Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Traveling Gaspesie--a photo journey (We begin our travels in Quebec City)

Our travels to the beautiful Gaspe' Peninsula in Canada's Quebec province was absolutely the journey of a lifetime.  No amount research and planning could have prepared me for the unparalleled beauty that we found in that amazing place. You are invited to follow along with me as I share photos and narration of our adventures along the way. By the time we have completed this photo journey,you will feel as though you have truly been there as well~ 

 September 14-18, 2014
Quebec City
From my journal--
"we began our journey in this place
that we have visited often and love so well..."

Historic Quebec City is the only fortified city in North America.
A UNESCO Heritage site --
the city is famous for it's well preserved architectural treasures.
This beautiful place is a living history book --
every garden, building, and street corner
is it's own chapter.  
Come along with us as we walk the streets of this 
incredible city.
 Be sure to put your best walking shoes on
you don't drive in Quebec City!!
The only way to venture onto these cobblestone streets
is to WALK!

Quebec City, 
one of the oldest cities in North America
has origins that date back to the 16th century.

  around every corner are tiny little streets~
this  is one of our favorites--

Near Place d'Armes and close to Ste-Anne street, la Rue du Trésor is absolutely charming. Here you will be delighted by the craftsmanship's and paintings of all kinds.
 The French charm of Québec is reflected in this outdoor art gallery.
It is a beautiful and unique place to see and stroll.

the scenery in and around Quebec city 
is visually stunning.  
Artists are drawn to this magical place 
to paint and sketch~

one of our most favorite bakeries
From my journal--
"ohhh my favorite raisin pastries-
I am truly in heaven!"

 there is no way that you can stay on your diet
when you are visiting Quebec City--
I don't think I even made it through the first day!
the only saving grace for me 
was that 
we must have walked about 5-6 miles a day
around the city every day!

around every corner is an incredible
opportunity for photos!

you can wander for hours and hours --
finding cute little outdoor cafes
tucked into tiny little spaces...
(I love how they furnish blankets for your cool weather
outdoor seating) 

 cute little shops everywhere
selling maple syrup and maple flavored
candies and cookies...
I loved this beautiful display --
but this is not where you should buy your maple syrup--
hang on a bit longer here and I will show you where to buy it
at a great price! 

Quebec City is known for incredible restaurants--
every time we visit here we find new favorites! 
Cafe Saint Malo
 was our favorite from this trip
(The Gardener loved the mussels!) 
Quebec City is divided into an upper and lower town
You can access the lower town by walking down a series of steps
or ride the funicular.
this lovely area is located in the lower town

From my journal--
"the streets are always so festive
and the feel of the city is so very European--
it is almost like we are walking around in France"
more views of the beautiful streets~

From my journal--
"by night--
the city is pure magic"
the ancient fortress wall
is beautifully accented in the darkness of the city

one of the most famous and enduring symbols of the city~
the famous (and beautiful)
Le Chateau Frontenac
can be seen from almost every vantage point
as you walk around the town

these stairs separate the upper city
from the lower city
From my journal--
"my heart beats faster, just to walk down the stairs to the city below
because I know what lies along the narrow streets and around
all the corners.  Sometimes, I feel as though the city
has secrets to share with us ." 

no matter what time of year--
the streets are decorated with festive lighting
and the shops windows are decorated
with beautiful displays

Marche' du Vieux-Port
one of our most favorite places in the city
THIS is the place to purchase your maple syrup souvenirs--
the prices here are more in line with what 
the "locals" pay

the local market is simply an amazing place to visit~
you can buy fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables 
as well as dozens of local specialties,
 from Île d’Orléans-- blackcurrant wine to ciders, honeys, cheeses, sausages,
 chocolates, and, of course, 
maple-syrup products.
 we walked around for the longest time--
just taking photos!
Go early if you want to casually walk and enjoy the scenery--
this market starts to get very crowded by mid morning!
Quebec City is home to many beautiful
churches and cathedrals --
many of them dating back to the
17th and 18th century
From my journal--
"all over the city you can hear
the sound of church bells ringing.
I try to stop and listen--
I want to remember..."
every night we walked the city--
for hours and hours,
just ambling up and down the cobblestone streets~
 around every corner
you hear the"clip clop" of the horses~
carriage rides around the city
are a romantic and pleasurable way to
view the city at night
one of my most favorite night time views~
we must have walked up and down this street a dozen time
and every time I felt the need to just stop
and take it all in
the Le Chateau Frontenac 
stands high above the city--
with the St.Lawrence River in the background~
 sometimes when you walk around the city--
you need to look UP
to see the displays and decorations~

beautiful flower filled window boxes,
hanging planters filled with blooms and vines~
 I gave my hiking boots a good workout
for sure on this trip!

