Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 70: Historical Quebec City

By on Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM

I suppose we don't have rally's here because 95% of the residents speak French. This left us with time to languish over a late breakfast, before exploring the old town, through walking the streets, reading, listening and once again Grayline touring, we soaked up some of the history.

Lets start with old. How old? Well, a lot older than the blue cheese we bought at the fromagerie last night. North America's oldest city is here,Augustine, est.1639. Second is Jamestown, Virginia. Oldest Hospital in NA too, The Sisters of Augustine,e st.1639. On a larger scale the province can fit 4.5 Frances into its space, although their population is 48m vs Quebec's 8m. The city was built as a perfect place to control and defend the traffic on the river. Quebec is a Huron word for, "Where the river narrows." Fortifications and a wall were built around the city and so any intruders had to somehow land troops and attack on foot.

That's exactly what British General James Wolfe did in 1759, when he clashed with French General Montcalm's men on the Plains of Abraham. Wolfe fooled Montcalm by bringing his men up a steep embankment from the river, which took Montcalm by surprise. Some say, not true, that a dog actually warned Montcalm by barking "wulf,wulf." (Sorry here.) Fact is Montcalm blew it by not standing firm behind the fortifications and took his 2,000 troops to meet Wolfe's forces on the plains. In following the warfare tactics of the 7 years war between the 2 nations that was going on at the time, in Europe, it was unfortunately the Generals who led the soldiers onto the field. As a result both generals were mortally wounded, Montcalm dying on the battlefield and Wolfe a day later in the city. When The Treaty of Paris was signed the vanquished King of France, Louis XV, gave Quebec (New France) to the English for two small Caribbean Islands. He was never forgiven for trading his people for rum and spices. Anyway there's a dash of history for ya.

We let the boys do what they do and Gin and I strolled down Rue Grand Allee in old Quebec, where we chose a modest place for dinner. It was Saturday night in the old city, but with the music festival etc, West Palm Beach had nothing on the Rue. It rocked and rolled and all the cafes and restaurants were packed. Wow, good times in Quebec City!!


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