We kicked off a new series in January featuring traveling photographers from around the world (most recent feature here; to date, the list includes Italy, United States and Australia). We make no secret of the fact that we love travel. We love learning about other cultures. We love contributing to a smaller, more interactive space. With this in mind, we are going to be sharing local stories by local photographers from around the world throughout our posts this year.
This month’s feature hails all the way from Quebec, Canada. We have been conversing with Patrick Dubuc and Josée Grondin from Dyade Photo during preparation for the following (very informative) blog post. Patrick & Josée are a delightful couple! Such fun-loving, easy-going photographers. Then they submitted their images for the post and left us swooning and re-prioritising our bucket list. You will see what we mean. Enjoy and thank you for joining in, Patrick & Josée!
Tell us about where you live
We have been moving a lot recently and have settled in Quebec City for about a year now. Both born in Montreal (about 2 hours and a half drive south-west from Quebec City), we love our new homeland because of its historical character and closeness to nature. Quebec City is pretty central to the province of Quebec and is an excellent base to make wonderful explorations.
What makes your town, state or country unique?
The province of Quebec is the only major French speaking province in Canada. The majority of its inhabitants speak French and English. Anglophone and Francophone cultures have been involved for hundreds of years and have greatly influenced our cultural heritage. Old Quebec City is the only walled city in North America. Inside its walls stands the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world. And in front of this hotel, pedestrians can walk the Dufferin Terrace which offers magnificent views of the St. Lawrence River. From Quebec City, this river widens significantly to eventually become a sea.
If I traveled from the opposite side of the world, what should I visit in your town, state or country?
If you are into outdoorsy activities, you definitely have to take the time to go to Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. This place is out of this world. It features colossal limestone monoliths that evoke landscapes from primeval times. Or do what we call the Tour de la Gaspésie, a legendary scenic drive that loops around the huge Gaspé Peninsula. Both National Geographic Traveler and Michelin Green Guide have recognized that it is an exceptional roadtrip to undertake.
If you are more into city effervescence and/or historical charm, enjoy the many attractions offered by the two major cities in the province. Montreal is a big, busy, exhilarating, cosmopolitan and artistic city with so much to see and do. Incredible entertainment, historic architecture, glorious food, vibrant culture and a night life that never stops: Montréal has it all! At a slightly quieter pace than her big sister, Quebec City has just as much to offer. European charm, UNESCO World Heritage site, museums, summer festivals and foodie’s heaven.
What is something quirky we would find in your town, state or country
If you ever come in the Province of Quebec on July 1st, you will be surprised by the number of moving trucks you will come across. July 1st is our unofficial National Moving Day! The majority of people who move from one rental to another do it that day. It's unique in the world and we joke about having friends helping with the move getting paid with pizza and beer ;)
Coffee or chai/tea? (shoutout for fav coffee shop)
There are so many places to enjoy coffée or tea! Every Quebecer has his favorite coffee shop. But we are especially proud of our microbreweries. There has been a boom recently and several regional brews are emerging. Many areas in the province now have their Route de la Bière. So it's possible to add a microbrewery tour to your travel itinerary. What better way than to end a day of exploration with a drink in good company. We must say we have a preference for La Tête d’Allumette - beautifully settled in the Kamouraska region. One of the best places to enjoy a drink and the sunset over the St. Lawrence River.
Best breakfast cafe?
You have to have brunch at the internationally renowned Pied de Cochon located in the district of Plateau Mont-Royal in Montréal. It’s one of the most extravagant meals you will ever have. You can even have an ostrich egg for breakfast! Authentic dishes with real flavours of Quebec’s terroir.
Three reasons for why someone should visit your town, state or country?
Nature is always on our doorstep. And as if that were not enough, we are blessed by four magnificent seasons that mark Quebec's landscapes and allow us to do so many different activities. In winter, you can go snowshoeing, skiing, skating; in summer, you can go hiking, boating and camping in the same places. In winter, you will experience -30℉ and huge snow storms while summer can be as hot as the Caribbean. Oh, and autumn is just icing on the cake with the most colorful scenery of golds and reds and oranges you will ever contemplate! Finally, we don’t want to brag about it but Quebecers are known for their “joie de vivre”, colourful French accents, culinary traditions, and the warm welcome we extend to visitors.
Any local legends?
Celine Dion… Does that ring a bell? ;)
Train, bus, car or walk?
In Montréal and Quebec City, you can visit plenty of places by foot but if you truly want to immerse yourself in our beautiful province you have to have a car.
We are adventure lovers and we definitely have favorite places to sleep while on a trip. Have you ever thought of camping under the stars rocked by the breath of whales? You can do that at Camping Mer et Monde in Grandes-Bergeronnes. You can also sleep in a lighthouse on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River at the Phare de l'Île-du-Pot-à-l'Eau-de-Vie. And why not sleep in a transparent bubble at the top of a tree? Canopée-lit in Sacré-Coeur offers unusual accommodation located on a large forest estate with trails and rivers.
Must-see vantage point?
You have to see Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve one time in your life. You have to go skiing at Le Massif de Charlevoix where the mountain ends at the sea. You have to contemplate the sunrise at the Mount Royal Belvedere in Montréal while the city slowly wakes up. By the way, it is THE best spot for french kissing at sunset ;)
Most colourful character in your hometown?
In Quebec City, the world’s snow capital, our snowman mascot named Bonhomme Carnaval is the official representative of the Quebec Winter Carnival. White as snow and clad in the red toque and arrow sash of our heroic past, Bonhomme embodies the joie de vivre of Quebecers! Enjoy a glass of Caribou while taking in the festive spirit of the Carnival!
Number one thing you miss when you're away?
Our National meal - the Poutine! You have to try this dish of french fries, gravy and melted cheese ;)