Quebec City is absolutely great. As I said, before, I got here and hitched a ride from the airport since there wasn’t a bus and taxis were a whopping $37 flat rate. Ouch. Since my couch surfing host has to work, I had most of the day to wander around Quebec City and become stunned.
I’m a big fan of Canada already, for years I’ve listed Vancouver, B.C. as my favorite city in the world. I may have to change that, Quebec City is jockeying for position.
When I arrived it was pretty cold. I put on my fleece and my jacket and considered pulling out my gloves too. Uh-oh, I thought, I’m going to need to gear up. Then, yesterday, it was clear, sunny, and incredibly hot. Everyone flooded into the parks that are everywhere in Quebec City. Sunbathers, people wading in the many fountains, bicycling with no shirts or wearing shorts. It’s nice to be somewhere where the body isn’t taboo and a guy can walk around with his shirt off on a hot day without attracting any attention.
I needed to do laundry so I wandered into the old city and found a laundromat and washed everything. The price was very reasonable at $1.25 Canadian per wash/dry. Incidentally, the exchange rate is favorable at the moment so a U.S. dollar will get you $1.04 Canadian. Feels nice after having to lose buying Euros.
Quebec City is gorgeous. While the cities of Europe were also very nice, they always felt like something was missing from them. I think it is because I’m a North American and we North American’s have a different sense of space, nature, and certainly history. This city has the charm of old Europe, the flavor of France, and the essence North America. It’s like a U.S. city without most of the negatives like gun violence, McDonalds on every corner, Walmart, Starbucks, and an uptight protestant Christian ethic. Yeah, I like it. If I could figure out how to swap my citizenship overnight, I would be proud to walk around with a Mapleleaf. (Incidentally, I’ve never been one of those Americans who pretends to be Canadian…I’d just like to be.) But, it’s actually quite a process to get Canadian citizenship unless you are already wealthy…
Anyway, here are a few pictures for you to enjoy.
It’s a Woodchuck!
Originally published 22 May 2009