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Travel Blog – It’s Official, I can’t Eat Any More Cheese _ by konrastha

Started off with a coffee and croissant at La Maison Smith in Place Royal.

From there we walked to the entrance of the Musée de la civilisation, where we met Sunny, our walking tour guide. She took us through Old Quebec and gave us a thorough understanding of the rich history of Quebec City and Canada. We stopped to taste fudge and maple butter at local shops. She gave us her unique perspective as an immigrant to Canada, learning French from scratch, and raising her French Canadian/Chinese daughter in Quebec. We enjoyed the tour immensely and saw many places of interest we would not have known of otherwise.

As she led us through Place Royale, the square where Y and I had breakfast, she pointed out the oldest stone church in North America, Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (first pic). She spoke of the “King’s Daughters”, and said this square was the very place they landed. I was vaguely familiar with this piece of history as my daughter had read about it in school this past year. I didn’t realize the importance until now. There was a huge gender imbalance in New France, and 800 young French women immigrated to help populate the colony. Majority of French Canadians can trace their lineage back to a king’s daughter.

Sunny spoke a lot about the architecture of Old Quebec and all the little details such as nameplates depicting original owners and date the building was constructed. She pointed out the French style plastered stone homes and the Scottish brick homes in Petit-Champlain.

After the tour, Y and I walked out of the Saint-Jean gate (pictured above) to Épicerie J.A. Moisan, North America’s oldest grocery store. Here I bought some local black currant jam and a tea blend with balsam fir, good for drinking in the winter. Sunny had talked about pine needle tea offered by First Nations people to the French to regain their health during the harsh winter.

From there we walked to Terrasse Dufferin and made our way up 300 steps to La Citadelle de Québec, an active military base and home of the Royal 22nd Regiment. We watched the Beating of the Retreat ceremony followed by a tour.

We had an early dinner at a Swiss Fondue restaurant, which best is forgotten. The fondue was good, but ultimately it was too much cheese. I will forever be haunted by the smell.

We ended the evening watching fireworks over the St Lawrence River at the very elegant 1608 bar at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Sitting on their cosy sofa was the perfect way to end this action-packed day.

Repost from konrastha , one of our guests on the historical walking tour.