Dateline June 20-23, 2012 Montreal and Quebec City

Having had a wonderful time at the wedding we began the drive to Canada and the Maritime Provinces. We stopped in Clinton New York to visit with Janice’s cousin Bobbie Dawes, her fathers niece..

Cousin Bobbie Dawes and Janice

We Have made it by to see Bobbie the last three years. We had a good visit, shared stories and pictures and moved back on the road deciding to stay free at at the Akwesane Mohawk Indian Casino in Akwesane, New York before entering Canada. We continued on to Montreal in the morning and got set up at the Camping Alouette camp ground just outside of Montreal. In the morning we drove to the Metro, like the commuters and took the subway into the city. We went out to the Botanical Gardens just across the street from the 1984 Olympic site. The gardens were delightful. We were still amazed by the construction of the Olympic stadium, with the wire from the overhanging tower supporting the roof.

We were scheduled to have lunch with David Williams. David is John’s sister Carol’s husband Parker’s cousin! (Want to try that again!) Courtney and Amanda were also in town and joined us for a lovely lunch at Poutineville, a real Quebec country style restaurant. A few questions, we are sure! What’s poutine? A traditional poutine consists of fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. Sometimes other toppings are added. What’s a “cheese curd”? Little chunks of white cheese with a squeaky rubbery texture. They generally come out of the same places that make cheddar cheese, as all cheddar goes through a curd phase before being pressed into molds and aged. Needless to say, this will probably be a crime to eat in New York City, along with the 32 ounce drink, in no time.

Left to right Courtney, Amanda, David, Janice, John

As you can see in Amanda’s face a glow that the camera picked up, we found out a few days ago that she is pregnant and we have another (our second) grandchild on the way.

After lunch, Courtney and Amanda had some things to do, so David was kind to take us on a tour of some of the hills that overlook Montreal and his Mount Royal neighborhood overlooking the city.

Beautiful Stained Glass

The Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal was just beautiful. In 1904, Saint Andre Bessette, C.S.C, began the construction of St. Joseph, a small chapel on the slopes of Mont Royal near Notre Dame College. Soon the growing number of visitors made it too small. Even though it was enlarged, a larger church was needed and in 1917 one was completed and can seat 1,000. In 1924, the construction of the basilica of Saint Joseph’s Oratory was inaugurated; it was finally completed in 1967.

Entrance St Joseph

The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph, to whom Brother André credited all his reported miracles. These were mostly related to some kind of healing power, and many pilgrims (handicapped, blind, ill, etc.) poured into his Basilica, including numerous Protestants. On display in the basilica is a wall covered with thousands of crutches from those who came to the basilica and were allegedly healed. Pope John-Paul II deemed the miracles to be authentic and beautified Brother André in 1982. In October 2010 Pope Benedict XVI canonized the saint.

We said our good byes and look forward to seeing David again maybe he will visit us in Florida.

In the morning we packed up and headed for Quebec City, arriving at our campground, a KOA (West Quebec) facility in the early afternoon. We have to admit, it was one of the best campgrounds we had stayed at in our travels and highly recommend it. Unfortunately we were having camera problems, Janice dropped it one too many times, so went to Best Buy (they even spoke English for us) and picked out a new camera base. We hope it makes a difference in the quality of the pictures!

We took a shuttle bus from the camp to the old town Quebec and toured the city for the day. Quebec City, the only walled city in North America, is situated on the “rock of Quebec” which is the northeast end of a long, narrow triangular promontory, to the north of which lies the valley of the St. Charles and to the south that of the St. Lawrence. The incline on the St. Charles side is not as steep as the cliffs up from the St. Lawrence. The cliff near the citadel is 350 feet high and almost vertical. The only access to the top of the cliff is from steep, narrow trails. On top of the cliffs, at the east end, sits the fortified city, including the citadel (fort). Cannons line the walls down towards the St. Charles river. The harbor site below the city and thus supplies could reach the city either by road from the west or boat from Montreal to Quebec via the St. Lawrence River.

Lower City

The ups and downs from the upper city to the lower city gave us a good work out. It is a great place to tour, the churches were magnificent,

Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Québec

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Québec (Our Lady of Quebec City), is the primate church of Canada and seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec, the oldest see in the New World north of Mexico. It is also the parish church of the oldest parish in North America.

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is the first Anglican cathedral built outside the British Isles and is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Quebec. After visiting Notre-Dame, we were fascinated by the simplicity of Holy Trinity.

The many restaurants and colorful shops were fun to look at. The Château Frontenac (now a Fairmont Hotel)

Château Frontenac

rises above the town and is just a great old landmark hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. It opened in 1893, six years after the Banff Springs Hotel in the Canadian Rockies which was owned and built by the railroad. We had the pleasure of visiting it in Banff last year on our way back from Alaska.

The Citadel, part of the Quebec City fortification, above the city is still an active duty Canadian Army Base . It is a massive star-shaped fort, towers We took a tour and it was fascinating.

Citadel

The tower in the center, called the Clock Tower, of the picture was actually used to tell ships the time by the position of the ball. We asked the guide, how the French got beat in the Battle of Quebec. It was a great story about an arrogant Marquis de Montcalm, who felt the fort, the Citadal, wouldn’t hold the British out. Those that had built to fort thought otherwise and advised the general to keep the men in the fort. He decided to put the men outside the walls and the British, led by Major-General James Wolfe. defeated them and so Canada became a British Colony. Before the surrender both leaders died from gun shot wounds the day before.

Exhausted we went back to the location where the shuttle would take us back to camp and watched the street musicians and the children,

Little French girl watching the muscian

it was actually very relaxing and a great end to our day in Quebec.

Flute Musician with little boy dancing

Now that we have the big cities out of the way it is time to move on to the countryside and the Maritime provinces.

 

 

OH..BTW…our garage is getting there, latest picture.

Garage as of June 24.

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About johnandjanice

We are two semi retired former technology executives that enjoy traveling around the world with an emphasis on playing gof; in most cases reasonably priced courses and enjoy our passion for great local wines. We have purchased a Class B Roadtrek RV and will spend many months on the road in North America meeting many locals while enjoying their local communities and sharing our experiences with the readers of our blog: Travels with John and Janice.
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