Tag Archives: quebec city

Who are the Wendat?

wendat tipiAt one time there were about 25,000 Wendat First Nations people in North America. Wendat lived in 18 to 25 villages, some with up to 3,500 people along the shores of Lake Ontario.  Between 1634 and 1642 they were reduced to about 9,000 by a series of epidemics, measles, influenza and smallpox brought by the French. The French called the Wendat, the Huron.  dream catcher wendatAfter a war with the Iroquois a remnant of the Wendat people dispersed to different places in North America. One group ended up not far from where Quebec City is located today.  We visited a Wendat village set up for tourists when we were in Quebec. Dave and his cousin John had a long talk with one of the members of the tribe who was acting as a guide.  john and dave talk to huron guideThe present population of the Wendat,  near Québec City, is about 3,000. The majority are Catholic and use French as their first language.wendat long houseThe Wendat once lived in long houses which were up to 7 meters wide and 90 meters in length and housed extended families that traced a common descent to the same mother or grandmother.wendat villageHigh palisades around the villages offered protection.
wendat canoe
The Wendat traveled in birch bark canoes along the St. Lawrence River. wendat art workStory telling was important to the Wendat and they often used art to tell those stories. 

wendat fursThe Wendat were one of the most important suppliers of furs to the French exchanging their furs for goods from the French. dave and john talk to huron guideThe Wendat have lost their original language. At the site of their reconstructed village near Quebec City they are doing their best to preserve at least a part of their culture and heritage and share that knowledge with those who come to visit. 

Other posts………

Hopi at the Heard

Killing a Bison is Hard

Dave’s Vision Quest

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In Search of A Face

samchamprifleThere is no known likeness of the founder of New France Samuel D. Champlain.  He did do this sketch in a notebook of himself once, wearing armour and shooting a gun but it reveals nothing about what his face looked like. 


Samuel’s name on a gift shop named after him in Quebec City.

Champlain arrived in Quebec City in 1608 on a ship called The Gift of God and established a settlement with around 30 colonists. As you tour Quebec City you can find many artistic representations of Samuel Champlain.  Each sculptor or painter provides us with their idea of Samuel’s face.  Which one is the most realistic? 

champlain on mural in quebec cityI’m posing here with Samuel as he walks down the street on a large mural called Fresque des Québécois.champlain on legislature building quebecHere Samuel looks down from the very top of the Quebec provincial legislative building. pigeon on champlain's headThis visage of Champlain graces a statue on Dufferin Terrace along the waterfront in Quebec City. It was created by Paris artist Paul Chèvre, a Titanic survivor. 
champlain-by-theodore-usherAt the Musee de la Place Royale museum they show a film about an artist reading Champlain’s journals and trying to create a likeness of him. This painting is the result. It is by Theodore Usher.champlain-at-the-place-du-royaleI took a photo of this version of Samuel’s face in the Musee de la Place Royale. champlain statueThis bronze bust of Champlain by Albert Laliberte was created in 1908 and is on display in the Musees de la civilisation in Quebec City. samuel d. champlain

This sketch of Champlain is also in the Musees de la civilisation in Quebec City. 

There are different opinions about the value of the contributions Champlain made to Canada. Some see him as a great mapmaker and explorer and a principled leader who helped found our country.

Others say he was responsible for destroying the way of life established by Canada’s First Nations people. Either way, he looms large in the history of our country which is why artists have been trying for centuries to figure out what he looked like. 


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Now We’ve Been in Sister Cities

xian and quebec city sistersDuring our walking tour of Quebec City I was surprised to see this banner hanging on city hall.  Our guide told us that the city of Xian in China has been a sister city to Quebec City since 2001.  Some of Xian’s famous terra cotta warrior soldiers have been displayed at the Museum of Civilization in Quebec City and the University of Laval in Quebec City is helping the Department of Health in Xian to set up an awareness program for its citizens on the ill effects of smoking. 

biking-in-xianDave and I have visited Xian. Here we are biking on the wall around the city in 2005…….

dave-and-me-quebec-cityAnd here we are ten years later in 2015 in Xian’s sister city, Quebec City. 

Other posts…….

Visiting the Great Wall

Stick Stick Men

Watching the Blue Jays in Quebec City

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A Tiny Church

procession chapelThis tiny church is called a procession chapel.  basilica ste. anne de beauprePilgrims walking in procession to the Basilica Ste. Anne De Beaupre just outside Quebec City  for healing or worship could stop at little proceession chapels along the way to pray.procession chapel quebecThis one was built in memory of Joseph- Masse Gravel who came to Quebec from France in 1641.  The inscription says the chapel was built by Joseph’s son. cross on procession chapel quebec cityYou enter the tiny chapel through this beautifully decorated door. statues inside procession chapel quebec cityYou can pray and light a candle at the shrine inside. prayer book procession chapel quebec cityYour prayers can be written in the book on the chapel window sill. stained glass window procession chapel quebec cityThe procession chapel is a beautiful place to pray for any pilgrim on life’s journey. 

