Montreal to Tadoussac Part 2 of 3

Catch up with part 1 here

Looking on a map, the distance between Montreal and Quebec does not seem so great.  In addition, back home I live in a town where it’s possible to drive to Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham within an hour and a half.  As such, I was in for a rude awakening when I found out that the journey would take more than double that.  Montreal is interesting in that it still has its city walls, ensconced inside which is the old town with a more Parisian feel.  On arrival I made my way through the steep streets of the walled city towards the bus stop that would take me to my second bed and breakfast I noticed a much greater French influence in the architecture and street layouts and for a moment I could perhaps forget that I was standing on Canadian soil and believe that I was standing on a street in France.  Gone were the outdoor staircases of Montreal.  My short stay in Quebec was dominated by the Châteauesque architecture of the Chateaux Frontenac.  This impressive building was built in 1893 as part of Canada’s Grand Railway Hotels drive across the country.  Guests included Roosevelt and Churchill during the Second World War and the major planning of D-Day or Operation Overlord (the Allied invasion of Normandy) was conducted here and in the nearby Citadelle during the First Quebec Conference.  The Second Quebec Conference which met to determine what the post-war world would look like was likewise held at the hotel and Citadelle.   

The Citadelle today is also the home of the local francophone royal 22e regiment, the official residence of the governor general of Canada as well as that of the Monarch of Canada.  I visited the Citadelle whilst there.  They have a museum dedicated to the Royal 22e Régiment (Royal 22nd Regiment), it’s hardships in wars and it’s struggle to establish a permanent francophone force in Canada.  I also attended a tour of the grounds which told you a little about the history of the local area that you could see as well as of the armaments housed within the fortress.  You also get fantastic views of the St. Lawrence river and the Chateaux Frontenac.  In addition to this, there is a daily cannonade at midday and they bring Batisse X the goat mascot of the regiment out for the changing of the guard.  This little cutie is the tenth in line from a tradition that has lasted since the Queen sent the first Batisse.   

I found the city pleasant and verdant during my short stay.  The plains of Abraham, historically famous for the battle that cost the lives of both commanding officers and led to the transference of Quebec to the British Empire has now been turned into a park that makes a pleasant walk from which you can see the St. Lawrence River through the trees.  There is also a very interesting museum: The Plains of Abraham Museum which is dedicated to the founding of Quebec City after its discovery by Jacques Cartier, interactions with the native peoples and the subsequent transference of Quebec to the British Crown.  For the most part however, it focuses on the battle of the Plains of Abraham.  It contains uniforms from the era and a multimedia virtual exhibit of the battle.   

As I made my way back through town to the bus stop for the next leg of my journey I regretted not having crossed the river in order to take what I imagine would be fantastic photos of the Citadelle and Chateaux Frontenac. 

Part 3 coming soon! 

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