Traveling to Québec city was one of the few trips I’ve done with friends. I normally travel solo. I met up with Christina and Henry in Montréal, and here we were on a two-hour-and-forty-five minute drive to Québec City.
We had no idea where we were staying or what we wanted to see or do. One thing for sure, we all wanted to be in Québec City and we were headed that way.
It seems to me the most impromptu trips always turn out to be the best. Another reason why I love traveling. It teaches me not to worry too much, just trust my gut.
I used to love planning ahead and stress over every detail to make sure things were perfect. Long gone are those days. Thank god!
We stopped at a café so we could have internet access to book a place through AirBnB. We were only one hour away but we got lucky. Pierre, the owner, immediately approved our booking.
I don’t recall the name of the coffee shop. I just remember sipping on my café au lait as I watched the snow falling.
When we arrived in Québec City, it felt like we were in a different country. The charisma of all the building structures-churches, homes, museums is what defines Québec. All the bistros and sidewalks cafés give the city an old European feel.
One thing I love about Québec is how everything is compacted, which makes it ideal for walking. That’s the best way to explore the city and it can be done in just one day.
First stop was the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec. It’s a national historic site, and a must see. The interior decors and the ecclesiastical designs of the ceiling are breathtaking. The ambiance was very serene. I felt a subtle energy around me.
There is a monumental gold statue of Jesus. It’s quite unique and something I’ve never seen before. Many visitors posed in front of it for pictures.
There are many shops and sidewalk cafes you can easily access. A three-minute walk away from Notre Dame is Château Frontenac. It’s a castlelike hotel that oversees St Lawrence River.
Even though I didn’t visit the inside, that didn’t stop me from admiring its elegance from the outside. I finally understood why Château Frontenac is considered the city icon.
With so many places to choose from, our dining options were endless. We decided to stop at 1640 Bistro at Vieux-Québec on Rue Saint-Anne. The service was great, the food was fantastic, and the wine, even better.
The elegant plating of the food and the portion sizes were a gentle reminder I wasn’t in the USA. Food portions in the USA are larger than anywhere else in the world. Why? I am not sure. However, there seems to be a correlation with obesity.
We walked around Vieux-Québec (Old Québec), which is the historic neighborhood of the city. Time flew by fast. In the blink of an eye, it was darker and colder.
We decided to finally go check-in to the apartment. The location was perfect. Right on Rue Saint-Joseph, which has a strip of bars, bistros, and restaurants.
You can’t visit Canada and not eat poutine, which is French fries with cheese curds and gravy. After a long day of walking, I needed just that. Henry and Christina were not really big fans.
Luckily, one block away from the apartment was PoutineVille, a popular joint serving the city’s best poutine. The staff was friendly, efficient, and there were plenty of toppings. It was one of the best poutines I’ve ever had.
When the night came, we gathered in the living room, drank some wine, and ate cheese. We talked about nothing yet everything. We laughed our hearts out. The day was nothing yet everything. Everything I needed. Everything I wanted.
For a moment, it felt like home. For a moment, I felt pure connections, not just with myself but with Henry and Christina who were just strangers hours ago. We were now friends, fellow travelers enjoying our night in one of the greatest cities in the world.