Other posts…….

Praise Houses

Opposite Profound Truths

An Open Door For Everyone

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A Pen or a Wing?

monument-to-teachers-qcThe hand holds the feather gently.  This artwork sits in the center of a round about in Quebec City.  Our walking tour guide Janet told us it is a tribute to teachers. The sculpture is a hand resting on a pile of books. There is a feather in the hand’s palm. Our group had a little discussion about the meaning of the art piece. Some said the feather alludes to the quill which teachers in the past used to teach children how to write. 

feather-in-the-hand-statueI said the feather represented a teacher giving children the confidence and learning they needed to “fly” off into the world and be independent and successful.  It is the job of a teacher to give children ‘wings.’ Not everyone agreed with me. 

Whatever the viewer thinks the sculpture means it is nice to see tribute being given in a public way to the work teachers do.

Other posts………

What Are Kids Looking For in a Teacher? 

They Remembered the Books

Its the Principal of the Thing

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Inspiration in Quebec City

carriages-waiting-for-riders-in-quebec-cityWaiting is a peculiar state in which doing doesn’t cease; it is just restrained, like an impatient horse.

– Philip Shepherd 

stained-glass-window quebec cityWhy would the missionaries think that their religion provided a superior spiritual base and moral code to that of the natives?

–  Max Swanson 

rene-levesque-boulevardWhile it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction.

– James Cabell

cranberries-at-the-farmers-market-in-quebec-cityIn  research published in the February 2014 issue of Experimental Gerontology, scientists have found that eating cranberries can extend your life significantly.

– The Toronto Sunmontmorency-falls-quebec-city

There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature.


lace curtains in window quebecYou are the window through which you must see the world.

– George Bernard Shaw

harpist quebec cityTime has laid his hand
Upon my heart gently, not smiting it,
But as a harper lays his open palm
Upon his harp, to deaden its vibrations.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

art gallery in old prison quebec city
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

― Nelson Mandela

fall-grasses-quebec-cityThe grass never sleeps.  

-Mary Oliver

church-and-fall-trees-quebec-cityMy religion is nature. That’s what arouses those feelings of wonder and mysticism and gratitude in me.

― Oliver Sacks

Other posts………

Elegant Words

Hat Inspiration

Inspiration at Hecla Island Golf Course


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A Very Short Fight

dave john plains of abrahamMy husband Dave and his cousin John pretend to be James Wolfe and Louis-Joseph Montcalm reenacting their battle against each other on our visit to the Plains of Abraham. montcalm statueMontcalm the leader of the French troops stationed in Quebec City thought they were safe from an English attack on September 13, 1759 because of the high cliffs along the St. Lawrence River
james wolfe statueBut James Wolfe and his well-trained British troops managed to find a route up the cliffs and under the cover of darkness crossed the St. Lawrence and made their way up the path. Montcalm had moved a large contingent of his men upstream leaving the Plains of Abraham vulnerable. dave john plains of abraham quebec cityThe battle was very short. It was over in under 20 minutes. The English had defeated the French to take control of Quebec. Both Wolfe and Montcalm died in the battle. 

plains of abrahamThe battle field gets its name from Abraham Martin the farmer who owned the land where the English/French fight took place. 

history markers plains of abrahamThe battle happened during the Seven Years War between the French and English which ended in 1760. There are information panels on the site of the Plains of Abraham which describe the battle. 

montcalm wolfe memorial quebec cityA monument in downtown Quebec City recognizes both the leaders of the French and English. Wolfe’s name is on one side and Montcalm’s name on the other. wolfe montcalm memorial quebec cityThe obelisk was erected in 1828 in memory of both generals who died on the Plains of Abraham. john dave tussle plains of abrahamEvery school child in Canada learns about the Battle on the Plains of Abraham when they study the history of our country.  It was interesting….. and as you can see…… kind of fun to visit the site ourselves. 

