Ah, historic old Quebec City. So clean, so orderly. It makes sense the only graffiti we spotted would deny its very existence.
Building upon the initial observations of Quebec found in my post about Montréal, the following represents additional random thoughts from our stay in Quebec City:
1. Quebec City is spotless. Amazingly litter-free. Everywhere. Even by the port where we were staying.
2. Within the walls of the old city, the buildings are beautifully preserved. Williamsburg-perfect. Virtually everything appears as if it has been carefully restored only yesterday. Even the architecture of the train station is Disney-castle-looking perfect.
3. While we often appeared to be the oldest couple in restaurants in Montréal, Quebec City made us feel the opposite. Blame it on “the boat people,” as I call them. Cruise ships pull up at the port at the base of the city, and empty their contents ashore. Herds of elderly (at least in the fall) take over the streets, swarming their way through the shops.
4. Which means the oldest part of the city is filled with shoppes (which I pronounce shoppies) designed to appeal to the repetitive invasions of the upscale boat people. People who might think opera-length giraffe gloves a necessity.
5. While we loved the pedestrian-dominated streets climbing upward and the perfectly restored buildings, it was when we broke out of the walls and walked past the state capitol that we found the Quebec City I liked. The buildings were all still historic; everything was clean; but there it felt real. More people lived and worked there on a daily basis, there out of the walking range of most of the boat people. Instead of shoppes, the ground floor of buildings housed businesses providing practical services and necessities. Small, neighborhood multi-ethnic restaurants flourished. Outside the old walls, the city has a more authentic feeling personality.
6. And, saints alive. Well, dead actually. Canadian Catholics still elevate relics, as in bones, to prominent display. American Catholics tend to ignore this old-world religious tradition. While I am fascinated but strangely accepting of this, to the point I was not content until I purchased some saint’s bones of my own, the Mister is more mystified. He always comes up with remarks such as, “One saint sure must go a long way.” And he worries about when they chop up the saints into all those little pieces spread out to inspire faith and prayers in churches around the world. Is this the fate of all saints, or only the ones who were martyred in such a brutal fashion their bones already were rendered into shards? Out of curiosity, I thought I would check on the disposition of the body parts Canada’s newest saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, declared so by Pope Benedict on October 21. Stumbled across a virtual audit of her skeletal remains from skull to sternum. The Mister is right. One saint does go a long way.
To view more snapshots taken during our vacation in Quebec City, visit shutterfly.