Blink and you’ll swear the old town, with its four hundred year old churches, cobbled streets and colourful shops and cafes, is in France. But no, this is New France as it was called in the days of Samuel de Champlain. He was a French explorer and the celebrated founder of Quebec City.
Quebec City knows how to party whether its a 400th anniversary or its February Bonhomme Carnaval. During my second trip last January, the city was setting up for it after a huge snowstorm. I am not the best flyer so, I commend the Air Canada pilot for landing us that day in a full blown blizzard.
Born and raised a Quebecker in Montreal, I love this part of Canada. My dad was in the lumber industry and worked his entire life en francais. He was always keen for us kids to learn french and I remember traveling to Quebec City in the summer of 1969 to stay with a french family. It was the week that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon and I watched it all on french TV at a big outdoor party at nearby Lac Beauport. That trip was one of several Quebec forays my dad sent me on to learn french. Every one of them gave me a great appreciation for French Canadian culture and I am indebted to my dad for giving me the opportunity. Not many English Canadians are as lucky.