The message below from eClub member Ron Meade is so positive I want to pass it along with a tip on how to enjoy a trip to Quebec City free.
I have written several times that this is my favorite city and last time there I found a real jewel, a small team of cobblers, Denis Lapointe and Jean Lavalle who operate just across the river from Chateau Frontenac the small business “Chaussures sur mesure”. They make really wonderful hand made custom fitted boots and shoes. I bought my first pair decades ago and they never wear out. They are more comfortable than you can imagine, perfectly fit to my feet and are so wonderfully inexpensive that compared to what I would pay in the states the savings paid the cost of the trip.
Next time you plan to buy expensive shoes get ahold of these cobblers at 40A Cote du Passage, Levis (Quebec) G6V 5S7 Tel 417-835-6191
Here is Ron's report:
Quebec,Canada is an extraordinary experience! Having just returned from Montreal and Quebec City, I thought I'd share some of the majesty of this beautiful place with my friends. The French Canadian people in Nouvelle France had a real charm about them. They were friendly, kind and very service oriented. The US dollar is worth about 40% more, although their tax is about 16% total which really hurts.
We had an exotic dinner cruise on the St. Lawrence River last Tuesday nite cruising for 3 hours in the Montreal Harbor, stayed at the deluxe Ritz-Carlton for 2 nites and got to learn some about the historic second biggest city of Canada. We then departed by train and went north for 3 hours up to the incomparable Quebec City which is simply a gorgeous town with enough charm to make you want to change citizenship overnite.
I could definitely live in Quebec City for maybe 6 months out of the year. We stayed in Le Chateau Frontenac which put the Ritz to shame. Our room was simply stunning on the 17th floor of the tower, and deluxe doesn't begin to describe the place nor the amenities or services provided. The French food was simply delectable, the crepes, the rich sinful desserts, the presentation, the accompanying French folk music, the seven-course meal. It was pure opulence, and I can see why all the rich and powerful (ie. Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, FDR, Liz Taylor) all stayed at Le Chateau Frontenac in the past. It is the most photographed hotel in the world, and possibly one of the nicest facilities in the world.
We were escorted by horse and carriage and a very friendly and charming mademoiselle on Saturday evening as we dined (as a private audience)in the Quebec Provincial Parliament building. I felt like a Senator as we dined in the posh restaurant reserved for the heads of state and were entertained with the lovely musical “The Iron Mask”. Of course red and white wine are served in abundance with every dinner, and there is no sense of urgency or rushing to free up the tables when you dine in the French custom. The quaint architecture and stunning design of the housing and major buildings in Quebec City and to a somewhat lesser degree in Montreal are very eye-appealing and makes one yearn to return to the grace and elegance that is Quebec.
Believe me I could have simply stayed another week or two and leisurely sipped a cool glass of Merlot and absorb the beauty and charm of Quebec City, and watch the freighters pass by on the St. Laurent River.
It was perhaps the most enjoyable vacation I've ever experienced yet, and I certainly plan to return once again in the not too distant future.