What Travel Writers Say

Québec: 'the kid with style'

© By CTC News Staff

If Canada's a puzzle, Quebec's a huge piece. Literally. (Consider that France would fit inside of it three times.) Remember, "New France" was here first, and Francophones claim a certain pride of first arrival. There is an élan about French Canada, a European je ne sais quoi that charges it up. Quebec can dance. It wears its hair down and its heart on its sleeve. It knows its history and can sing it-in the shower or at any little boîte àchanson you care to name.
     Montréal , Quebec's commercial and cultural hub (and second-largest city in Canada), has a cosmopolitan vibe unmatched in Canada. (Privately or not, it's many Canadians' favourite city: it's the cool, mysterious kid we wanted to be like.) And visiting Québec City , the walled provincial capital that's like nothing in North America, well, that's like stepping back into a time when beavers were currency and rivers were roads-the first draft of Canada, if you like.
     To light out then to the regions-the sugar maples of the Eastern Townships , the whales of the Saguenay , the rock sentinels of the Gaspé Peninsula -is to round out the picture of la belle province.
     Québec is more extreme than the R.O.C. (Rest of Canada), and that includes its weather: hot summers and cold winters. That cold aside, winter may just be the best time to visit, what with Bonhomme (Winter Carnival king) lumbering around in Quebec, Mont Tremblant alive with skiers and the Habs in perennial contention for the Stanley Cup. But summer's pretty great, too, what with all that jazz floating down St. Denis.
     Québec. Gotta love it. Tout le kit.

Quebec in a nutshell:
·  Fresh sheet: bagels, poutine, tourtière, maple syrup on ice, smoked-meat sandwiches
· Beer: Molson Export
· Destinations: Museum of Civilization, The Plains of Abraham, Lachine Canal National Historic Site, Mount Royal
· Troubadours: Félix Leclerc, Gilles Vigneault (Unofficial Anthem: Mon Pays, Ce N'est Pas un Pays: C'est Hiver)
· Background music: Oscar Peterson, Leonard Cohen, Daniel Lanois (Unlikely musical double-bill: Celine Dion and Arcade Fire) (French/English musical bridge: Kate & Anna McGarrigle)
· Pavilion by: Moshe Safdie
· Institutions: Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, La La La Human Steps, Montréal Symphony Orchestra
· Written in stone: Roch Carrier, Mordecai Richler, Michel Tremblay, Mavis Gallant (with help from: Marie-Claire Blais, Yann Martel)

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission

If you go
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Quebec
Tourism Québec: www.bonjourQuebec.com

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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