Truthfully, we never made it much outside the historic town wall that surrounds Old Town during our stay in Quebec City.
We craved a more relaxed pace after the Montreal hustle. So we spent a couple days exploring without any agenda, not even a single vegan cafe pilgrimage. Besides a few stressful hours spent on the free WIFI at the tourist bureau (that really made me feel nomadic!) to send out my newsletter and publish a blog post, we were in pure vacation mode.
We arrived in Quebec City at night and were immediately enchanted by the city lights and lit up harbor. Here’s the view we had getting out of our car:
Now, my phone camera isn’t the best at low light situations, but I think you get the point.
We pulled over in front of our old, European-style hotel on a narrow one-way street, and unloaded our small overnight bag and a few larger food bags. It’s funny that we travel minimalist when it comes to clothes and toiletries but are totally weighed down when it comes to food. It’s my goal for our next nomadic adventure to streamline this.
Anyways, our hotel was right on the town wall; in fact the street name was rue des Remparts.
After the high-end luxury chain Sheraton of my Montreal b-day present, I loved the contrasting small bed-and-breakfast feel of this hotel. It reminded me of places you’d stay in Europe – old and not as shiny, but with character and a personal connection with the owners who were very friendly.
After checking in, we went out for a stroll. It was a full moon, and the streets had just a smattering of fellow walkers. And the architecture, all lit up by the streetlamps…
Probably one of the most romantic scenes ever. Good thing I had my honey with me. Too bad he had his beloved camera to spend time with instead. No, but really, I joke. It was magical in a not-so-corny way.
After our evening stroll, we retired to our 3rd floor walk-up hotel room. Did I mention I love stairs? Really, I’m being completely serious.
Then morning came, and we were hungry. First stop – the market for some fruits and veggies! Good thing there was a marche only a short walk away, near the water. My number one activity, even above stair-climbing.
We picked up some assorted fruits and veggies including lettuce and grapes.
Then we made the short walk back to the hotel, bags of produce in hand. As I walked along the narrow streets made for a time before cars, I visualized living there in Old Quebec, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. I love how you can see history in all the buildings.
The only negative is that, with all those building shadows, it’s hard to find sun to warm you up! But that’s what the open town squares are for.
Simple Hotel Room Prep
We didn’t eat out for a single meal during the entire time we were in Quebec City – made all our meals in our hotel room. There’s not much listed on Happy Cow for Quebec City, especially not in Old Town.
It was actually a nice change of pace from overindulging at vegan restaurants during my birthday weekend in Montreal.
So, what did I make in the hotel room with all those fresh purchases?
Breakfast was a variation on my travel go-to apple pie breakfast bowl but this time with fresh market peaches.
Dinner and lunch were salads with random veggies chopped up and tossed in.
Fresh (gmo-free) market corn is my go-to ingredient for making a summer hotel room meal easy and filling. I usually eat 2-3 cobs myself. Just shuck and cut the fresh kernels off the cob into your salad with your travel knife. If you’ve traveled by air and couldn’t bring your kitchen tools, it works just as well eaten directly off the cob!
Do you see the vegepate from Aux Vivres in Montreal making a guest appearance in the lower left corner of the above photo? Makes a delicious flavor addition to the salad.
With food taken care of, we were ready to sight-see.
Exercise + Exploration
Old Town Quebec City is built on a cliff, and there is some respectable topography and steep streets that make for a great walk. I call this exploring with a major dose of stairs…
Even better, we decided we wanted to walk along the only existing town wall in North America.
Thankfully, now that there’s no threat of siege, we can use the town wall as a place of recreation and peace.
Did I mention the view?
Check out Chateau Frontenac to the left and one of the many mega cruise ships that docks here along the Saint Lawrence River. When it lets out, beware because the Old Town population will swell and be teaming with tourists. Hey, wait, aren’t I a tourist? Glass houses and all that…
Perfect place to people watch. Much like the men stationed here in times past, I’m sure. Except they probably weren’t staring down at cruise-ship tourists in fanny packs…
Next stop, the pristine white stone, river locks, and hip neighborhoods of Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.
Now your turn. Tell us about your favorite place for a peaceful stroll.