As we had already visited New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, there wasn’t a lot we wanted to see on our way from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia to Quebec City. We generally like to travel for a day and then stay put for a week or two, but in this case we just put the pedal to the metal and drove for three straight days. It is a long way from Northeast Nova Scotia to any big city. In New Brunswick we followed along the St John River valley, many times with views of the river. We were up above the northern tip of Maine when we crossed from New Brunswick into the Province of Quebec. Form that border up to the St Lawrence River at Riviere du Loup, it was probably the roughest stretch of road we had been on during the past year. It was washboard rough in lots of sections, likely from frost heaving in the Spring. In Riviere du Loup, we caught our first glimpses of the St Lawrence River. There aren’t any bridges northeast of Quebec City as the river is just too wide for them – at least 10 miles of width and more all the way out to the sea.
In Quebec City, we stayed on the south side of the River in the city of Levis across from Quebec City. From there, we rode the ferry across the river. What an amazing view. It was easy to see why the French chose this spot for one of their first settlements, and one of the oldest European settlements in North America. It is on the highest rock top along the grand river. It was then fortified with huge walls making it very much a fortress city. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We like Frommers.com, the website of the travel book company, for its city walking tours. We followed their walking tours through the old city, founded in the late 1608. The skyline of Quebec City is dominated by the Chateau Frontenac and its copper roofs. It was built in the late 1800s by the Canadian Pacific Railway. As shown in the picture to the right, the main roof is being re-coppered this year. It is still copper color rather than the typical green oxidation. We toured the old city one day and went out through the ancient gates of the walled to city to tour newer parts of the city the next.