Sunshine and Staircases in Old Quebec City

Continuing with the story about our trip to Quebec City, on our second full day there, we awoke to brilliant sunshine and relatively warm temperatures. After a delicious breakfast at our hotel, Le Port Royal, we set out to enjoy it.

Situated as it is, on the steep embankment of St. Lawrence river, a walk in this city inevitably involves climbing stairs. In fact, there are 30 notable sets of stairs linking Upper Town to Lower Town (as described in this article). And, at the end of this day, we felt as though we’d been on all of them!

We were down in what is known as “Lower Town” and our goal was to get to the top of “Upper Town”, so we just randomly chose streets that sloped upward, climbing staircases when we came upon them.

^ We peeped this enchanting sight but walked on by, dropping back that way at the end of our walk. (so you’ll get a better look). ^

^ We passed this appropriately named staircase, Breakneck Stairs, on the way, because it was going down and we were heading up, however, we did go down there the following day. Built in 1635, these are the oldest stairs in Quebec City, and the buildings surrounding them, amoungst the first in what was a small village at the time. ^

Soon, we found ourselves at the easternmost part of the boardwalk called the “Terrasse Dufferin”, so named because in 1879 it was built under the direction of Governor-General of Canada at the time, who was Lord Dufferin.

^ Going old school with a paper map! ^

^ Looking back … the building is the Chateau Frontenac Hotel. They were in the process of building a sled-run on the left. ^

At the westernmost part of the boardwalk, we found the entry to the “Cap-Blanc Stairs”. Comprised of 398 steps, it is Quebec’s longest staircase. It was first built in 1868 — I say “first” because it has since been rebuilt many times, as it is bolted into the rock wall and effected by landslides. It was a long climb, for sure, but also a lovely place to be.

The fort, called La Citadelle, is located at the top.

Then, we began our descent via another path, which involved more stairs and some seriously slanted sidewalks.

^ There’s our hotel, in the centre (in the shadowy section). ^

^ Part of Université Laval, established in 1862. It’s Canada’s oldest university.^

Indeed, we were pretty tired when we got back to the hotel in the late afternoon. We’d already planned to have dinner in the restaurant at our hotel, so we were pretty happy that all we had to do was take the elevator to get there.

The newly opened dining room is called Louise Taverne and Bar — Loulou is a nickname for my given name, Louise, so we knew that we’d be going there even before we’d left Toronto. However, we were doubly confident with our choice after it was suggested to us by the server at the restaurant we’d enjoyed dinner at the previous evening. She mentioned it before we’d told her where we were staying (or that my name was Louise), so the stars were aligned for us and this restaurant.

^ We shared a bottle of chardonnay, the daily special designed for two, and a piece of apple pie. All was creatively prepared and delicious.

And there ended our perfect day in gorgeous Quebec City.

Thank you for reading.
xo loulou

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4 Responses to Sunshine and Staircases in Old Quebec City

  1. henatayeb says:

    Great pictures.. I still remember so many of these spots from our trip so many years ago.
    Looks like a wonderful time.

  2. Gaia says:

    I haven’t been to Quebec city yet.. it looks so pretty and many places to visit too.

    • Loulou says:

      Hi Gaia. It really is so pretty. I highly recommend a visit. Although it’s relatively close to us here in Toronto, it leaves you feeling like you’ve gone so much further away.

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