Quebec City is the capital city of the Canadian province Quebec. A French explorer built a fort at a narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River in 1535. This original settlement was abandoned, and Quebec City was officially founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain. It began French and went back and forth, French and English, over the years. The city and province continue to have a strong French influence, which is part of the reason we went to visit. It is the closest ‘European’ kind of place for us to get to, although it did take us about 14 hours drive time over two days to get there. The oldest section of the city is still surrounded by a fort (the Citadelle) and fortified walls, completely ringing the original settlement area, and this is the section where we stayed. There are gates leading out to other areas of the city and down to the port. The historic district of Old Quebec is one of two cities in North America still surrounded by fortified walls; the other is in Mexico.
The Citadelle de Quebec continues to be an active military installation, as well as the official residence of the Governor of Canada, and it is British. We also visited the oldest Anglican Cathedral outside the United Kingdom, but other than that our experience was totally French. While everyone could speak English, they initially spoke French, and we tried as well. All street and road signs were in French only, unlike Ontario where they are both English and French. The old town section (Vieux-Quebec) was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985, and it is a charming place full of history. We got the car parked and then went around on foot or by bike only, except for one bus ride excursion to a waterfall. We actually could have gotten there by bike, I think, but the weather was threatening rain so we took a tour bus instead. But walking was totally do-able for the old section, and we found plenty to explore for the five days of our visit. It is a lovely city, and I definitely recommend a visit. I already would love to go back.