Painted murals can be found all over the city--
this one is the largest and most famous~

Place- Royale
one of the most beautiful and historic areas
in the old city

 you can wander past the historic period buildings
 along the cobblestone streets,
 enjoying the area's boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants

Locals bestow Place-Royale as the spiritual and historical heart of Vieux Quebec,
 for this spot is not only the birthplace of French Civilization in North America
 but also one of the continent’s oldest settlements. 
 That history resonates, as this site has the largest surviving ensemble
 of 17th and 18th century buildings in 
North America.
Dominating the plaza is the oldest church in Quebec, 

 another one of my most favorite places in the city
From my journal--
"I am mesmerized by this beautiful church,
and so humbled to stand in such a place,
knowing the history that belongs to here~"

 just a few more reasons to totally blow your diet
when you come to town
From my journal--
"oh heavens, I already know
I've gained 5 pounds in this town!"

is it any wonder that we probably took
at least 1000 photos 
in the few days
that we spent in this amazing place??

we've been here several times
and are quite familiar with the city--
I snapped this photo of the Gardener
giving directions to the tourists!
little did I know that it would be one of the last photos 
of this magnificent museum
The Muse du Fort
is one of the cities most prized cherished possessions.
one day while we were having lunch, 
we heard bells, and sirens, and alarms of all kinds.
When we stepped outside the restaurant to see what was going on--
we discovered that the roof of this museum had caught fire
badly damaging this wonderful museum.
A terrible tragedy for the city as priceless
and irreplaceable displays were
badly damaged. 

no visit to Quebec City would be complete
without spending some serious time walking around the grounds
of the beautiful
Le Chateau Frontenac
a visit inside the hotel will
bring you to some lovely restaurants
and fun little shops
the view at night
is simply breathtaking

So-- do you feel as though you have truly visited Quebec City?  Even though I have filled this post with "way too many photos"--- trust me -- there is so much more of the city that I have not even shared!  But -- we must move on!! On my next post I will take you just a short distance outside of the city --- we are working our way due east as far as we can go -- to the place where the Saint Lawrence meets the Atlantic and beyond~~
 Just about 15 miles downstream from Quebec City, the St. Lawrence River splits and the land between is Orleans Island, or Ile d'Orleans.  This rural island of immaculate farms and pastures is 22 miles long and 6 miles wide. In a lazy afternoon you can drive around the entire island-- and we did.  I'm taking you there on our next photo journey~

A note about the photos and the journey-- 
All of the photos were taken with our Iphone cameras.  We did not plan it that way-- but it made the picture taking so easy....
Sorting through the photos to compile this incredible photo journey is no easy task.  In fact -- it is a huge task.  In the three weeks that we traveled, we took over 5000 photos.  I am reliving this incredible journey as I edit the photos for these posts.  Understandable -- this is taking some time.  I'll be back in a couple of weeks with the next post -- and on and on -- until we reach the end of this journey.  On the last post -- I will provide all the details of our itinerary including our daily mileage, hotels,activities-- even our favorite restaurants. It may take us until late spring or early summer to reach the completion -- but hang with me if you can and it will be an amazing journey for you, I promise.   


NanaDiana said...

WOW- Amazing post and I love the snippets from your journal. This will be another journal of sorts for you here on your blog. What fun!!!! Thanks for taking us along for the ride. xo Diana

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Can you believe I live only seven hours from this gem, Vicki? Your lovely photos really tell the story of a place lost in time yet ever new :)

Gracie Saylor said...

Your beautiful photos of the amazing architecture, the huge doors on some of the buildings, the mural, the markets and imagining the bells and the taste of the food and a ride in a horse drawn carriage help me feel like I am with you enjoying what you did. Thanks! Even though I have done some traveling through Canada, you help me have a fresh perspective and appreciation because of your viewpoint. xx

Joyful said...

I've enjoyed this beautiful post of a very beautiful city, Vicky. I was blessed to visit this place for the first time almost 2 years ago now. I would love to visit again. I look forward to more of your posts featuring the area.

Catherine said...

I hope you are having a wonderful trip. The photos are stunning even if taken on your iPhones. I never knew Quebec city was so beautiful. It is now on my list of "must visit" places.

Cherie said...

Such a lovely selection of photo's. I could feel the pounds piling on just looking at those gorgeous pastries.

Julie said...

A spectacular account of Quebec, what a magnificent and magical place to visit. I've loved seeing it through your eyes. x

Jen said...

