Notre Dame du Cap de La Madeleine
A few kilometres out of Quebec, we stopped by the St. Lawrence river, in a wide area dominated by a big and modern church.
It's a famous pilgrimage destination since a long time, still keeping some of the old small churches in the surrounding gardens.Related to:
- Historical Travel
St Lawrence River
Why are we stopping by these rustic cabins and... nothing else?
The answer came with the explanation: in winter the river freezes, and those cabins are pushed to the river.
A hole in the floor allows the renter to catch dozens of fishes from the river, without leaving the "comfort" of home.
Ingenious, indeed, but... is that sport?Related to:
BOISÉ DE TEQUENONDAY
Près de Sillery, sur la promenade champlain ce boisé est une agréable surprise. Plusieurs arbres centenaires dominent le saint laurent.
Le site est occupé depuis plus de 5000 ans , tequenonday en langue amériidienne iroquoise signifie "sur une montagne"
Along the saint laurence river near Sillery , a nice walk among pine trees and sculptures.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
And what is this?
At first glance you don't pay much attention, two large irons. Neat decoration,, yes perhaps.
But once upon a time they served a perfectly practical purpose. No, they were not to hold prisoners or something horrible like that. How about something perfectly useful like a place to tie your horses up while you're visiting the person insideRelated to:
Bust of Louis XIV on Place Royale
Located in the Place Royale, this bust has been installed and removed several times, ostensibly on the excuse that it interrupted traffic. It honors the Sun King, Louis XIV, who was very generous in financing French exploration and colonization of Quebec, often without demanding much in return.
The original bust was installed in 1700. Over the years it was removed for interfering wiht traffic, or was "lost". Reinstalled in 1944 and again removed it was finally placed at its present location in 1964.
The bust is located right in front of the Centre de Interpretation, which was the Smith and Hazeur houses, part of the Musee de Civilisacion. The centre recounts the story of the Place Royale and talks about the archeological remains found in the house, dating back 5000 years.Related to:
Pierre Dugua statue
Often thought to be a bust of Champlain, this is a bust of Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons (1558-1628)
Henry IV granted him exclusive rights to colonize lands between 40 and 60 degrees. He was given a monopoly for the fur trade and was installed as Liutenant General of Acadie. In return Dugua only had to bring 60 new colonists to what would become Acadia/Nouvelle France.
When the settlement at Port Royal failed he turned his attention to Nouvelle France, but he personally never went. He sent Champlain, who had been the cartographer to settle these lands.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Parc Omega - Le Parc Oméga.
Parc Omega is a 1500 acre park where you can watch animals from Canada in their natural surroundings. One drives along a 10 km path through a landscape made of lakes, valleys, forests and medows. It is allowed to feed the animals carrots through the car window and they will approach the car looking for carrots. At the beginning of the journey through the park the animals are eager to get some carrots and it can become a bit too much ;)
The ride through the park was awesome, with little boars, bambies, buffalos, black-bears, moose, wolves, racoons and all kinds of animals who greet you. Some of them, of course are fenced in, like the black bear and wolves. Thank God ;)
While in the car you turn on the car-radio and listen to FM radio stations with guidance through the park.
After the ride through the park you can visit a lodge by the lake by the entrance and buy some souvenirs and have something to eat.
The park is open the whole year.
Admission fee: CAD 14 for adults and less for children. The admission fee is higher in the summer months, then it is CAD 18 for adults.
Parc Omega is just north of Montebello, ca one hour's drive from Ottawa, from where we were coming. In the information guide they say highway 148 east to Montobello, turn north on Route 323.
Alhtough the safari park is in the province of Quebec, then it is much closer to Ottawa, which is in the province of Ontario than Quebec city. But then Canada is vast ;)
I add more photos from the park in a travelogue here.
St. Andrews Church
St. Andrews is the only English church within the walled city of Quebec. The congregation dates back to 1759 though the current church only dates to 1810, enlarged in 1823 and renovated in 1875. Originally the congregation was mainly military when the Fraser 78th regiment was decommissioned and the land granted to them by George III.
The church property includes a Kirk Hall which used to be a residence for the assistant minister and later, the sexton and is now a community hall and used for Sunday School. The manse is still the resident of the minister.
Inside the church, the pulpit, lectern and communion table are centered on the long side of the church instead of at one end, with the pews facing or angled to it. It's a fairly common set up in European churches but not that common for North America. There's a large organ raised up opposite the pulpit at the top of a circular staircase. This area is where the governor used to sit but is now used for the organ and choir. The organ isn't a Casavant but has been restored by them in the 1930s.
There are some lovely stained glass windowsto see as well and there's a small museum attached that has artifacts, papers and items from the church's history including an original charter from King George III, and a Fraser highlander regimental uniform.
Find the church at the corner of Rue St. Anne and Rue Cook, not far from City Hall and the Ursuline convent.
The first military prison in Quebec City was housed in a French Royal Redoubt inside the walls of the old city on the site of the current Morrin Centre. It was subsequently used as a general prison. The building later was a college from the mid 19th century, and was the first in Canada to grant women degrees. It's a national historic site that now houses a lovely old Victorian library, the only English library in the city.
In the summer season you can tour the old jail cells and have a look at the lovely library which contains some rare old books, some dating back to the 16th century. We got a private tour of the library though were not able to see the jails since we were staying with the minister of the neighbouring St. Andrews church and she had keys to the library. Between May 31 and September 5 you can book a tour in English or French for $8, cheaper for students, free for children under 8. You should reserve if you are bringing a group of 8 or more.
Find it at 44 chausee des Ecossais, next to the manse and St. Andrews church on Rue St. Anne.
