Ah, Quebec City! The pearl of the extreme Northeast! OK, that's not a commonly used nickname, but I like it. This is the walled old city as seen from our hotel room. The partially frozen St Lawrence River can be seen in the distance; Chateau Frontenac is the structure with copper roof.
One of the first things that is great about a walled city is it has to have gates. This is the St. Jean Gate and some Quebecois enjoying the balmy weather to do a little skating.
Just up the hill is the Kent Gate. Here's a night picture.
Quebec's most famous landmark is The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. It's one of the Chateau style hotels built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, from here to Victoria on Vancouver Island. The hotels were places for wealthy railroad passengers to spend the night when taking grand tours of Canada. The hotel completely dominates Quebec's skyline, right on a bluff overlooking the old town and the St. Lawrence. Another picture of this hotel follows.
There are two fine examples of trompe l'oeil, or murals that magnificently trick the eye into seeing three dimensional paintings on a flat surface. This picture is a close up of one of those murals.
The old city has an upper (on top of the bluff) and lower sections. This building is in the lower part of town. The rabbits seem to be having a good time, though I fear the cafe they live on intends to serve them for dinner.
Also in the lower town are these building with the unusual house numbers shown here. Left: 143. Moddle: 143 1/2. Right: 143 3/4.
The annual Quebec Winter Carnival takes place in Feb. Here is a team practicing in the icy waters to prepare for a race. As you can see in these pictures, at times they step out of the boat and push the boat from the ice floes. I guess it's the fastest way across the river.
Right behind the Chateau Frontenac is a Toboggan run. That's Kyle on the far right. One word of warning about Chateau Frontenac: if you are expecting to experience the British tradition of High Tea, you have to go in the summer time. Shortly after we took this picture, we went inside for tea and were disappointed to find High Tea out of season.
Near the city is a national park with waterfalls called Chute Montmorency. It is correctly billed as higher than Niagara Falls, but the volume of water is somewhat less. OK, a lot less. It looks beautiful in the wintertime partially frozen.
One strange feature of Quebec City are all the external staircases. Our guidebook claims this is started as an act of civil disobedience. A city ordenance required a lawn in front of each house to beautify the city. To make up for the lost space on their property, they built their stairways outside the house instead of inside. I imagine in the wintertime, it's a little cold to amble from one floor to the other.
It snows a lot in Quebec. In response, the locals put these temporary garages over their carports. And, as you see in the next picture, over their entry way.