Disposable Camera Tour|
Inside Old Quebec City
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A view from above, looking down to a portion of the Old Port. The poorer lower village was hit hardest in each of six historic sieges on the city. Attackers, firing at the fort from across the river, would usually hit this area instead. Nearby is the Quartier Petit Champlain, billed as "the oldest commercial neighborhood in North America." Today it's marvelously reconstructed with stone buildings, shops, restaurants and museums. It should be tacky, but it feels authentic.
The city guide lists about 30 places to stay inside the city walls, 40 just outside and another 50 nearby. Here's one halfway between the Frontenac and the lower city that goes for under $100 a night. This is the very spot, at the top of the "Break Your Next Stairs" that the American soldiers arrived. They marched from Massachusetts with Gen. Benedict Arnold. Had they been successful, this might have been part of New England. Kenneth Roberts tells the story in his novel "Arundel." For you outsiders, Arundel is the old name for Kennebunk, Maine, not far from Seacoast, NH.
A view from the same bed and breakfast shows a bit of the St. Lawrence and a giant beer truck heading down the steepest and oldest road in North America. The large building is the local historical society. Old Quebec tourist books are accurate; the stone architecture, the French language and the extraordinary cuisine actually make this feel like a trip to Europe. But we are only six hours from Portsmouth, and just a couple hours over the border from Jackman, NH.
Here in the lower village, British General Wolfe and French leader Montcalm endlessly replay the battle for cultural dominance over Quebec City. The museums and galleries here rival those in of much larger cities around the world. Despite a touch of Disney and a lot of gentrification, the spirit of the old French port shines through.
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All photos by J. Dennis Robinson and Ann McKone
taken with $10 disposable cameras.
© 1997 SeacoastNH.com
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