Jardins de Metis
Reford Gardens and International Garden Festival
This garden, which the Michelin guide to Canada calls "among the most beautiful in the world," sits on a peninsula on the south shore of the St. Lawrence about 220 miles northeast of Quebec City. It was created after World War I by Elsie Reford, a Montreal society woman who migrated north each summer to escape city heat and enjoy the fresh air hence the garden's former name, Reford Gardens. Her great-grandson is the garden's general manager, which may explain why much of the magic of the place survives.
The 42-acre garden still feels very much like a private estate. Its greatest assets are Elsie Reford's artful plantings, fortunately preserved over the years. Traditional flower beds, as well as numerous large areas where plants have been naturalized, merge into the surrounding native ferns and forest. The plants fit so perfectly into their environment that, if you did not know otherwise, you would think most of the plants were native.
200, route 132
G0J 1Z0Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
See a Giant Beehive!
Ferme Lune de Miel is a bee-keeper farm. Tours are given in French and English. The guided tour will give you an understanding of the life of bees, their role in nature and the steps in producing honey. After watching a video, you will get to see bees working in a glass beehive and see the opening of a real hive.The extraction room and flower garden can also be toured.
Stoke is near Sherbrooke, Take King Street East then 13th Avenue North
Via highway 10 or 55: Take Exit 143 then on highway 10 East take Exit 150
Turn left and drive 4 km toward Stoke.
252 3e Rang Est, Stoke, Québec, Canada, J0B 3G0Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
- Farm Stay
L’Ecole de Cirque de Quebec (circus school)
The Ecole de Cirque de Quebec operates in a decommissioned church, and it’s a brilliant space. The interior still looks like a church, but the nave is full of colorful mats and is strung with nets for the trapezes and rings above, and there are racks of unicycles and juggling equipment along the edges. There’s a lunchroom at one end, with a huge viewing window, and downstairs are reception and the changing rooms.
The professional school focuses on acrobatics and aerial acrobatics, dance, and theater; they also offer multi-month programs, as well as 3-hour workshops for school, adult, or tourist groups. There are several shows produced during the year, by professional students (required for their course) and students in the shorter programs, all of which you can attend for low ticket prices. You can also pop in for a few minutes during regular classes, but you can’t just show up and wander around – if you want a longer visit, you have to call ahead and arrange it.
Pay Respects...The Vandoos Memorial...
This Memorial sits on a prominent piece of land in the front of the Grande Allée Armoury....I discovered it quite accidentally...I noticed it as I was returning to Vieux Quebec from the musee des beux arts...
The word " Vandoos " is a slang derivative and nickname given to the 22nd Regiment of the Canadian Army...en francais c'est le vingt deux and hence the nickname..."Vandoos"..
The history of the Regiment goes back to the First World War and was in fact a strictly French speaking Regiment whose ranks were drawn from francophone's from across Canada.
The unit fought in various vicious battles in the First World War such as the Somme,Passchendaele,Vimy,Ypres,and Amiens....
During the Second World War the unit again distinguished itself in battles all across Europe...Italy,Sicily,Holland and Germany....
There have been at least three Victoria Cross recipients from the Regiment...the highest military decoration awarded to members of the Canadian military for bravery in action.
This Memorial was unveiled on November 11th,1989 and honors the memory of the soldiers from the regiment who were killed during the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.
The names of all that have been killed while serving with the Vandoos are inscribed on the gray granite walls on both sides of the monument.Its not something that's large and grandiose but if you take a few minutes and read some of the names listed its certainly meaningful,many of these men were young when killed.
The list is long......
Today the unit's most recent deployment has been in Afghanistan...where sadly,losses were incurred, three more names to be added to the list.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Jardin de Jeanne d'Arc
Okay, so this isn't exactly hard to find but it is easy to miss, which is why I'm including it in the Off the Beaten Path section. This lovely little garden is located on avenue Wilfrid-Laurier, just one block from the Grand Allee, Quebec's 5th Avenue or Champs Elysee. It's also right by Battlefield Park, a very large (but rather empty) park that was once the site of a brief but important battle, and The Citadelle, historic site of the city's defenses (parts of it date back to the 17th C).
But this little garden is a pleasant spot in the middle of all the cars and shoppers and tourists. Lined in trees and filled to overflowing with beautiful flowers, this is the perfect place to take a break and sit down and watch the bees and the sunshine do their jobs. There are benches and statues to enjoy. When you're done you're close to many things to do so it's certainly not out of the way. It's just a perfectly-placed reminder to stop and smell the flowers.
A wonderful walk (either to or from the garden) would be to walk from Chateau Frontenac over to the Citadelle and then cut through Battlefield Park over to the garden before heading down Grand Allee to shop. The view along that walk is spectacular. It overlooks the river and on a clear day you can see for miles.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
The Murals of Quebec
Quebec has amazing murals hidden all over town. I know of 4 but there could be more. That's as many as I managed to find in the 2 days I was visiting. They are tromp-l'oeil-style murals and the talents of the artists will amaze you.
My personal favorite, the Quebec City mural is, if I remember correctly, located on Notre Dame in the Bas Ville, and is five stories high. It depicts the history of the city with several notable Quebecers in the painting. Be careful not to walk right into the building though - the tromp-l'oeil effect is brilliantly done.
The Petit-Champlain mural is located on rue de Petit-Champlain in the oldest part of Vieux Quebec. It depicts some of the history of the houses in that area.
The first mural I came across was blocks away from the old town. It was on a freeway overpass (I think it was Hwy 40) support beam and looks like a cathedral.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
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