I spent the whole day wandering around Quebec, and it’s a lovely city for wandering. I reconnoitred the Plains of Abraham, where the fate of Canada was decided three and a half centuries ago, strolled by the fountain in front of the Parliament, purchased for four million dollars at a flea market in Paris, and descended one of the staircases down the cliffs that have protected this strategic city against every assault over the centuries, except for one.
Legend has it that the British general who led that one successful assault, Major General James Wolfe, got the idea when he saw women climbing down to do their washing. His troops scaled the cliffs in the early morning, taking the French by surprise, and the rest is history.
As for me, I took the funicular. It only costs two bucks.
While I was in the Old Town I walked along the St. Lawrence by the port of Quebec, through the indoor market, along the cobblestone streets with all the shops and galleries. In one of the courtyards there was a man playing a harp. Street musicians in Quebec have to audition for the authorities. You can’t just plunk yourself down and play.
This gentleman, David Ogalde from Chile, played very beautifully indeed, celestial arrangements of American pop standards such as we may hear if we are privileged to reach the Great Beyond. I bought a CD in case I don’t make the cut.
Then, as I say, I rode up the cliffs on the funicular and headed back to my hotel.