Quintessential Quebec City
Quebec City Travel Blog› entry 22 of 68 › view all entries
There is not one single thing that we disliked about Quebec City. Not one thing. The place is absolutely quintessential!
Our camping neighbors were from Quebec Province, and spent last winter in Florida, so they as most people in QC spoke great English. They shared wonderful info with us!
First, it is pronounced "K-Beck" with equal emphasis on the syllables. It is not "Qwa Beck" or "Ka-Beck." It is just like you say the letter "K" and then "beck". I won't remember if I don't write it here.
The kids and I biked along the waterfront and I fell! I haven't fallen off my bike in decades and it was right when our camping neighbor was biking by! I was embarassed, but not badly hurt, and spit out gravel from between my teeth for a few minutes.
Our camping neighbors also told us of some fab happenings in town, like that Cirque de Soleil which originally started in Quebec, puts on a FREE show every summer night for a month! It was just around the corner from our train station parking lot, so we walked over in 5 minutes for the show at 9:30 pm.
While waiting for the Cirque de Soleil gates to open, we met in line Jean-Claude and his brother and sister-in-law, whoo shared with us more fabulous info on what to do upon heading north from Quebec City (QC).
The Cirque show is held UNDER a triple intersection of elevated highways (highways were really quiet) and Jean-Claude's family house was torn down to make room for the highway. So he was from the area for many decades.
He also spoke beautiful English due to his Irish mother's teachings until she finally gave up and declared that from thereon forward she would speak French in Quebec City. We had a good time as he taught us French and shared great info. It made the wait for the gates to open very quick. Saturday night and rain the previous night meant this beautiful evening's event was well-attended.
The Cirque show was fabulous and lasted about an hour and a half. Some people paid $15 for chairs, but we enjoyed the free gift of standing room show.
These were the students of Cirque and they were terrific, but one guy walking on the outside of a spinning wheel had a few terrifying issues. Such as when his sleeve became entangled in the wheel cog and he had to rip it out and cling to the side of the spinning wheel to keep from falling off! I worried about him the entire time and breathed relief when his act ended without disaster. Shockingly, none of the performers had any safety net whatsoever. Scary!
We easily walked back to our most convenient camping spot at the train staiton.
Another interesting thing to do is that there is also a huge brown building practically beside our camping lot. Each night (or is it weekend?) a sound and light show is projected ontoo this building at 10pm. It is the story of Quebec and supposedly fantastic! We couldn't see both shows and Jean-Claude definitely recommneded we see the Cirque show instead. But we did see some beautiful red and green lights on the building as we returned to Ciao.
I felt sorry for the campers who were not at the Train Station lot. It was so incredibly convenient! We would never have been able to see Cirque if we'd stayed at the KOA across the river. I'm not even sure the ferry runs across the river after our show let out around 11pm. I would have paid more than $45 a night for the convenience of being right in the middle of things. Loved it!
There is a market with wonderful local foods right around the marina from the camping (it has a green metal roof). Highly recommended! (Thanks, Evelyn!)
A few more quick things about Quebec.
1. You know how Alaska is 2.3 times the size of Texas? Well, Quebec Province is bigger than Alaska.
2. Citizens of Quebec have an incredibly high standard of living. They are very liberal, have full health care, take care of their poor, have comprehensive services for their elderly, and have most of their education paid for thru college (My camping neighbors confirmed that college costs parents about $3,000 a year and if they go to a "specialized" school like Harvard, then it can be as high as $25,000 per year.)
They sleep more hours that most people, are more likely admit to being late for work because they wanted to have "fun" at home before work, and they have the French value of pleasure being important. As the guide book said, "Where do I sign up?!" :)
Last night had special moments frozen in time. What a wonderful place to visit!