We didn’t get this posted yesterday, so we are a little behind in our travel story. But no worries, we will catch up!
As we say au revior to Quebec City, we have a fun literary tie-in to share. This is the book we specifically read before our trip. It is a very well-written detective novel set in and around Quebec City, but woven throughout the fictional plot are historical facts that provide insight into the ongoing sometimes contentious relationship between English-speaking and French-speaking populations of this officially bilingual country. Read it! You won’t be disappointed.
In the book, the Literary and Historical Society and it’s library play key roles. Both actually existed historically and still exist today. The library is located in the Morrin Center and can be visited. One happy traveler found the library a peaceful spot to catch up on a little reading. As a bastion of English heritage, it is no wonder that the library features General James Wolfe in a prominent place. Can you find him, surveying the scene from the second floor balcony?
If you can’t quite remember Colonial history in North America, you are not alone. In a nutshell, the French settled present-day Canada, establishing New France for church and crown. However, they lost the territory in the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian War in the United States). A pivotal battle took place on the Plains of Abraham just outside Quebec City, during which the English defeated the French. And the commander of the English forces in that battle? You guessed it, General James Wolfe.
We said goodbye to our new friend Jim and hit the road for Montreal…….
We spent our first morning in Montreal in the old city. The historic section is not as impressive as Quebec City, but is still definitely worth a visit. This is the beautiful interior of the Basilica of Notre Dame.
Montreal is the economic center of Quebec province and the second-largest city in Canada with a population of about 4 million in the metro area. Immigrants have played a large role in the history of the city, and as in many other places, they have clustered together in neighborhoods to preserve their cultural heritage. Montreal has a Chinatown, Little Italy, etc.
Feeling energetic, we took a guided walking tour (Fitz and Follwell Company) along Boulevard St. Laurent, the unofficial Main Street of the city. The tour was called “Flavors of the Main,” and presented the immigrant story through the lens of ethnic foods. The tour was both educational and delicious! There are so many neighborhoods to vist and so many foods to sample that they actually split this into two separate tours. We did part two and would recommend it.
Tonight we’ll be participating in the Tour la Nuit, a night bike ride which is part of the Go Velo Montreal Festival. More on that tomorrow!