Because I've already described a trip to Québec taken two years earlier, I didn't feel the need to write as exhaustively about this adventure, in which I revisited some of the same places. (I know, I know, you were hoping to hear about every mile travelled )

However, on this trip we also covered new ground: the Gaspé peninsula; and I couldn't in good conscience give that unique area short shrift. So while I've held back in this section, you'll get an earful (and eyeful) in the Gaspé section.


Even better the second time around ... It was perfection — but not in a predictable, boring sense. Quite the opposite. Character, civility and history overwhelms and intrigues: in the cobblestoned streets, copper roofs, galleries, restaurants, and fortress enclosures that surround and abound in Old Québec City.

Our first night was spent at the sleek, modern Loew's Hotel. We had wonderful views of the old town to the northeast, the St. Lawrence River, the Plains of Abraham and the Parc des Champs-de-Bataille.

Dinner at an Upper Town French restaurant was a rare pleasure — delicious, artfully prepared food, including a sublime, subtle dessert, the most spectacular I've ever had. This set the bar for meals on the rest of the trip, and we were never disappointed. From the city to the full length of the Peninsula, Québec knows how to do food. We'd never eaten so well.

I took a long walk across the Parc, along the Promenade des Gouvernours, which runs parallel to and high above the St. Lawrence River; past La Citadelle and into Old Town (see Québec City slide show). The regal Chateau Frontenac dominates the tip of Cape Diamond, the massive rock peninsula on which Québec City sits (for more, go here).

Our second night was spent (ooh ooh) at the Chateau Frontenac. After admiring it from afar, I finally had the chance to experience it firsthand. Getting to our room required navigating through mazes of hallways. The room was elegant, square in proportion, not the rectangular shape of most hotel rooms. We overlooked the plaza with Samuel de Champlain's statue, the heart of Québec City. We ate well, shopped well, and exercised, all within the Chateau's confines. A special place to stay ...


I had to get back to Île d'Orleans on this trip. The island sits just northeast of the City, bisecting the St. Lawrence. We circumnavigated the idyllic land, and explored a few places I hadn't seen the last time. We stopped for ice cream, and for apples at one of the many fruit stands along the way. Île d'Orleans is know for its produce.

And in Saint-Jean, at the stone, red-roofed Catholic church, we walked the shoreline. No typical beach was this ... Layers of sedimentary rock had turned 90 degrees; colorful waves arced and rippled up from river level. From every angle the effect was stunning. (See Île d'Orleans slide show.)

Crossing the bridge from the island back to the mainland, Montmorency Falls beckoned again. This time we went topside: to Montmorency Manor which sits alongside the upper falls. We traversed the falls on a swaying footbridge that stretched from one side to the other. You can look straight down (whoa!) to where the cascading water from the Montmorency River crashes, 272 feet below.

That ends this shorthand summary of the Québec City area; next we'll head north.


  Quebec revisited, Gaspe discovered

Galleries ...
QuébecGaspésiePercé 1Percé 2Percé 3


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