An Aussie in Quebec – Old Quebec

An Aussie in Quebec – Old Quebec

An Aussie in Quebec

by Louise Carroll

A long, long way from home, this little Aussie is embarking on an adventure to explore and understand Québec as a solo traveller who has never learnt to converse in French before. I arrived in Québec City a week ago by train from Toronto. As the train slowly pulled up into the Gare du Palais Station in downtown Québec, I felt I had been transported from North America to the streets of Europe. Rue-St-Louis-vieux-QuebecThe familiar sounds of a language that I grew up with had suddenly given way to musical tones that I had encountered only briefly throughout my life, but were now a way of life.

I chose Québec City to base myself for four weeks as I liked the idea that I could spend an extended amount of time in a place where I didn’t speak the language. I could really learn to understand the place by exploring the city as I learnt to speak the local language. Although you can get by as a tourist only speaking English, I always feel that when you travel you should adopt as much of the local way of life as possible to truly get a sense of the place.

The two main places that tourists can be found are the downtown area (or Lower Town) and Old Québec (sometimes referred to as Upper Town). These two areas highlight the stark contrasts found in Québec City, where modern architecture and a contemporary way of life is juxtaposed next to the fortifications of Québec which surrounds the historical part of the City.

Downtown Québec has a lot of modern restaurants and boutiques mixed in with some history. The Old Harbour Market and Old Port can be found in the downtown area.

Old Québec is surrounded by its fortifications, which is approximately 4.6 kilometres in total length, and overlooks the majestic St. Lawrence River. Old Québec City is unique in that it is the only fortified city in North America. Nestled within it’s fortifications are the Citadelle, the world-famous Château Frontenac, the Morrin Centre Cultural Centre (which contains Québec’s only all-English library), along with several museums, restaurants and boutiques.

I have found the locals to be friendly and welcoming. They have always been willing to speak English to me, whether I am in the tourist district, or further out from the downtown area. They have also been willing to teach me a little bit of the French language whenever the opportunity arises.

While I have spent my first week in Québec City getting acquainted with my surroundings, finding an apartment and visiting all the local tourist attractions, I hope to dig deeper over the next few weeks to understand this city and it’s inhabitants.

About the blogger:

Louise-Carroll-headshotLouise lives in Australia and is traveling throughout Canada for the next four months. She is currently living in Quebec City. Back home she works as a meteorologist. Travelling the world is a passion of hers as she loves to experience other cultures and cuisines. So far she has travelled extensively through Australia, Europe and Antarctica! Interests of hers include skiing, swimming and nature.

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  1. jobp
    jobp 7 April, 2013, 17:08

    Just a note. Lower Town is what is considered Place Royale now. It’s what’s below the Chateau Frontenac, Petit Champlain etc, and the port area.
    Downtown is along Charest Blvd corner of Dorchester. They both sort of run into each other and are indeed both “lower” but Place Royale is a whole different place. A lot of people, even the locals, mix this up. Enjoy your visit.

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