I fully expected to see a monument to French explorer Samuel de Champlain while strolling along the Terrasse Dufferin in the heart of Old Quebec. Known as the “Father of New France”, Champlain was the founder of Quebec City, along with several other colonies along the St. Lawrence River.
What I did not expect to see, was an elephant… Salvador Dali’s $3.6 million “Space Elephant” is on exhibit for two-years.
Quebec is the only walled city in North America north of Mexico. The Porte Saint Louis is one of several gates that welcome you to Old Quebec. While is has been rebuilt twice, as recently as 1880, the original gate is from 1694. Once we climbed to the top, we were able to walk along the wall to the next gate at Rue Dauphine.
The wall continues around the old city, and we found the fortified ramparts near the Saint Lawrence River at the Montmorency Historic Site. As we turned from the river view, I captured the steeple of the Seminary of Quebec, founded in 1663, in the background.
Our name was everywhere! A short walk down the street from our quaint hotel in Old Quebec brought beautiful architecture with every step. Our daily breakfast spot was just a few doors down. L’Omelette served a terrific breakfast, and was open all day for that elusive dessert we so needed one evening!
As we strolled down the block, the city’s charm oozed at every corner. We did not opt for the carriage ride, as the lovely day was meant for wandering.
Quebec City, founded as a French colony in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, was selected for its perfect location along the St. Lawrence River. From a ferry ride across that river, the old city’s walls, charm, and vibrance are as beautifully real as the images portray.
The village of Baddeck is in the heart of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The Kidston Island Lighthouse overlooks Bras d’Or Lake (“Arm of Gold”), an inland sea, and can be seen from several vantage points in Baddeck, including the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Bell’s biography is an interesting one, starting in Edinburgh, Scotland with a mother who was deaf, and a father who ran a school for the deaf. After moving to North America, first Ontario Canada, and then the USA, Bell continued working with the deaf in New England, where one of his students became his wife. Bell met, and was a integral part of Helen Keller‘s education, as well. Baddeck became Bell’s summer residence, and eventually his permanent home, which he called Beinn Bhreagh (“beautiful mountain”). Bell, along with his father-in-law, were part of the group of founders of the National Geographic Society. Oh yes, somewhere along the line he invented the telephone, 🙂
And these moments are why we we came…all 3,300 miles round trip…to see and drive through the Cape Breton Highlands and capture these views. I have never had a trip exceed my expectations as much as this drive. The wow factor was in full effect – rich colors and stunning surroundings; I want to return and experience it again.
I’m not sure how we found this spot; maybe there was a sign indicating the cemetery we found, and that drew me to drive in. Just outside of Margaree, this overlook gave us our first glance of the rugged cliffs that are so prevalent in Cape Breton. The above view looks south, and then we turned to experience quickly changing weather causing the clouds to race across the sky, while we stood in this grassy field.