Road Travelled: Québec City

Québec City, Canada

He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.
— Dutch Proverb

On a average day, how many times would you say you walk through a doorway? Once, coming out of your bedroom in the morning. Twice more leaving and coming to the house. Another two or three times entering and leaving the office.

I counted the other day. Fifty-six times. Fifty six times I walked through a door without looking at it. It's a shame really, how often we pass by the extraordinary without marvelling at it. I know, you must be thinking, what is so special about a door?

If however, you've had the chance to wander the back streets of an old town, you'll know exactly what I mean.

Amongst all the charm of the old Canadian town of Quebec City, my favourite thing to marvel at is the doors, painted in bold colours and made out of old wood frames, some dating back as far as 1604.

As you wage your way through the maze of uphill streets, the doors that line the roads call out to the passerby, commanding much deserved attention.


We spent our afternoons walking the residential streets, watching people come and go from their apartments, stoping briefly, with hands full of groceries or other loot from their morning out, to unlock the door and retreat within. The sound of jazz musicians playing music a few blocks over echoed gently down the street. At each new doorway I stopped to imagine how many people, in how many decades had wandered through these doorways, and if, like me, they stopped to marvel at them.