Other posts……

Color, Color Everywhere

Eating Our Way Through Quebec City

A Bone Rattling Introduction

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Eating Our Way Through Quebec City

mariettaThe lively and dramatic Marietta was our guide on a food tour we took of Quebec City.  walking in quebec cityShe pointed out lots of interesting things as we walked from restaurant to restaurant tasting all kinds of delicacies. wild boar appetizerDave and  John toast each other with their appetizers – wild boar meat on crusty bread with a wild berry chutney. We had this at Bistro Tournebouche along with a glass of Le Rose’ Gabrielle a wine made in Quebec. 

poutine quebec cityOf course we tasted the famous Quebec City poutine at the Snack Bar St. Jean.  French fries covered in two kinds of cheese curds and gravy. maple syrup tastingAnother classic Quebec food is maple syrup.  At Canadian Maple Delights we learned about how maple syrup is made and then got to taste different kinds of syrup, a liqueur made with maple syrup and a maple syrup waffle. 
white wine toast quebec city

At Le Moine Echanson Velma and I toasted each other with a white wine made in Montreal. We also had a salty codfish cake with mayonnaise.
ham and cheese buckwheat crepe

A ham and cheese buckwheat crepe along with a local apple cider were our taste treats at Le Billig.la cremalllere quebec cityWe started the tour with a salmon tartare at La Cremallere and ended it with….erico creative chocolate shopapple and hibiscus chocolates at Erico Creative Chocolate Shop. 

It took three hours to eat our way through Quebec City but it was delicious!

Other posts…..

 Tasting Toronto

Devour the District

Eating Our Way Through Scottsdale


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A Sunny Birthday on a Rainy Day

dressing up at the museum in quebec cityI had a great birthday. After breakfast we decided to tour two history museums here in Quebec City because there seemed to be no end in sight to the rain.  The Musée de l’Amérique Francophone and the Musee de la Place Royale taught us so much about French Canadian history . We had fun dressing up in period costumes.  IMG_3575 Later in the afternoon when the rain had become a drizzle we went for a stroll along the wharf and through the farmer’s market. We stopped to buy some honey crisp apples and strawberries from Ile d Orlean, nuts, dark chocolate and port as a treat for the evening while we watched the Blue Jays game. aux anciens canada restaurantThen it was off to the Restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens which is located in a home built in 1675 called Maison Jacquet. The restaurant gets its name from the title of a book by one of the home’s former owner’s Phillippe- Aubert de Gaspé, who wrote the novel “Les Anciens Canadiens.”salad with goat cheeseI had an amazing salad with a grilled wheel of goat cheese and greens tossed in a maple syrup vinaigrette. 

birthday toastDave and our friends John and Velma toasted me for my birthday.blowing out candle on bread puddingThe waitress put a candle on a piece of bread pudding dripping in maple syrup sauce. WONDERFUL!

dave-and-marylou in colonial clothesDespite the dreary weather I had a sunny birthday!

Other birthday posts………

Visiting My Students in New York

Birthdays Past

Good-bye Mom

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A Bone Rattling Introduction


BRRRRR! We did a four-hour walking tour of Old Quebec City yesterday and as you can tell from this photo it was cold!!  janet-tour-guide-qcJanet our knowledgeable tour guide helped us get a good sense of Quebec City’s history, geography and gave us advice about places we might want to visit and great places to eat, shop and explore during our week in this city of half a million people. cruise-ship-in-harbor-qcWe learned that Quebec City is a year round port. In winter ice on the St. Lawrence River is broken up so ships can continue to come and go. cirque-du-solleilJanet told us that the world famous Cirque du Soleil troupe had their beginnings in a small town near Quebec City and began their rise to fame with a performance they did in Quebec City in 1984 to celebrate the 450 year anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada. 

jesus with open arms quebec cityWe learned that while 95% of the people living in Quebec City identify themselves as Catholic less than a third attend a church regularly. louis-xivAt this statue of Louis XIV our guide Janet told us how the French King had tried to entice French women to come to Canada to marry the soldiers, fur trappers and farmers already living here. He offered the women free passage on a ship, a dowry and a trousseau. Between 1663 and 1673 some 800 women took him up on his offer. They became known as The King’s Daughters. 

quebec premiers signJohn and Dave check out the biographies of the Quebec premiers which were featured on display boards like this all around the Quebec Legislative Building. roof ladders qc

Janet pointed out the  ladders on the roofs of older homes which were used by chimney sweeps who went up on roof tops to clean out the chimneys.  Today they are used by people for cleaning ice and snow off their roofs. 

city-walls qcWe walked along the city walls.  Quebec City is  the only North American fortified city whose walls still stand. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

french onion soup qcAfter our bone rattling four hours out in the cold and rain we warmed up with some HOT French onion soup  and……....

beaver tails qc

Beaver Tails a pastry that you can choose to have with all kinds of different toppings. We picked brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon!  Divine!

Other posts………….

Biking in Florence

A Great House Haunts Me

Walking Into a Bob Marley Tourist Trap 

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