A Little bit of Scotland

What a lot of people don’t know about Québec City is that, right in the heart of Vieux Québec (Old Québec) is a postage stamp of land that is forever Scotland. This tiny parcel of historical land is home to the Scottish Kirk (Church of Scotland) and St. Andrew’s church—a church built in the reign of George III.

The church, built between 1759-1810, sits right next to the equally historic Morrin Centre, which is home to the English Literature and Historical Society. The Morrin Centre is also home to hundreds of historical books and document and yes, a Gaol too!

The third building in this triptych was, at one time, another church, but is now the Institut Canadien housing yet another library.

So, as you can see, and what you have to remember is, Québec City was built not just by the French, but the British and Irish too.

Up on the Boardwalk

There is always something to find up on the promenade that is the Terrace Dufferin, like, a Salvador Dali bronze, the SPACE ELEPHANT, that commands the skyline. This one was from a couple of years back, BC (before Covid) and sat in front of a side entrance to the Chateau Frontenac. So, a prime spot for catching people’s attention. Not sure what to make of the bronze pyramid on the elephant’s back though.

Every year we get something different if not, surprising. Stand by for more …

A place with a View

They built a new multi storey carpark and created a park around it for tourists and locals alike, right on the waterfront in the Old Port area right where the cruise ships come in. But they made the car park both a hanging garden and, a view point. Giving the roof over to greenery not cars.

All in all, it’s a lovely place to park up, and hang out with your kids for a couple of hours, as there are water features in the park. Or, it’s a starting point for visitors to the old quarter, or a walk along the sea front.

And yes, that is another visiting ship. The Italian training ship Amerigo Vespucci. And yes, with a crowd of hopefuls wanting to get onboard—but there’s a three hour long queue. Enjoy the view!

This is all so much nicer than what use to greet the cruise ships coming in … what was, an ugly open car park. What do you think?


The day the Spanish came to town

As I mention in my post about the Viking ship, we’ve had a lot of visitors to our port over the years. The Spanish came with this magnificent replica galleon—the Andalucía— a few years back, and allowed visitors aboard. Sad to say, the numbers were limited to go onboard to visit the actual ship, and they were only here for a few days before heading to Montreal and then, Boston and further south.

I never managed to get onto the ship itself. The queues were huge, they say at least 10k to 15k queued over the 2 day period. And why not, what a chance of a lifetime. Anyway, I did get up close in personal from the quayside and was just as happy to have seen this magnificent ship.

Seminary & Cathedral

Today’s mini tour of Québec City takes us to the Catholic Cathedral—Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral—and, next door, what once was the adjoining seminary. The seminary is now the architectural school of the University Laval. I mean, how cool is that? The building is amazing and, because of the endowment, is preserved as a working, living monument to the history of the city and the architecture as well.

Not only that, but the cathedral next door has one of only a handful of ‘Holy Doors‘ outside the Vatican. It’s only used ‘open’ on certain special holy days and, of course, is and of itself, an attraction to pilgrims.

Both these amazing buildings and cathedral sit on the ‘town square’ opposite City Hall or, Hotel de Ville, Québec. More of which I can share with you in another post.

Note: The Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec is the primatial church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Québec. It is the oldest church in Canada and was the first church in Canada to be elevated to the rank of minor basilica, by Pope Pius IX in 1874.

Let’s Sail Away

Being on the river, and a major river at that, means lots of cruise ships and shipping come our way. But also, on special occasions, we get the odd historical sailing visitor stop in port like the Queen Mary and the QEII.

We’ve also had a full-on Spanish Galleon, a Viking long boat, and even the Tall Ships regatta visit us on a regular basis.

Today I bring you the Viking longboat that visited us BC (before Covid), in 2018, I think.

What was striking at the time was just how small it actually is, especially compared to the tug boat tied up next to it. And yes, this one did sail across the Atlantic. It recreated the route they think original Vikings might have taken to make landfall in Canada before Columbus et al.

Have a great weekend everyone!