J’aime Quebec

Do all visitors to Quebec (city) fall in love and begin to imagine living here? Or just me? I am smitten. No, more than that – captivated. Crazy about this incroyable city. See, I’m already practicing my French…

Location, location, location. That applies as much (or more) to camping life than our other life. A great, or lousy, campsite can make or break a week. We are here at Motel Etchemin, in Levis, Quebec – directly across the St. Lawrence from Quebec. There’s a small campground alongside the motel. Sure, the bathroom is a bit primitive (not heated, co-located with the washer and dryer)…BUT, we’re about a kilometer from a fabulous bike/walking path alongside the River. One lane for walkers and runners + a divided highway for bicycles.

And just 4K from the ferry, which drops us right into historic Quebec. So, a quick bike ride in the morning, a $5 ferry ticket, and we’re good for the day. Ditto on the return. Ferries run every half hour (at least), so there’s no waiting, no crowding.

The City itself is sparkling clean. Like someone has licked the streets of any tiny bit of litter or dirt. No cigarette butts. Perhaps the modern section isn’t quite as tidy, but the historic section is impressively tidy.

Every tiny space has an odd-shaped home or garden. From the River, the city extends up and up, with layers of retail, homes/hotels, restaurants, and churches. Impressively thick masonry walls – 200 years old – surround much of the area.

At the highest point is La Citadelle, the old fort, established in the 1600s, and continually improved for 200 years after that.

Of course, in the background is always the Le Chateau Frontenac, which dominates the skyline. (View from the ferry, as we slid into the harbor).

We walked for miles, ducking in for a peek at every old building with an unlocked door.

Holy Trinity Church (Anglican)

Notre Dame Cathedral was impressive. The Catholic Church spared no expense in creating a magnificent structure. Sorry about the huge photo, but I had to try a panorama from the altar up to the ceiling.

There’s even a public library that was made from a church built in 1870. I doubt very much that they need librarians shushing patrons here!

Here are a few more of my favorite sights from the last few days….

Love the wave house, but it’s really close to the bike path.

Even the sewage treatment plant is artfully done.

Two magnificent murals decorate historic buildings. The first one covers four seasons, and 400 years of history, from Champlain to hockey-playing kids. (Ok, check out this link for the first one. I destroyed my photo. Grrrr….) The second one explores early times. The artistry in these two murals is amazing.

More city sights…

I’m unsure of the significance of the umbrella hung over this section of a narrow street, but they are a colorful addition.

A few more photos, and I’ll quit.

Many older buildings were have been refurbished with new metal roofs and flashing, as shown in the first photo. In the second photo, we think this showed that recovering procedure in process.

So much to see, so many poorly-executed photos. Sigh…..

But Quebec has captured my imagination. I can (almost) picture myself living here.

a bientot

25 thoughts on “J’aime Quebec

      • Stunning and cold. We met a couple who live there and said the winter there is fantastic. I’m sure the city has the best road equipment and people are probably very used to driving in those conditions. I can only imagine how beautiful is is with all the lights and snow. I’m not sure we will make it back anytime soon – but one day. I’ll try to fly next time – 17 hours was a long drive…


      • Hi Suz, thanks for your note. I checked out your Quebec blog, great photos. You camped at the campground on the Island where I originally wanted to stay. Would you go there again? We ultimately decided not to stay there, only because we felt the commute time getting back and forth from the City proper would be awkward. The place we wound up was kind of small and odd (a little campground attached to a motel), but the location was A+. About a four mile bike ride to the ferry down the bike path. Couldn’t have been better. We elected not to take our bikes with us into the City, figuring we could navigate the steep hills better on foot. For us, probably the right decision, although I sure would welcome the chance to cycle in the City.

        It would be magical to visit when there is snow. Agree!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I would def recommend the campground! Very clean and great shower rooms – the shower cost a looney. The ride to the bridge was fine for us – maybe 15-20 minutes. I can’t imagine crossing that bridge in the winter… We didn’t want to travel with our bikes – so we rented by the day via a nice shop by the ferry. I could not believe the bike paths – we rode from downtown to the falls – all on beautiful paths.


  1. I visited Quebec with the French Club when I was in high school. I still remember the Chateau Frontenac and its green copper roof. Very beautiful! I also remember the girls we met from another high school French Club from New York. C’est la vie!


    • Reading g your comment reminded me that we saw no kids at all in Quebec. No classes, none traveling with parents (except infants). As we wandered thru one area though, we did see a bunch of high schoolers (girls wearing their pleated plaid skirts) all vaping. Must have been lunch hour.

      If my school had a French Club, which I doubt) a class trip would have been to get crepes or French crullers. No international travel in Grandville. Ask Mary about that!


  2. Hi Judy, we’re on a cruise that started in Quebec, we spent two days before going on the ship! Fell in love with place, it so clean, love the architecture and the people were the best! We left last week Tuesday and have gone to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Charlottetown, Portland Maine, Boston and ending up in. N.J.
    Have a wonderful time on your adventures! Love the phot!



    • Wow, Barbara. That’s sounds like a great itinerary. I was totally wowed by Quebec. Ottawa, too. We had a great time in Montreal, but it’s very different than the other two.

      Boston, what’s not to like there??

      Thanks for chiming in!


  3. Wow, I had no idea that Quebec City looked like this! Toronto gets all the headlines as far as great cities in Canada to live, but I’m with you, I’d rather live here than in Toronto.

    I think that your photos are fine, especially the interior shots, loved the church and the library. Buildings are tricky to photograph well without very specialized lenses that correct the perspective distortion caused by lesser cameras and lenses. The main thing is that you got your points across well. I loved the way that it looks like a modern city (except the trash present in most) that consists of historic buildings.


    • Quebec was a big surprise for us, too. Of course, there’s another who huge, modern section where business is conducted, and not as many tourists abound, but still…

      The suburb of Levis, where our campground was located was equally sparkling. Funny thing, each time I type Levis, I have to change the autocorrect, which wants to make it Levi’s! Quite different!


    • Hi Dave. We had planned on camping at the place you recommended, Joie. But it’s already closed for the season. Loved the location of this one, so I think we would come back here again.

      So much to see….all gorgeous.


  4. Treat yourselves to a meal at Le Lapin Saute – we all fought with Jay for a taste of his appetizer of mushrooms in delicious gravy. Have fun!


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