Quebec 09', Honeymoon in Pictures

I am deciding to do something a little bit different in this post..

I will be going back in time...

I was recently organizing and transferring my photos to the cloud when I stumbled upon a treasure trove of pictures that I hadn't seen for years.

The pictures that I found were of our honeymoon in Quebec in 2009.

Here are 7 photos ( which were very difficult to choose) that I believe best represent our time there. I will also be adding some brief, and hopefully interesting commentary.

Old Quebec City.  We visited Quebec towards the end of November, at the beginning of the Christmas Season.  Already the small shops were adorned with Christmas lights and authentic fir, spruce garland and wreaths. Nothing remotely artificial anywhere. There were dozens of alleyways, and each one beckoned us to walk down. What made old Quebec city so alluring was the fact that it was built ascending upward a hill reaching its crescendo in the epochal Chateu de Frontenac. Each area of the city was decorated exemplifying the rich Catholic history of the region.  These scenes reminded me of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol, albeit with a French Canadian twist.

Restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens ,Quebec City. We found out about this place from a timely placed brochure at our hotel. As soon as we read about it we had to check it out. Two things stood out about this place:  First it's quaint, rustic, Western European, cottage style.   Secondly, it was reported that this restaurant was one of the oldest in all of North America.  The structure remained untouched since 1675. The cuisine was simple, but satisfying blending French culinary techniques with local and regional ingredients.

St Joseph Oratory, Montreal. This pilgrimage site boasts of the second highest dome in the world next to the Vatican.  The founder of this imposing structure was St. Brother Andre Bessette.  Bessette was a humble doorkeeper of the College Notre Dame.  His lifelong ambition was to build a church in honor of St. Joseph.  With no money to his name, armed only with a steadfast faith he was able to raise the funds necessary to build this magnificent structure.  Today thousands of people flock each year to make a pilgrimage to this site. Many people have had miraculous healings as a result of St. Joseph and St. Brother Andre Bessette's intercessions. This monument is a testimony of the power of faith, how God can bring about his most magnificent manifestations with the simplest and humblest of souls.

Charleviox region, view of the St. Lawrence river. The St. Lawrence river is the lifeline of this region.  The interesting thing about the river is that the further Northeast you go the wider it gets. It becomes so wide at points that it resembles an ocean.  What also makes this landscape charming are the red roofed houses scattered throughout. We discovered this jewel on an overcast day with a few snow flurries which made for
scary driving on those serpentine, slippery icy, mountainous roads with tractor trailers barreling down our backs. Thankfully we survived (saying plenty of rosaries)and lived to tell about the very under rated splendors of this region.

St. Anne de Beaupre (inside view) This easily was one of the most spectacular basilicas that I had ever seen.  This is a huge compliment since I have been to some of the worlds most iconic cathedrals such as Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur both in Paris, Il duomo in Orvieto, Italy, and St, Francis Catherdral in Assisi Italy.  For some inexplicable reason this basilica topped them all for me. I loved the Neo Gothic and Romanesque architecture.  Many miraculous healings have also been reported here; through the powerful intercession of St. Anne. A moving tribute to these miracles can be seen in a corner where there are hundreds of crutches affixed on a wall signifying the miraculous healings of pilgrims.

 St. Anne de Beaupre (outside view) I snapped this picture on the first sunny day of our visit. The sublimity and majesty of this place can literally be seen from many miles away as one leaves Quebec city.

 Rt. 138 Charleviox Region.  Although not spectacular this picture represented the quaint farms that dotted this scenic highway.  What made these views memorable was the proximity of the St. Lawrence river in the background. This backdrop provided a simple, understated beauty that best exemplified this hidden, often overlooked jewel of a place... and the smell.. the smell..
Unforgettable as everywhere you traveled within these small hilly villages, their chimneys emitted the most pungent wood fired smokey wintry cozy rural fragrance into the already pure unadulterated brisk air. It literally made you never want to leave.

Honestly, you really don't need to go to Europe to experience old world charm and scenic grandeur. We got into the car, and 9 hours later... we were in the Norman region of France (except we never left North America)


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