Quebec City!

Tony Bilby at Château Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac

I traveled to Quebec City with my fiancé back in 2009 and it was a great time. We flew on thanksgiving, just her and I, and the best part about our travel was that the airport was completely empty. So, no crowds, very few people, and totally awesome. We stayed at the famous Château Frontenac, a castle-like hotel in the heart of Old Quebec overlooking the St. Lawrence river, it was snowing and fully blanketed by the time we arrived.  Very charming and beautiful!  And, as it turns out, the Frontenac is one of the most photographed hotels in the world!

After living and traveling throughout Europe, I think this is the closest it gets to many parts of Europe and the city is rich in history, dating back to the 16th century. Frontenac has an excellent location just a few steps from the lower part of old town, which you can easily access by walking down the winding streets and ramps or by the very scenic and charming funicular.

Tony Bilby rides funicular

Quebec City Funicular

Make sure you bring a great pair of shoes as we spent our entire few days there walking around old town and visiting the many sites by foot. The old cobblestone streets and historical sites are a must.  I started with the churches like Notre Dame des Victoires church and then moved on to the Petit Champlain. After touring the lower town make sure to move to the upper district for Hotel Du Parlement and La Citadelle.

We certainly got a ton of exercise walking, but unfortunately our impression of the food in Old Quebec was bland, boring, and better suited for the settlers who founded the City a few hundred years ago. Given my Bavarian background they did have a number of meals that served up rabbit and venison, so for me, just a reminder of Germany was good enough. We tried many of the restaurants in old town: Italian, French, etc. and nothing ringed memorable. So, finally we decided to venture off the tourist path and took a Taxi to Le Mezze, a Greek restaurant, inhabited by mostly locals that only spoke French. This restaurant was really good and we were able to bring our own wine to the table! I would highly recommend going as it was a nice departure from the underwhelming norm.

Nevertheless, I didn’t visit Quebec for the food and there were plenty of great bars in old part of the city and plenty of good beer and good music. After a long day in Quebec, coming back to the Frontenac never disappointed and we usually enjoyed our last round of drinks at the hotel bar.

Tony Bilby