October 29, 2013

Quebec City in One Day

[Confession: I started writing this post ten days ago and had every intention of publishing it soon after. But I got completely side-tracked. Why? How? Well, for the longest time, I have desperately wanted to update the look of my blog—make it more modern and engaging with larger photos, an infinite scrolling feature like, and a responsive layout on mobile. After much consideration, I bought the Publisher theme by Okay Themes and haven’t looked back! I’m thrilled with the way it presents my content, especially the homepage on a tablet and desktop. Of course, nothing like this works perfectly right out of the box, so that’s when I got sucked into the rabbit hole of reviewing, tweaking and optimizing each of my 200-plus posts. Am I crazy? Perhaps. Should I have just ignored the older posts from my archive or retrofitted them a few at a time? Maybe. But that’s not my style. Better to bite the bullet and do an all-out blitz over the course of a weekend and past midnight on weeknights. Otherwise, it would have been a constant nagging to-do list. I’d love to know what you think of the new layout! OK, now back to our regularly-scheduled programming… ]

Using the glorious weather to our advantage, we covered a lot of ground during our one and only full day in Quebec City. Check out our photo journey!

After breakfast at our hotel, we started climbing the hilly streets towards the Upper Town (Haute-Ville).

Leaving our hotel in the historic Petit-Champlain district of the Lower Town. A cab driver in Montreal had aptly described Old Quebec as a Disney set come to life.

On our way up, this composition caught my eye.

We made a stop at the historic Chateau Frontenac. The place was ginormous. I was happy to visit but glad we didn’t stay here.

Having sneaked up to the 14th floor, we were rewarded with this vista from a hallway window.

We left the Frontenac and strolled above the Terrasse Dufferin towards the Citadel and the 108-acre Plains of Abraham urban park.

A little fog over the St. Lawrence River.

Panoramas don’t get much better than this. (The top of the Frontenac is on the left; the Pierre Dugua de Mons Terrace on the right.)

Colorful view from the Pierre Dugua de Mons Terrace.

Ta-da! I’m standing with Old Quebec buildings along Avenue Saint Denis in the background.

The sunken and serene Joan of Arc Garden. It was decked out in Halloween decorations.

Wide open space: the Plains of Abraham park on a quiet Saturday morning.

Autumn in the air and a cyclist pausing for lunch.

It was early afternoon, and we were getting mighty hungry too. We left the park and headed down Rue de Claire-Fontaine.

Five Flags Quebec City.

Our lunch destination: Le Billig Creperie on one of the main downtown drags, Rue Saint-Jean. It was THE best meal we had during our stay. (More details in the notes below.)

The best savory crepes this side of Paris. They were lacy and crisp with a slight chewiness.

We trekked all the way from downtown in the Haute-Ville back towards the Old Port. This was the view from one descent.

La Fresque des Québécois near Place Royale. Completed in 1999, the trompe-l’oeil mural depicts the history of Quebec City.

Our hotel was literally across the street from the Moshe Safdie-designed Musée de la civilisation. We ducked in for free thirty minutes before closing time and did a quick tour of the “History of Video Games” exhibition.

Homage to Pong.

“Pong, the first video game widely available to the public, was released in 1972.”

Andrew trying his hand at Arkanoid.

Before seeking out a place for dinner, we walked along the water and took pictures from Rue Dalhousie.

Andrew took a photo of me taking a photo of the Chateau Frontenac.

The sun setting behind the Frontenac.

We decided to try nearby Le Lapin Sauté restaurant. It had favorable Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews. It had outdoor seating next to a small plaza and cobblestone streets. Ugh, we were sorely disappointed. Maybe we should have ordered the house specialty of rabbit, but Andrew’s croque monsieur was limp, cold and flavorlessand it cost an obscene $20. Now I understand that we were in the heart of the touristy historic district. And being on vacation, we were open to plunking down more money than usual on food as part of the experience. But what I found frustrating about Quebec City (at least the parts we visited) was that you could either eat at McDonald’s or spend no less than $20 per entree on mediocre bistro food. (At some establishments, the prices were more like $30 to $40 per lackluster entree.) That’s why we appreciated Le Billig Creperie so much: the food was fresh and tasty at a fair price.

One other note: I didn’t find much to buy as souvenirs. There were tons of touristy shops selling all kinds of tacky tchotchkes. And there was no shortage of galleries selling expensive artwork. And there was an endless variety of maple products (e.g. candies, syrup, cookies, fudge). In the end, I settled for a couple of coffee cups from a boutique near the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church.

Memorable mugs from Quebec City—made in China.

Next up: A day trip to Montmorency Falls.


Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac | 1 Rue des Carrières | Quebec City, Quebec | G1R 4P5 | Canada | 418.692.3861 | | Trip Advisor Review

Plains of Abraham, The Battlefields Park, Joan of Arc Garden |

Le Billig | 526 Rue Saint-Jean | Quebec City, Quebec | G1R 1P6 | Canada | 418.524.8341 | Yelp review

Le Musée de la civilisation | 85 Rue Dalhousie | Quebec City, Quebec | G1K 8R2 | Canada | 418.643.2158 |

Le Lapin Sauté | 52 Rue du Petit-Champlain | Quebec City, Quebec | G1K 4H4 | Canada | 418.692.5325 | | Yelp review

Previous posts in this series:

Bonjour Montreal!

Montreal: Day Two in Downtown

Montreal: The Plateau and Botanical Garden

Farewell Montreal, Hello Quebec City!


Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. […] lace but not much else. Although I was bracing myself for an annoyingly touristy experience like Quebec, it was in fact pleasant and […]


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