Lucy got sick during this part of the trip so we didn’t do as much as we had planned and the area is way too cold in November. Visit before November or after but never in November as it is apparently insanely cold according to the locals. Speaking of the locals they were nothing short of amazing. Warm, inviting, kind and I truly fell in love with the people and the city. Being a mainly french speaking province and neither of us knowing french we had been concerned about the language barrier. Almost all people were bilingual and nice enough to talk to us in English. We tried to speak French as much as we could but after the initial pleasantries I would get lost in the language and have to change to English.
Old City Quebec is amazing and one of my favorite places on the planet. The only walled city in North America, it is amazing to see from far and even more mesmerizing from within the walls
We stayed at this beautiful hotel at the edge of the old city and since I did spend a good amount of time in the hotel room I can report that the room and staff are amazing.
The old city has a breathtaking castle, church, museum but just walking the streets and talking to the people is a wonderful experience.
As I mentioned Lucy was sick and she hadn’t eaten so I went out into the city in search of food. I had a restaurant in mind but after walking for five minutes I could not walk any further.The night was frightfully cold. I turned back and pulled into this small restaurant. It ended up being a restaurant frequented more by locals as the only thing being spoken inside was French. I sat down cold and hungry and they were very warm and inviting. They could tell I could not speak French and through a combination of signing, my broken french, and their broken English we managed to put an order together. I can’t get over how nice and helpful they were and although Lucy didn’t share it, I will always remember that night where a whole restaurant of nice people helped me with my dinner order through the harsh Quebec night. I eventually took Lucy back to the restaurant for breakfast and they remembered me and we’re just as nice to me and Lucy. By the way the food was delicious.
I thought that maybe I just got lucky but when we went out to eat the second night the staff was just as kind and welcoming. Our waiter was kind and witty and made the evening really special. The food again was just amazing and the sugar pie was out of this world.
As great as the old city must be in summer, the city screams for Christmas decorations. Fortunately we arrived as they were setting up the Christmas festivities and the city’s beauty is magnified by the Christmas accents. The streets are lined with Christmas trees and above the streets are Christmas ornaments. The square by the church houses a large Christmas tree and during November the streets are empty so the beauty of the place is yours and yours alone. If there is one thing that made the bitter cold worth experiencing was the streets at night with Christmas decorations.
One of Canada’s largest cities but also one of the safest in the world. Drive around or take a tour bus as the city is filled with great architecture and many spots to stop and see. The university itself is breathtaking and you will definitely want to visit the St Joseph Oratory.
Old Montreal City
This old city would have been more impressive had we not just been to Quebec but it is truly beautiful. The only downside is that Montreal is a much larger city so even the old city never really removes you from that.
Although it is great just walking around, the sites worth visiting the most are:
- Notre-Dame Basilica
- World Trade Center
When you live in a climate as cold as Canada you think of ways to survive and thrive. Montreal’s approach is to create giant interconnecting underground centers. I was able to walk almost half way across the city before ever having to get out and you can go even farther without getting out If you take the metro which is accessible by these underground plazas. These plazas can be thought of as large malls but they are also business centers and centers for art. I stumbled into the underground plaza by accident when I got off on the wrong floor of the elevator of the hotel. I got off and there was a giant food court, I kept walking and ended up at this beautiful fountain display, I kept walking and ended up at a metro station a quarter mile away. Truly amazing and makes the city that much more functional and visitor friendly in the winter.