A Few Days in Quebec City

Bonjour! Hello! Yesterday I left Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec and the oldest city in North America north of Mexico. A city of approximately 540,000 people it is French-speaking though many speak English also. The Old Town (Vieux Quebec) is very walkable and has a number of points if interest. Definitely many options for tourists. So here is a bit of Quebec:

Starting the day out with a hearty savoury crepe for breakfast at Casse-Cape Breton

Old buildings abound

Just wandered into this building’s courtyard

The streets of Old Quebec

Heading into Petit Champlain, my fav area

Place Royal and the oldest church in Quebec, which is permanently closed

Statue of Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec City

Inside the Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

Fairmont Chateau Frontenac Hotel & Dufferin Terrasse

Library at the Morrin Centre

Morrin Centre – A museum of the former jail

Part of the old city walls

Pretty tulips

Took a tour of the ruins of Chateaux St-Louis. This is a old kitchen that they found in this condition

Some of the dishes they found

The Funicular connecting Lower Quebec & Upper Quebec

Entry to the Citadel. That’s all I saw as I’m not interested in military history

Horse drawn carriages are a common site

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World.

Sunday Special – Louvre Museum, Paris

Paris’ crowning museum is, of course, the Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre). It’s not the world’s largest as far as museums go – that title belongs the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. It is however, the world’s largest art museum (and the world’s second largest museum overall). A mind-boggling 38,000 paintings, sculptures, and artifacts spanning millennia are housed in the Louvre’s ornate buildings. The history of the Louvre dates back centuries and is quite an extensive building on its own. Originally built as a fortress in the 1100s CE, it was turned into a royal palace in 1546 by King Francis I, who was an avid art collector. Through the years and the monarchs this royal residence was enhanced with additions, wings, pavilions, and courtyards, often in the popular architectural styles of the age. In 1692 Louis XIV moved his residence to Versailles and the Louvre soon became a home to some academies for a number of years. In 1793 it was officially opened as “Musée Central des Arts in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre”. At the time is housed a mere 537 paintings. Later, during the reign of Napoléon Bonaparte the collection flourished, much due to his conquests. It continued to grow while France was under the rule of Louis XVIII, Charles X, and the Second French Empire. Further growth has happened in more recent times, often via donation.

Louvre Museum at night. Photo credit: Martin Falbisoner creator QS:P170,Q30147473, Louvre at dusk, CC BY-SA 3.0

Today the Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. It is located in the centre of Paris, in. the 1st arrondissement. This year will be the 20th anniversary of the glass Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) that was designed by I.M. Pei. Originally controversial due to its modernity it is now as iconic as the museum itself. Since the museum covers 72,735 sq metres / 782,910 sq feet give yourself plenty of time or even several visits to truly appreciate its art and importance.

Sunday Special – The Serengeti

Located in Eastern Africa, in the northern area of Tanzania and the southwestern region of Kenya is where the world’s most incredible and vastest unchanged migration of hoofed animals (and their predators) occurs. The Serengeti’s 30,000 sq km / 12, 000 sq mi region bears witness to the movement of millions of wildebeest and thousands of gazelles and zebras. Naturally, predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas follow. Making a loop from the south of the area in Tanzania into the northern reaches of the Serengeti in Kenya, and back again, the animals make this movement seeking out grazing lands. This migration is an instinct for the animals.

As incredible as this yearly migration is, there is much more to the Serengeti ecosystem. It has been relatively unchanged in regards to climate and vegetation for approximately a million years, making it one the world’s oldest ecosystems. These ancient grasslands, woodlands, rivers, and savanna are home to a bountiful variety of mammals and birds. Some of the creatures that make this area home include (but not limited to) African elephant, rhinoceros, giraffe, warthogs, African buffalo, impala, topi, and East African cheetah.

The region is also host to several conservation areas, both in Tanzania and in Kenya, and the Serengeti National Park. The national park was created in 1951 and encompasses an area 14, 763 sq km / 5,700 sq mi. In 1981 the park became a UNESCO World Biosphere Site. The park is also involved in conservation of this precious area.

Zebras of the Serengeti. Photo credit:
PeetyPablo at the Danish language WikipediaZebraer i SerengetiCC BY-SA 3.0
Pumbaa the warthog has been spotted! Photo credit:
Joachim HuberSerengeti, Tanzania (2314478767)CC BY-SA 2.0
Giraffes, the tallest land animal there is. Photo credit:
Harvey Barrison from Massapequa, NY, USA, Eastern Serengeti 2012 05 31 2873 (7522634624)CC BY-SA 2.0
Sunset in the Serengeti. Photo credit:
René MayorgaSunrise Serengeti (41472584)CC BY-SA 3.0

Sunday Special – Pumukkale, Turkey

Southwestern Turkey is the location of one its most popular tourist destinations, not only in modern times but those of antiquity as well. The town of Pamukkale was known in ancient times a Hierapolis, dating back 2000 years. Many came to enjoy its calcite rich thermal springs. The result is a captivating cascade of white limestone and travertine terraces with pools filled with aquamarine mineral waters. The Turkish name “Pamukkale” translates into “cotton castle”, as this is what the terraces appear to be. This area was so sought after that the Greco-Romans founded Hierapolis nearby. It was renown as a city that drew people from all over seeking out health and beauty benefits.

Pools of blue at Pamukkale, Turkey – Photo credit:
rheins, Blue Pool of Pamukkale – 2014.10 – panoramioCC BY 3.0

Today, tourists still flock to this UNESCO World Heritage Site to see the cotton castles for themselves and dip a toe into the warm waters. Hierapolis’ is now a place of ancient ruins and a museum. It would seem that the ruins are often in the shadow of the terraces but history buffs many want to spend some time meandering about the old areas. As with many tourist sights do expect crowds as it is a popular day trip. Be aware that some of the pools have dried up or not as full as one may expect. I can see from looking at photos why many wish to make a sojourn here. When I return to Turkey at some point I plan to make Pamukkale a definite stopover.

Pamukkale’s white terraces, Turkey. Photo credit:
William Neuheisel from DC, US, Pamukkale (7471679746)CC BY 2.0
The ruins of Hierapolis, Turkey. Photo credit:
BlcksprtHierapolis Frontinus GateCC BY-SA 4.0