Saturday, August 29, 2009

One Night in mon Paris..

Quebec City - A city for lovers
Something most will not know about me, or will have forgotten, is that I lived in Old Quebec City for almost 6 months shortly after graduation. It is an absolutely beautiful city, and when I arrived back there yesterday for a work event, I decided my trip would not be complete without a drive around my old stomping ground.

What I always felt was the most romantic city in our country has not changed. Even in weather that resembled November 29 more than August, couples hurried along the cobblestones, umbrellas in hand, admiring the 400 year old beauty by night.

Sadly, what was also equally as true, is Quebec City is still a very lonely city when you're by yourself. I drove up and down the one-way streets in La Vielle Quebec, reliving my summer spent wandering the city on beautiful, warm weekend mornings.

The feeling that crept into my stomach was one I knew very well while I lived here. All this beauty and culture, and all I wanted to do was share it with someone. It just seemed like such a pity to enjoy all on one's own. When I look back on living in the city, it's the one reason my whole experience was not as memorable as I would have liked. Perhaps, I had the wrong attitude about the city altogether, but it is definitely the culture that draws people to this city. Its the breathtaking moments of the sun reflecting off the old wall or the calm of the St. Lawrence at dawn. Photos could never do the city justice.

The old city is fueled primarily by tourism and arts, and from a city-living standpoint, I never saw the convenient amenities that attract urban-dwellers to other large Canadian cities. There is a bus system, but I never had the opportunity to take advantage of it to get to the shopping centers in the suburbs, parking is sparse, and the market stores, where I pick up fresh bread and fruit in Toronto, also just don't exist.

All is not lost though, because even a lone traveller needs to eat. The city has some phenomenal restaurants and lovely patios. Take a suggestion from Meetings Canada, and check out some of their recommendations. My personal favorite? Le Cochon Dingue.

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