I already know what you are thinking and you are right: Quebec is not in Europe. After seeing a Travel Channel special on it though, I just feel like I just have to include it on this blog because it appears to be the most European place in all of North America and I find that very cool. I also feel it is somewhat of a responsibility of mine to keep tabs on stuff like this. I am a Master of Europe and all things European after all…
Why do I want to go?
Because, as I said, it seems to be like a little slice of Europe (or more specifically, France) in North America. Quebec is unique in that it’s the only province where they don’t speak English in Canada as a first language, they speak French. In fact its largest city, Montreal, is the second largest French-speaking city in the Western world after Paris. This isn’t something they take lightly either. Ensuring that every citizen in Quebec has the right to work and receive services and information in French is something that is strictly enforced by their so-called Language Police. Companies that don’t comply risk fines or in some cases being shut down. Pretty cray for a place in North America, eh?
Where will I go?
Going to Montreal is pretty much a given considering it is the province’s largest city and therefore more options in terms of planes, trains or automobiles. It also looks pretty classy and I have a couple friends who have lived there/spent time there who have all told me I would love it.
Quebec City, the province’s capital, is the place I’ve really got my heart set on though. This is the place that inspired me to add the region to my list and is what the aforementioned Travel Channel special focused on. Did you know it is the only fortified city in North America? I actually learned that from my friend Rob who just visited this past summer. I’ve heard it’s like nowhere else on the continent with its ramparts, narrow cobblestone streets and French ambiance that have remained in tact since it was founded by Champlain in 1608. I also have to introduce my iPhone to Le Chateau Frontenac – the most photographed hotel in the world. Imagine all of the fauxtos I could take/make!
How will I go?
Getting there is easy – not only do I have Montreal and Quebec City as airport options, but I’ve also got Ottawa. The more interesting question to ponder is “when will I go?” as Canada is not exactly on my radar as far as places I am likely to visit in the near future since I’m based in Europe. Of course anything is possible but I have a feeling that I probably won’t be making it up this way until I am (or shall I say, IF I am) ever living stateside again. Seems like a perfect place to escape shall I ever find myself in North America and in desperate need of some Europeaness. Ha.
P.S. Arcade Fire is from Montreal (as are Men Without Hats…and Chromeo – thanks Megan!)
How similar to Europe is Quebec really? Ever been to any other European-ish places outside of Europe?