Thursday, October 16, 2008

Je me souviens

High: 54° F
Low: 32° F
Conditions: Showers clearing by day's end.
This week, the caninaturalist went to Camp Green Acres Kennel, Mouse and Leila Tov became latch-key cats, while I journeyed to Quebec City, where I am researching my new book project. Quebec City is a wonderful place--a whole lot of continental Europe in an easy day's drive. At 400 years old, it is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in North America and has the fortified gates to prove it:

It's easy to forget you're living in the 21st century within these walls, where equine transportation trumps automotive:

And hotels haven't changed a bit in over a 100 years:

Outside the walled ville is a city of contrasts.

Examples are everywhere, like in this old cathederal, which remains only a facade newly decorated by graffiti artists:

Or these ramparts, now occupied only by four-footed soldiers:

Most of my time was spent in the archives of this building, the Provincial Parliament:

It's been a tough few decades for Quebecoise Separatists after their failed vote of political autonomy. For many, maintaining the language and their distinct culture is more than just a political statement--it's about compromised subjectivity and continued colonialism. Examples of this are everywhere--like the name of this building, Parliament Nationale.

Since its founding in 1608, Quebec City has been the site of constant political conflict, but its citizens have made it through with an identity both distinct and familiar. And the city is celebrating in style throughout 2008. While we were in town, foreign dignitaries were convening for the festivities, including French President Nicolas Sarcozy, who was under constant guard by the unusually armed mounties:

Still, the city positively glows with its own accomplishment each night. Happy Birthday, Quebec!


Kapp pack said...

Thanks fur sharing! Looks like a very cool place!

Kisses, Sky boy

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

Ma mere a aime les temps elle a visite QC!

She said it really was like being somewhere other than North Amerikha!!

She had spent time there when she was a youngster and went back as an oldster!

Merci pour les photos et les mots!


Charity, Gary, Katie and Louis said...

Gorgeous photos!! What a nice trip.

Lorenza said...

Thanks for sharing all those pictures! Sure it was a great trip!
Kisses and hugs

Eve said...

Very interesting Kathryn! I for one would love to hear more about the book!

Anonymous said...

Bon Anniversaire, Quebec. Je vous aimes...

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

That looks like a really cool place to visit!


Gunner said...

Oh Ari, your ma's photos are stunning but don't go barkin all franco-phone on me!


Amici said...

Aw, Quebec. My human used to go there almost every year when she was taking French back in hs (don't ask when that was...). It is a beautiful place.

Southbay Girl said...

Wow...what a beautiful city and beautiful pictures. I know my mom has always wanted to go! Ari, I'm sorry you didn't get to go!!


Kathiesbirds said...

Wow! You sure do get around. I never had the priviledge of getting to Quebec, though my husband was a chaparon on a school trip my son took there. It looks so beautiful. Thanks for the tour. What's the subject of your next book, or is it a secret?

BTW, thanks for the comment about my grandparents. I'm glad you liked their story (and romance!) I think my grandfather's spirit lives there on Moosehead lake!

u r a number delta said...

Do they have yummy French Toast and French Fries in that city? How about French dressing? They have tasty cigarettes in W/S.

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari.
The history of the rampart is interesting.
I think the World Heritage of Canada to be wonderful.
Town where history of 400 years is exceeded.
I feel the diversity of the history and the culture.

from loved ume tyan

Arindam said...

Hi Kathryn and Ari... you're really doing a nice job here and your photographies are simply great too! Well, I am an avid dog lover from India and run a couple of dog blog of my own. You might find my sites interesting... just have a look and let me know what you think:

And please let me know if we can exchange links.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Happy Birthday Quebec!
Thank for sharing the photos
and information about such a beautiful city.

Of course, I am dreaming of what a wonderful world it would be if horse transportation still ruled. I'd love to be able to ride my horse to the grocery store or take my kids to classes.


~Lisa & Baby Doll