I was asking Humans what is there in Canada that I must go and visit. They suggested Niagara Falls near Toronto, Vancouver forests, Albertan lakes, and others…. But then someone mentioned there is a goat mixed with Royal affairs in Quebec City. I couldn´t resist on knowing more about it. In my planet, there´re species similar to goats but usually, they are nice animals who like hiking and having exquisite gourmet meals, but that´s a whole different topic. Anyway, we don´t have a Royal goat on my planet. I wish one day I will understand all what Humans do and their reasons and probably when I go back to my planet I´ll copy some of their customs.
So I went to visit Batisse (The goat) and meanwhile I was in Quebec City I discovered they have such an interesting history, quite a mixture of French and British cultures, architecture, and styles. So imagine this, it´s like being in a city who is wearing a disguise of a French little romantic town meanwhile you spend some dollars with the Queen Elizabeth´s II face on them. Quite particular, right?
Quebec´s city main postcard picture hotel was started to be built in 1832 and one of the purposes of this hotel was to impulse tourism and the brand new usage of the railway train. Imagine being back in the mid-1800s, taking the steam train voyage to Quebec city and after arriving seeing up to this breathtaking beautiful hotel. Humans back then must have been quite romantic or got “in the mood” with this views.
Nowadays you can enter to the hotel´s front desk and take a walk in the lobby or outside meanwhile admiring the incredible facade. They might be some street artists and many tourists taking pictures all around. There’s a long and wide terrace outside overlooking the Saint Lawrence River and it’s open to the public!
Gare du Palais
Talking about the romantic styles, this train station has the same picturesque style and environment of the hotel. It has a beautiful park with a fountain outside of it where you can make some squirrel friends, they will be your company while you are sitting here.
Old port Market
From the train station, you could walk to the market. It´s so neat and full of locals addressing to you with a Bonjour!. You can have lunch and try some of the local fresh fruits or sausages while sitting by the pier.
Typical Canadien junk food is called Poutines. It´s French fries with cheese and gravy, then they will ask you if you want to add something extra. I did, I added Italian sausage. They were really good!
It was built from 1877-1886 inspired by the Louvre Palace. You´ll find several statues of man and women surrounding the Parliament, paying honor to how they have marked history in Quebec. By the way, even if the building is just 140 years old, the Parliament of Quebec is one of the oldest legislative institutions in the World, dating back to the 18th century. Every Canadian province has a Parliament but, Quebec is one of the eldest, many decisive laws have been crafted here.
In front of the Parliament building, there stands 7 meters high stunning beauty Fountaine de Tourny and all around the Parliament, there are beautiful gardens covered with flowers of all colors and types.
You can also go inside and ask for a guided tour in French or English. They will explain to you how their government works as Canadians have a Queen (Elizabeth II) and a Parliament.
This is the craddle of the European presence on the shores of Saint Lawrence River and the oldest city of Canada. That explains why the city and is full of European charm and the reason it´s also UNESCO World Heritage treasure since the 80s.
Let me tell you a bit more about why is the oldest city in Canada such a mixture of cultures.
French navigators explored the wide Saint-Lawrence River as early as the 16th century. In 1608, the city of Quebec was founded on the site « where the river narrows » for defensive purposes (a by the way, this is what Quebec means!). Also, the name of the entire country is linked with Quebec region history, since the Amerindian tribe met nearby revealed they called their land Kanata, which means « village » or « home ». Humans can be so cute…
The territory of New France soon expanded to the west and to the south (does « Louisiana » or « New Orleans » ring a bell? Now you can connect the dots!), while Quebec City remained its capital. Eventually, conflicts emerged between French and British colonies and the latter managed to conquer all of New France in 1759. By the way, you can visit the city the site where the decisive battle of the war took place. Both of the generals died on site. But don’t worry, today is a very nice urban park called Plaines-d’Abraham.
Even though they were conquered, French Canadians managed to keep the language and their culture against assimilation efforts undertaken by the British presence. This effort remains today and that explains why Quebec City is so different from the rest of Canada and until today they are very proud of their French ascendance.
You´ll find lots of tourists as the streets have many local fashion boutiques and cafes, so you can relax and enjoy the view in one of the cafes or even just walk on the cobblestone streets and admire the churches and buildings with their historical architecture.
Part of this neighboorhood there are two other must-see spots to check:
Quebec city is the whole time-traveling experience, go to Place Royale and you can truly picture how the first French settlement took place in North America. There´s Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in North America (1688). Sadly I couldn´t go inside of this church because it was closed at the moment I was there. So make sure to check the schedules because I have heard it´s amazing in the inside.
Erected between 1820 and 1850, is the largest British fortress in North America. If you see a map of it from the top you´ll realize it´s shaped like a star. Humans are so creative.
This is a historically important spot as it´s the fortress where the Battle of Quebec (1759) took place. For Humans to remember this was an important battle they have this as a slogan:
You can stroll around and check the views from its fortress and see Ile de Orleans and St Lawrence River beside the incredible view from Chateau Frontenac. The best place to take pictures according to guides in this place… and me.
And the best of all things, the change of guard takes place just outside and here´s where you can see Baltisse, the goat with the sweetest life.
The story of Baltisse goes back to 1883 when the King of Iran (or Sha, Humans have complicated nobility titles) gave to Queen Victoria his loved collection pet as a gift. After that Baltisse descendants have been named the same as him. Then, in 1955 Queen Elizabeth II sent it to the Royal 22e Regiment as a mascot and he and his little homonymous have followed the tradition of being part of the Changing of the Guard ceremony since then. He even has a private chauffeur that drives him from his royal house to the Citadelle every day twice for each ceremony.
Batisse with other Royal VIPs
Quebec city´s beauty impressed me and left me speechless many times. They are full of History and they are proud not just to remember it but to show it to everyone who visits them.
So whenever you go to Canada, take at least a couple of days to stay in Quebec city (I was there for four days). It´s completely charming and romantic, I´m a cheesy alien. what can I say?
If you have any doubts or need more suggestions, don´t hesitate to write on the comments or follow me on Instagram, I´m a helpful Alien, you´ll see 😉
I can´t finish my Article without taking the Human Canadian History expert: Jaime Alejandro Calderón Quintero. Galactic and Sparkling thanks dearest Human!