Quebec….Canadian French City
Quebec is a Canadian city with European charm. This world heritage treasure is a UNESCO site city. Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, outdoor cafes, singers, artists adorn the streets. Old Quebec’s open-air art gallery, the Rue du Tresor attracts locals and visitors daily. At the top of Cape Diamond, a stroll along the Dufferin Terrance overlooks the St. Lawrence River.
The distinct landmark, the Chateau Frontenac, is the most photographed hotel. This centuries-old architecture overlooks the city. Construction began in 1892 and has been expanded several times over the years. In 1926, a fire destroyed part of the building.
Located next to the Chateau is the Dufferin Terrace. Here riding the toboggan run is a favorite activity. Adventure seekers move downhill at speeds of up to 70 km an hour.
Quebec has fortified walls and imposing gates, a Citadel with changing of the guards at Artillary Park and fortresses.
The Quartier Petit Champlain is the place for window shopping. The areas boutiques, restaurants, shops and art galleries line the cobblestone streets. This area is a magical fairyland scene with holiday decorations and twinkling lights during the Christmas Holiday season. Colorful, decorative shops and sophisticated designer and artisanal boutiques line the streets along with souvenir shops and cafes. The Rue Saint-Jean has the European vibe! Here clothing boutiques and unique purchases are found. There are over 10 streets and neighborhoods for strolling and shopping.
The St. Lawrence River which cuts across Quebec has played a role in the city’s economic development. Harbor and trade activities flourish here with cruise ships docking in the New Port of Quebec. This public market place finds a park and bicycle paths for exercise. The nearby Aquarium of Quebec provides outstanding views of the waterway. The Promenade Samuel-De Champlain located at the water’s edge is an outstanding walk.
The Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Shrine is located north of the city. More than a million visitors are welcomed every year and is a place for ‘miracles’ over the past 350 years. The Shrine is a neo-
Roman style with a golden statue of Saint Anne. This Shrine in the Cote-de-Beaupre region has glorious stained windows with high pillars and ceilings.
The Montmorency Falls Park is a natural phenomenon at 83m high. The best views are from Parc de la Chute-Montgomery and experience the spray and force of the falls. Gondola rides cross the falls.
The Plains of Abraham are the lungs and heart of Quebec City. Here was the scene of the 1759 battle between Wolfe and Montcalm. Today, it is one of the world’s largest and finest urban parks. Whether you are walking, picnicking, cross-country skiing or bicycling, this is the place to meet up with friends. At the 400th Anniversary, Paul McCartney and Celine Dion performed at the event which is celebrated every June 24. The Musee national des beax-arts du Quebec, a short distance away, is renowned for its exhibits of Quebec art.
Parliament Hill is the location that Quebec’s National Assembly convene. The Fontaine de Tourny was awarded a gold medal at the Paris World Far in 1855. Today, it stands as a legacy of Quebec’s 400 anniversary celebrations. It has 32 water-themed sculptures with 43 jets which is lighted in the evenings.
Located in the countryside, are historic churches, farms and heritage homes. These can be seen while traveling from one village to another. During the season, fresh strawberries, apples, breads, wines, ice ciders, liqueurs and other local delicacies can be purchased.
Outdoor activities are extensive. Hiking, canoeing, fishing, camping, kayaking are enjoyed among the breathtaking atmosphere. During the winter months, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, skating and dog-sledding provide cold weather activities. Racing down the slopes on ski hills is a competative sport. Also, not to miss is North America’s only Ice Hotel and the world’s biggest winter celebration – the Quebec Winter Carnival and the largest winter playground in America – Village Vacances Valcartier.
Accommodations include hotels, motels, cottages, condos, apartments, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds. At present, there are 293 possibilities.
Quebec is a foodie’s paradise! World renowned chefs prepare world class gourmet dishes. Traditional Quebec cuisine, French cuisine, First Nations cuisine use local products in many signature dishes. Chocolate and candy factory shops make mouthwatering delights.
Visiting Quebec, visitors can create their own discount passports. Discounts on accommodations, activities and dining are available.
Travelers website: www.ville.quebec.qc.ca
MOTHER CABRINI SHRINE
While traveling in Colorado, we made a day trip to Golden, Colorado. The Mother Cabrini Shrine was our destination.
The Mother Cabrini Shrine is in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Mother Cabrini came to Denver in 1902 and over 10 years purchased three tracts of land in Golden, Colorado. The first tract was purchased on Mount Vernon Canyon as a summer camp for the girls of the orphanage in 1909. Mother Cabrini returned in 1910 and 1912 to purchase the additional two tract of land. After this purchase the girls and Sisters at the orphanage climbed to the highest point of the mountains to enjoy the view and a picnic. The Sisters and girls informed Mother Cabrini that there was very little clean water. She asked the children to bring her white rocks and she arranged them in the form of a heart surmounted by a cross and used smaller stones to form a crown of thorns. Then she walked over to a large red rock and touched it with her cane. She told the children to dig a small hole beneath the rock and there appeared a spring. The spring was discovered the first part of September, 1912 and has never stopped running to this very day.
The bishop was informed of this account and commented upon the fact that ‘such a small, sickly Sister could find water in such a desert place if it was not that she was inspired by God. He designated this place as a miracle of a Saint’. He recommended that a grotto to Our Lady and chapel be built near the place the water was found.
Today a beautiful Church, Chapel, Cabrini Gardens, Cabrini Museum, Meditation Walk, Rosary Garden, Grotto Chapel, the Spring and Stairway of Prayer are located on the tracts of land.
The main Church/Chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was completed in 1970. In the side, stained glass windows surround a rectangular room depicting the life of Mother Cabrini.
The Cabrini Gardens are dedicated to Frances Xavier Cabrini. Here stands a statue of Mother Cabrini and children standing around her. This area had once been the orphanage building.
The Cabrini Museum opened in 2014 in the area that was the ‘pump house’. This is the original tract purchased. The museum features a replica of Mother Cabrini’s bedroom and artifacts once used by Saint Cabrini.
The Meditation Walk is a place of reflection with a water display and seating for quiet contemplation.
The Rosary Garden has beautiful landscaping and was the second tract she had purchased.
The Grotto Chapel is a small chapel, a replica of the grotto at Lourdes in France where I traveled to 3 years ago. Originally build over the spring in 1929 it was replaced in 1959 with the present one. Here the Mother Cabrini altar, vigil candles and kneelers are enclosed. Visitors pray and ask her intercession with the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Mother. Here prayer requests are made. A statue of the Blessed Mother is mounted outside the chapel.
The Spring water flows from beneath the stone and can be turned on and off with faucets. Drinking cups are there for drinking the cold spring water.
The Stairway of Prayer has 373 steps leading up to the top of the Mount of the Sacred Heart. Benches are placed on the stone steps as rest and reflection places. At the top of the mountain is a twenty-two foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus carved by an Italian artist. Below the statue in a glass enclosed shelf is the Heart of Stones.
I have visited many shrines during my travels and I marvel at the beauty of this shrine surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and soaring green foliage.
If you ever visit Denver, take this side trip to Golden up the long winding, narrow road to the Shrine of Mother Cabrini.