As we traveled into Quebec, Canada's largest Province, the change in culture was obvious. We had been in a part of Canada where British influence had been strongly felt. Now, we were in French Canada, where the laws, language and predominate religion were different. Along the way to Quebec City, we stopped for our morning break at a large market. Inside was every known foodstuff, and outside we found a huge display of flower plants for sale. Here are my photos.
Next, we traveled to a small city called Cap de la Madeleine for a visit to Notre Dame du Cap Basilica, an important Catholic shrine. Designed by architect Adrien Dufresne, its construction began in 1955 and inaugurated in 1964. It has a seating capacity of 1660. The dome stands 125 feet from floor to ceiling. Jan Tillemans O.M.I, the stained glass artist of Holland, created the stained glass windows which are unique in North America. The first and second series to the right show the history of the Shrine and the founders of Canada respectively. The third series to the left shows the mysteries of the Rosary. The Casavan organ, with its 75 stops, is one among the most impressive in Canada.
The Old Shrine, seen below, was inaugurated in 1720. It is the oldest church in Canada that has retained its original state. It became a Shrine in 1888. The annex was built in 1973, using the same stones which were carried across the river on an ice bridge in 1879. Inside the Old Shrine, the miraculous statue of Our Lady (donated in 1854) can be seen. This statue reportedly opened its eyes before three witnesses on June 22, 1888.
We arrived in Quebec City, the capital of the Province of Quebec, in mid-afternoon and checked in at the Hotel Hilton Quebec. Nothing was scheduled that evening, but there was a province-wide party going on to celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day, a major holiday in Quebec. From 9pm to 4 am the next morning we could hear the sounds of 250,000 youths from all over Quebec living it up. Ah, to be young again.
Now, the next day, we set out to tour Quebec City. One of the best places to go is the "Old Town," where the winding cobbled streets are flanked by restored seventeenth- and eighteenth-century stone houses and churches, graceful parks and squares, and countless monuments. This area is a United Nations World Heritage site. I took a number of photos. The most interesting ones are in the first row. They shows the painting called "Mural of Quebecers," done in 1999 on the side of a building. The sense of three dimensional space is incredible. The mural depicts the city's various architectural styles, and important people from its past. The last picture in row two shows another mural painted on the side of a building. The single picture in row three is of the famous 5-star Chateau Frontenac Hotel, which overlooks the old city. Hotel Website.
Among this hotel's guests over the years are countless personalities, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Princess Grace of Monaco, Chiang-Kai-Shek, Charles de Gaulle, Ronald Reagan, François Mitterrand, Prince Andrew, Lady Sarah Ferguson, Charles Lindberg, and Alfred Hitchcock. In 1944, Le Château Frontenac became the action center of the Quebec Conferences of World War II, which involved U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Here are several photos I took in other parts of Quebec City.
In the evening, we headed out to see a local attraction, Montmorency Falls. This 270 foot falls is 98 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Here are my pictures.
The St. Lawrence river is full of islands. One of the larger and best known of these is I'le D'Orleans. This is where we headed for dinner. Only fifteen minutes from Quebec City, the Island is 40 miles in diameter and features beautiful (i.e. very expensive) homes, forest areas, and farms. We toured parts of the island. I would have no problem living there if I could afford it. Our restaurant was the Le Moulin de Saint Laurent. The dinner was excellent. Here are a few photos of the restaurant area.
Our visit to Quebec City was now ended. The next morning, we departed for our final destination, Montreal, by train. I have always loved trains and it's been years since I was on one. We even got served a meal, and there was a club car, so I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.