Alright, so I know the title of this blog is “Champlain Montreal Abroad Experience Fall 2011” but this post is not actually about Montreal.
“But if not Montreal, then what could you possibly be writing about, Roy? Canada as a whole? The French language? Kittens?” you may be wondering. Well, I’m going to be telling you about Quebec!
“But isn’t Quebec a province of Canada? Also, I’m not entirely sure what a province is” you may also be wondering. Well, here’s the deal. Canada is broken up into ten provinces and three territories. You’ve definitely heard of some of the provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and of course, Quebec!
Quebec is unique in that it is the only province with French as its official language. In fact, Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world! So that means that Montreal is the heart and soul of the province of Quebec, right?
Not exactly. Enter Quebec City: a breathtakingly beautiful port city a couple hours north of Montreal that emanates history through every cobblestone in its streets.
Think of it like this: just as Albany is the capital of New York, yet smaller and less city-like than New York City, Quebec City is the capital of Quebec, despite Montreal’s prominence. I don’t know if that explanation helped or confused things more.
Anyways, I can’t say enough about this city, but I guess I’ll try. About twenty of us left bright and early Friday morning to begin our long and sleepy voyage to this strange and wonderful place.
Upon arrival, the first thing we did was check into the hostel, a homey and happy facility that provides shelter for a largely international array of individuals, mostly students. Personally, I met a couple of guys from Belgium, a guy from Germany, an Australian girl, and Canadians from all over.
Grant met a bear.
If you’re planning on any international travel, this chain of hostels is definitely worth a gander: http://www.hihostels.ca/quebec/en/index.aspx?sortcode=2.7
After poking our heads out from our hostel haven we ventured out into the great unknown of Quebec City (although some of us were already quite nestled in)
Did you know Quebec city is haunted? Well, I didn’t. But after our official nighttime Ghost Tour of Quebec, I was pretty convinced. Our guide told us tales of an executioner forced to behead his own wife and a cursed ship captain’s disaster at sea. In fact, he himself might not have been of this world…
Despite having the poutine scared out of us, we continued onward in our explorations.
Among other fantastic sites, we saw the Image Mill, the largest projection screen in the world. Alas, they wouldn’t let me hook my Xbox up to it.
We had another, less ghostly, tour from a friend of the history professor here on the Champlain Montreal campus. This man was a walking encyclopedia of all things relating to Canadian history.
Trying to break the stereotype of culturally ignorant Americans, we all tried our best to fit in with the locals:
That’s far from all we did in the wondrous Quebec City, but words can’t do justice to it all. Needless to say, if you find yourself in Quebec (province) it is an absolute necessity to go to Quebec (city)!