Thursday, 26 September 2013

Up and Down in Old Quebec City

Le Vieux Québec (Old Quebec City) is built on a large rocky cliff overlooking the St. Lawrence River. This is what gave the city its strategic military importance in days of yore. The magnificent Fairmont Chateau Frontenac hotel crowns Upper Town. Below it lies Lower Town along the river's shore. Both areas feature beautifully restored old buildings full of shops, restaurants, museums, etc.


There are two ways for a tourist to go between Upper Town and Lower Town. First, you can take L'Escalier du Casse-Cou (Breakneck Stairs). These stairs have existed since 1635 (replaced several times, of course, over the centuries). Walking down to Lower Town is fine. Walking back up to Upper Town is another thing. What you don't see in my photo is that, at the top of Breakneck Stairs, there is a further very steep climb via sidewalk past more shops and restaurants and then there is another set of stairs leading up to the Chateau Frontenac. Pretty daunting.


OR you can simply ride the Funiculaire du Vieux Québec! This vertical funicular railway with two cars has existed since 1879. Renovated and rebuilt several times, it now runs on electricity instead of the old water ballast system. It will carry you in comfort up and down from the Chateau Frontenac to the base of Breakneck Stairs. Each one-way trip costs $2 per person and, believe me, it is worth every single friggin' penny.


This is the view of Lower Town that you see from the Funicular. The St. Lawrence River is very narrow at Quebec which also made the City easier to defend and therefore more impregnable.


[Photos by Debra She Who Seeks and My Rare One, June 2013]

37 comments:

Vanessa Morgan said...

Quebec looks awesome. I hope I'll be able to go there one day. Have a lovely Thursday.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i've spent a lot of time in the frontenac! i love it in winter when you can sit in the restaurant and watch people toboggan down the slide they erect on the side. i was always lazy and took the funicular on the way back up! i am funicular savvy since i have one right in front of my house.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Wow if that would be hard going up those stairs everyday and probably rough on the legs going back down. Probably people do it.

Miss Val's Creations said...

The photos are beautiful, like something right out of France! My parents stayed in Chateau Frontenac years ago but I have yet to make that trek which is actually driveable from where I am. Those are some serious stairs!

DEZMOND said...

such gorgeous chateau and I love those stairs too!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Such great photos of a beautiful area! I've been to Quebec City a couple of times, but a very long time ago. It's a lovely place to visit; very quaint and scenic. Old Montreal is similar to it, but on a much smaller scale.

Suzanne said...

Thank you so much for the tour! Simply breath taking.

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Lovely tour of Quebec. Would love to visit there one day. The Funicular reminds me a lot of the Duquesne incline in Pittsburgh, PA.

Adam said...

a beautiful section of town

Laurie said...

what a beautiful city,

Dexter Klemperer said...

Wow, definitely need to get there some day! More restaurant/food pics please!

A Beer For The Shower said...

Wow, that looks beautiful. And hey, I say bring on the stairs!

LL Cool Joe said...

I'd be using the railway too. I ain't as fit as I used to be, so bring it on, that's what I say! :D

Betty said...

I would love to visit there! It's beautiful!

Robin Larkspur said...

Magnifinicular!!! I have ridden it many a time. Adore old QC. You are making me homesick!!!

Linda Wildenstein said...

Wow, what a gorgeous city. It is so very beautiful and hurray for the alternative to all those stairs. Thanks for yet another education tour. Loved it. Oma Linda

Jenn said...

Ah, memories of a high school trip to Quebec City... discovering beer for sale at the nearby depanneur, which resulted in a spectacular tumble down l'escalier casse-cou. Great photos!

gal artist said...

Oh wow, I would love to go there!

Elsie said...

Amazing! I'd pay the $2 in a heartbeat too!

Ol'Buzzard said...

Great post: beautiful pics. Perhaps my wife and I will be able to visit some day.
the Ol'Buzzard

mrsduncanmahogany said...

I have never been but these picture make me want to go today! Those stairs!

CraveCute said...

Wonderful photos! What a lovely city!

Sharon said...

Wow Quebec looks so pretty :)

Willow said...

It is beautiful and I adore the colored roof tops too !

YONKS said...

Look at that Chateau!
I had no idea Quebec was so beautiful.
Thanks for the tour :-)
Di
xoxoxo

mxtodis123 said...

My son lives in a beautiful area of the Bronx, but he has to climb stairs like that every day to get home. I could never do it.
Mary

DWei said...

Where are the mimes? I was told there would be mimes!

Birdie said...

I took the stairs down and the elevator up. And those stairs are called Breakneck Stairs for good reason.

Magic Love Crow said...

I love Quebec! I haven't been there in a long time! Gorgeous pictures!! Beautiful city!

Cheryl said...

I agree with the others. WOW..those pictures are so beautiful. I can see that people wouldn't want to walk those stairs more than once but I would think to try it once would be a neat thing.

heartinhand said...

Sigh. I need to go there. It's on my places to go list.

Riot Kitty said...

That looks so beautiful! I need to go visit.

Guillaume said...

I love the Vieux Québec. Not a big fan of Quebec City itself, even though I was born there and my family on my mother's side originates from there (Montmorency in fact).

Professor Chaos said...

Oh, man. When we were in Mopntreal, my wife's Canadian relatives told us we should go to Quebec City. I should have known they were right. Canadians are always right.

dbs said...

Can't wait to go there.

Summer said...

On my first trip to Vieux Quebec, our tour guide proudly annouced to his out-of-breath group "The women of Quebec have the best legs in Canada!" It was very evident (by the shaking of our legs) that us ladies could not pass for Quebecoise, lol.

laughingwolf said...

...always preferred qc to montreal....