Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quebec City: I Think I Love You

Samuel de Champlain (see statue pictured above) founded Quebec on July 3, 1608 on the point where the Saint Lawrence river narrows.  Though significantly larger today than it was 400 years ago, Hye-Sung and I concentrated our visit to Quebec on Vieux-Quebec, the old city.  Vieux-Quebec is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it is one of the oldest cities in North America and the only one north of Mexico to still have the fortified city walls.  Quebec is also notable in that it is where everyone's favorite French-Canadian professor, Bruno, went to undergraduate school.

Our main purpose in traveling to Quebec was to visit the CCQ (the Centre de Conservation du Quebec).  The CCQ is somewhat like the ThinkTank CCI in that institutions across Quebec (instead of Canada, in the case of CCI) can request conservation assistance for their collections.  It is unlike ThinkTank CCI in that there is no real scientific branch.

The Chateau Frontenac, a large hotel originally part of a series of hotels tied to the Canadian Pacific Railway, dominates the Quebec skyline.

Unfortunately for the citizens of New France, in 1759 at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the French lost the city of Quebec and the entirety of their colony of New France to the British.  Happily, their new British overlords didn't really care what the locals did, so they were able to retain much of their own culture.  

Hye-Sung and I stayed in a little youth-hostel place in Vieux-Quebec.  Even though I had sworn off youth-hostels after this summer, complaining that, "I'm too old for this hostel stuff."

Proud-V.  But tired after walking all day.

Why are youth-hostels always painted such lurid colors?  (Granted, the green blanket is my own, but the walls are not very soothing).  

It was still really cold in Quebec.  Though no substantial amount of snow fell during our visit, it was clear that it had in the recent past.

The Ursulines (nuns) arrived to Quebec in 1639, to found a school for girls/women.  The school is still operating.

These tiny buildings are labeled, 'Saint Joseph' and 'Saint Augustin', as though the saints live there.  Maybe in the summer.  Maybe they are just creatively-named garden sheds.

Hye-Sung takes her turn defending Quebec against the English.  She informed me that, in this photograph, she is being 'strong'.

Port Saint-Louis, part of the original fortifications.


Ynn said...

I can understand your delight in this city.

Mary Ann said...

Ah, yes the Ursulines taught me in college. A lovely order of nuns.
Beautiful photos.