The Bridge of Centuries and Cultures in Quebec City – The Daily Newspaper

Summer travel 2022 – The provincial capital of Quebec is known for its many superlatives: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only walled city in the Americas north of Mexico, and the closest European experience to this continent.

It’s also only a six-hour drive from the metropolitan area, roughly the same as Baltimore or Washington, and the US dollar trades with the Canadian dollar at one of the best exchange rates in the past 16 years.

impressions
Quebec City was the last road trip my wife and I took before our son was born, which colors my impression of it.

As pregnancy slowed in our progress, we didn’t see as much of the city as we might. But our slower pace allowed the atmosphere to sink a little more.

I was fascinated by the Old Town, some of whose pieces date back to the 17th century. It is one of those walkable places that please the eye and capture the imagination.

Outside, a fleeting storm left the autumn air fresh and cool with the promise of winter. The shops were cozy and the restaurants were great.

Disadvantages?

It can get crowded with tourists, and driving is a challenge on some streets. So park the car and don’t be in a hurry.

I never felt any language barrier; Most people speak some English. In my experience, the further away from the cities you travel to, the fewer English speakers there will be.

But even there, communication is possible, especially with courtesy and patience. Nobody likes an ugly American, not even their fellow Americans.

The city of over 500,000 people is rated as a safe and low crime place.

Things to do
You can spend your entire visit in the Old Town, as I did, or sabbatical a little. Here are some ideas:

Old Quebec: The old part of town is full of narrow cobbled streets, some of which are closed to vehicles in the summer. The ancient buildings date from different eras but collectively preserve the history well enough to earn a World Heritage Site designation.

churches: The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica (1674) is the oldest church in Canada and was the first Catholic diocese in northern Mexico. Holy Trinity Cathedral was the first Anglican cathedral built outside the British Isles. Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is a basilica located on the oldest pilgrimage site in North America, east of Quebec City.

food: Quebec City is a gastronomic delight, and not just for traditional Quebec specialties.

flowers: The city will host a mosaic-growing exhibition for the first time this summer: more than 6 million plants are shaped into 200 sculptures in 20 larger-than-life scenes at the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge from June 24 to October 10.

First countries: When we talk about the rich history of Quebec City, it is generally in the context of Europeans and their descendants. There is of course the indigenous culture that predated the arrival of the Europeans. The history and heritage of the Wends people is preserved in the Huron Wendat Museum. Craft workshops and restaurants nearby.

Mobility: The public bike-sharing fleet is set to expand in 2022 with 400 e-bikes installed at 40 stations.

water: Montmorency Falls is 272 feet tall, nearly 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls. It’s well-equipped for visitors, with features ranging from the lodge (the boardwalk) to the adrenaline (zip line). A new semi-submerged walkway floating through the foot of the waterfall is set to open this year.

Marine life: The Aquarium du Quebec has the advantage of a new immersive experience this year, putting visitors at eye level with some of the sea creatures on display there.

War history: Plains of Abraham is a large park on the site of the 1759 Battle of Quebec, where the French lost the city to the British. The British then built the Citadelle de Quebec nearby, their largest forts in North America. It is now a museum and heritage site.

Countryside charm: East of Quebec City, Ile d’OrlĂ©ans is a 75-square-mile island in the Saint Lawrence River. It is an agricultural area inhabited by artisans and local food purveyors. A handful of pretty villages stand along the two-lane road that circles the island.

Whale watching: The St. Lawrence River is famous as a summer feeding ground for up to 13 species of whales, including the largest of them, the blue whale. But they congregate further downstream from Quebec City. Your best bet to see them is a 120-mile side trip to Tadoussac. A whale-watching fleet is stationed there near the mouth of the Saguenay Strait.

COVID and gas
At the time of writing this story, COVID has been a factor in any travel plans that include Quebec. Whether it is an important factor depends on the health and mentality of the traveler.

Details as of mid-May:
The rate of new infections per capita in Quebec is lower than in upstate New York, but the United States still ranks Canada as a country with a high infection rate.

To enter Canada from the United States, travelers must be fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination and submit this evidence (and their travel plans) through the ArriveCAN online portal, either on the web or through a digital app.
Unvaccinated children are allowed to accompany the parents but the test result must be negative.

If this all seems too temporary, wait a month or two to see how the situation stabilizes.

Everything written here will still be valid after that. Perhaps the fuel will be cheaper, too.

As of mid-May, gasoline costs an arm and a leg in Quebec, nearly 45% more than record high prices in New York, but Quebec City is close enough to the border that you can fill it up before crossing and don’t need to refill before heading back.

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Categories: Life and Arts, Summer Travel 2022

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