Today’s guest post comes from Lovinia, who will be in 8th grade next year. She’s been reading this blog since 5th grade, but this is her first guest post! Lovinia wrote about her recent trip to Quebec. This is a beautiful city that isn’t too far from Boston, but a very unique place with a European feel. Read on to hear about Lovinia’s experience there. * * * * * * * *
Hi Guys! I was in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada recently, so here are some things I learned and did.
Quebec originally started as one house. It was owned by a man, who wanted to trade with the Natives in the area. The man’s name was Samuel de Champlain, and he was a French explorer. He built a single house near the water, and he lived there. He had traveled there mostly for the fur that the Natives had. He traded glass beads to the Natives, because they liked the colors and look of the beads, and had no way of making them. When this man died, more people came, and eventually the single house was a city, the city of Quebec. Quebec was founded in 1763, and so it is a little older than the United States.
The house burnt down at one point, and the people took the foundation, and built a church. I visited the church there, and got a tour of the basement, where the original foundation was. The church is one of many beautiful buildings in Old Quebec. Old Quebec is part of the city that is inside the fortress walls. I can’t tell you much about the wall though, because I didn’t get to take a tour of it. Old Quebec is the oldest part of the city, hence the name, Old Quebec. There was a lot of beautiful roads and colors, and the houses were part of the scenery as well. The part of the city I spent quite a lot of time in, had cobblestone roads and was blocked from street vehicles which made it a great place for tourism and shopping.
I mentioned earlier that Champlain was a French explorer, so the people who colonized it were also from France, so everyone spoke French. Most people spoke good English, because they learn it in school. Usually people could tell you spoke English straight away, but a few times someone addressed me with French which caused me to give a look like, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I knew how to say I don’t speak French, “Je ne parle pas Français,” but I was so confused that my mom would cover for me, or someone nearby would tell me what they said. Another thing that people mistook me for, was being over 18! I am 13, there is a pretty big gap, and I don’t know how to say I am 13, so that was confusing.
The food in Quebec is pretty much the same, except there are more pastry places, and the pastries taste better, but other than that, the portions were just as big. They also had a junk food they call Poutine, which is basically french fries covered in gravy. When my family went on a carriage ride/tour, the tour guide made fun of it, saying it was way over priced. The one thing that was different was the crepes. They are like flat pancakes that people fold stuff into. There are dessert crepes, and dinner crepes, depending what you put in them. I hadn’t heard of them until I went there. Speaking of dessert, the menus usually listed fruit as being dessert, which was surprising, since in America, fruit isn’t dessert unless it is covered in sugar or on a cake or something like that.
I was also in Quebec for the Festival d’été de Québec, the summer music festival. I did not see any performances, but my family did come upon Billy Joel practicing on stage, and unlike in America, the security guards let everyone stay and watch the rehearsal. The summer music festival has many famous singers come and perform, a couple days before we came, Lady Gaga had sung at the festival. There were also a lot of singers my parents like, but I had never heard of before, so I can’t remember their names.
I stayed in the Chateau Frontenac. It is a luxury hotel built to look like a castle. It is built on top of a hill, so you can look out over part of Quebec. The hotel had a pool, a gym, stores, a ballroom, spas, and many other attractions. I spent three nights there. Most people don’t stay in the hotel during the day, because there are lots of sights to see. One I haven’t mentioned yet is a waterfall I visited. It had a winding stairwell that went down along a cliff side, and at the bottom was a platform that you could stand and get misted on. The waterfall is called Montmorency Falls, and it runs into the river through Quebec. The river was used to power many factories in Quebec, and was its main source of energy. The falls were huge, and there were a lot of people from multiple countries like Japan, and other parts of Canada, as well as plenty of Americans.
That’s what I did in Quebec, I also shopped A LOT but that wasn’t the theme. Sorry I couldn’t choose one topic to talk about, but I really wanted to get it all in there.