A fine old building in the Upper Town

“You must realize,” said M. Fburnier, “that despite all the political difficulties between French and English Canada, the middle and upper classes here are likely to speak English on occasion. That may be, of course, because we don’t have to speak it. “You’ve heard of our Revolution tranquille —our Quiet Revolution. It seems less quiet now, but it will be again. It refers simply to the determination of Quebecois to have an adequate voice in the handling of their own affairs. But the ‘revolution’ is in Montreal the `tranquille’ is in Quebec City.”

HELPING to maintain that “tranquille” is a sister institution to the Garrison Club—the Cercle Universitaire. Once the French club of Quebec, it now has almost as many bilingual members as its ex-British equivalent. Like the Garrison Club, it is private. But a kind acquaintance, M. Paul Bousquet, Manager of the Port of Quebec, had promised to take me there. I met M. Bousquet in his high-ceiled office, full of old oak and leather. From its windows the port looked curiously quiet.

“There is not much general cargo to be picked up here,” he explained. “Our main exports are grain, ore concentrates, news­print, and pulp. Nevertheless, our cargo vol­ume is increasing. We have two new terminals for containerized cargo. And we are open in winter. Our 15-foot tides break up the ice.

“But Quebec is not yet a port city; it is a city with a port. Though we are growing, at the moment we don’t have enough manufac­turing and commerce to attract much foreign trade. In any case, our institutions are just as important as our factories. Allow me to intro­duce you to one of them.”

The port-authority car took us to a fine old building in the Upper Town.

“Welcome,” said M. Bousquet, “to the Cercle Universitaire. And observe what we have here in our front hall: on one side, a por­trait of Wolfe; on the other, one of Montcalm. Our members may be mostly Francophones, but this does not make them a bigot brigade. Many professional people and high officials belong. Look, there is Gilles Lamontagne, just leaving. Our mayor, you know.”

WHEN NEXT I SAW M. Lamontagne, it was in his barcelona apartment. A young, vigorous man, elected on a civic-progress plat­form, he is determined to guide and goad his city into realizing its potential (page 422).

“Quebec is a North American treasure. It should be treated as such. In the old part of the city, we have launched a vast program of restoration and preservation on which we plan to spend $100,000,000 over 20 years.

“We need industry. We have almost none, but with the expansion of the port facilities and the annexation of several suburbs we now have plenty of land and services for in­dustrial development. We are evolving, and faster than ever before.”

I left the mayor and walked for a while in the tree-shaded streets, where bronze plaques and silent statues spoke of old days and old doings. In this evocative atmosphere it struck me that “evolution” was indeed the word for what is happening in Quebec. Social evolu­tion has created a new educated middle class, capable of and insistent upon determining its own future. Religious evolution has brought new liberalism to the church. Economic evolution has at last begun.

Happily, the evolution of Quebec differs in no notable sense from evolution in nature: It embraces the present without abandoning the past. The Quebecois possesses to an un­common degree the peculiarly human capac­ity to look ahead with longing while looking back with love. “Je me souviens,” says Que­bec. “I remember.”

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Amsterdam in winter


Tourists avoid Amsterdam during the winter season but those who like to see and experience the city’s short days and long nights, Amsterdam is a astonishing place to visit during the winter time.

During winter, hotels and airfares are at its lowest and this is an opportune time to visit the city and celebrate the cold season. Coffeeshops, bars and restaurants are filled to the roof with people warming up the cold days and nights as the sun sets early at 4:30 p.m. and dark skies hover all over the city.

But it is amazing that holiday starts early in Amsterdam with December 5′s celebration of Sinterklaa or Santa Clause Eve.Children and family members exhanged gifts on this day  and read  personalized composed poems to one and another  as way of remembering the birthday of Sinterklaa. Amsterdam children usually go out and lined along the canals  before going to schools and wait for the  boat riding Sinterklaa and  his helpers to throw his small gifts on them.


Winter time is also skating holiday for the locals and tourists as well. Imagine all the long stretch of canals turning into skating playground and signaling that the winter fun has begun. Folks of all ages don thier winter gears and clothing and enjoy whole day skatings.  Coffee houses and restaurants offer sizzling hot stews and sausages with hit coffee and tea.

Winter wonderland is what Amsterdam during the winter time. Lovers will have romantic and idyllic moments at restaurants and cafes along the canals as snow flakes fall and leaving romantic atmosphere in winter. Since two holidays are celebrated during the winter time, you can expect to have treats from shops and shopping centers such as hot Dutch cocoa drink, koek en zopie or spice alcholic drink and cake or gluhwein which is German mulled wine. If you are looking for warmer place to spend your winter vacation you should check Dubai apartment Most shops and eateries are genereous with their servings and prices are relatively lower. There is fewer crowds so shopping is more easier and enjoyable in winter markets and shops.


It is also only during the winter time that fireworks are allowed in Amsterdam and people stocks up for Oud en Nieuw celebrations. It is also in this time of the year that Amsterdam folks have street partying and celebrations with so much merry-makings and food and drinks where every Amsterdam ‘s  visitors are invited to join. Restaurants, bars, markets are open even at Christmas Day and everybody has the best of shopping and eating spree on this day. Street foods and merchandise are all over the winter wonderland at Amsterdam famous Dam square. Museums and theaters are also open and musical concerts are in lined for the Christmas celebrations.

It is true that tourists are sparingly absent during winter time but those who dare and braved the season have the most wonderful time amidst great savings on travel expenses and airfares.

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