The photography is beautiful ,Thank you for the trouble to share and post .I will never get to go to Quebec so I really enjoyed seeing Quebec through your eyes.

Julia said...

Thanks so much for sharing this amazing journey in the Old Quebec City. It is as you said breathtaking.
My husband and I have visited the same area you did but not in depth like you did, but everywhere we went was a new experience.

My daughter stayed in the street just below Le Chateau Frontenac when she was attending University
Laval so we got to visit. I love everything about the place. Very romantic place to visit.

I'm looking forward to the rest of your journey.

Sue Kosec said...

Oh my ... you had me at the hanging flowers and vines. And the pasteries. What a beautiful city - you are so very fortunate to have seen it all, tasted it all and heard it all.

Just beautiful, my friend.

Down On The Farm said...

Oh my goodness. What an absolutely GORGEOUS CITY! I could look at your pictures and read your descriptions all day long. I DO feel like I've been there lol. Thank you so very much for sharing. I believe I must add this City to my travel bucket list! Blessings from Missouri!

Anonymous said...

Loved traveling these beautiful streets with you!

Sandi said...

In May 1997 I flew from Vancouver to Montreal for a three week trip including the Maritimes.

Spring was just arriving in Quebec City with daffodils finally coming out. It was magical visiting this historic city and then driving around the Gaspsee and onto the Maritimes. We crossed over Confederation Bridge to PEI days after the bridge opened. Definitely a trip to remember.

Thanks for reviving memories of Quebec City and that staircase.

Cache-Mire said...

You have added another place to visit on my bucket list!! It looks amazing and I can't wait to see more! Hugs, Terri

Createology said...

Vicki dear thank you and the Gardener so very much for sharing your amazing travels with us. I do feel like I can now go and enjoy the very best Quebec City has to offer. Creative Travel Bliss...

Anne's Attic - Design said...

Vicki, I so enjoyed your trip. I love beautiful old cities that hold so much history in them. Thank you for allowing me to see it through your eyes, and those muscles looked mighty good! Jo

lynn cockrell said...

What a fabulous trip this must have been, Vicki! Your photos of the city and you and your husband are stunning. The pictures really do look as if they could have been taken in France. Thanks for sharing!

Mereknits said...

What an amazing adventure! I think every photo is just stunning. How fun for both of you.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Typically I am a homebody and love to stay in familiar surroundings, but this post has me wanting to pack my bags. The evening photos were stunning and that pastry shop has my mouth watering!!! Can't wait to see more. Maple syrup....pancakes! Your post is going to cause me to throw my diet out the window!

Dorthe said...

Vicki, dear, this is, I can see, a most fantastic city, ..so beautiful, and filled with so much to discover.
Wonderful architecture, to study both day and night,- and the flowers, and vegetables looks so bright and wonderful in the huge amounts shown. Your legs must have been very tired , fulfilling the wishes of seing it all !!

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

I visited Québec city when I was 17, and I fell in love. I have been trying to convince my family to make it our next vacation for some time. They don't really like city vacations. They are more the camping sort. But one day....

Magpie's Mumblings said...

You are an incredible tour guide! I have never been to Quebec City and now I feel as though I have. We made a trip to the east coast a number of years ago and the only day we could fit in a trip to the Gaspe was cancelled on account of extreme fog. The locals told us not to attempt it. Alas, we've never had the opportunity to go back. I will be much anticipating seeing it through your eyes.

Eugenia Maru http://lulurulitos.blogspot.com said...

Another wonderful trip, I am glad, that you can do.
Continues to enjoy while you can, life is short.
A hug.

WE said...

Amazing pictures, thanks for sharing. Yes, it seems all corners wherever you go looks beautiful in this city :)


I'm mesmerized by all the beauty and grandeur of this awesome vacation Vicki! Especially the night scenes - Your photography is simply exquisite!

jeanniemc said...

What a wonderful post! Love all the pictures and can't wait to see the rest...have been to the Vancouver area but not here...will add to my list!

HeathersSewingRoom said...

Thanks for the journey that you took me on. Some stunning photos and now it makes me want to go myself!

Nonna Rose said...

Great post! I would love to visit Quebec City, it looks beautiful.

Polly said...

Really enjoyed this post. Absolutely beautiful photos, the night time shots are stunning. It's a beautiful place, I have put Quebec on my bucket list!

Ariadne said...

That was a great travel log of a place I will probably never visit and so enjoyed it!Thanks for sharing!AriadnefromGreece!

Tammy said...

wow...loved seeing all the beautiful photos of your trip .. i'm so jealous of your wonderful travels!!!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I could spend a small, or large, fortune on the paintings...beautiful art work!