Summer holiday in the Province of Quebec - 1 -

Written by Seyfettin Yilmaz on . Posted in Seyfettin Yılmaz

After a long school year and a busy summer, I had the opportunity to get away for a few days and traveled to the Province of Quebec (La belle province) to discover some new places.

So I set off on a beautiful August day and headed to the city of Montreal.

Seyfettin 1My first stop was at the Saint Joseph Oratory located in Montreal’s Mount RoyaI area (built 1924-1955). It is l is a Roman Catholic minor renaissance style basilica and a national shrine on the Westmount Summit. It is Canada's largest church. The founder was Brother André Bessette, one of the most popular Québécois of the 20th century. Even before he was canonized (Saint) in 2010, his reputation for holiness crossed frontiers and influenced generations of people. The religious brother welcomed thousands of distressed people or those who were looking for a ray of hope. He listened to them and recommended that they pray to Saint Joseph in whom he had full confidence. Any number of miraculous healings took place there and hearts turned toward God.

The remains of Bessette lie in the church he helped build. His body lies in a tomb built below the Oratory's Main Chapel, except for his heart, which is preserved in a reliquary in the same Oratory. Today, Saint Brother André continues to be an inspiration and a friend for women and men of any religious practice who visit this location.

Seyfettin 2My second stop was in the downtown and the historic Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal). The historic one –walled district is still bustling with life. I loved the architecture and the atmosphere and I plan to return there for a lengthier visit. My third stop of inerest was the “Parc des Chutes de la Chaudière” located on the south shore near Quebec City. In addition to the magnificent waterfall it has pick-nick area, walking and biking trails and a suspended pedestrian bridge (113 meters long and 23 meters from the ground).

You can easily bring a pick-nick and relax on the shores by the falls with you friends and family and admire the view. Fishing is also permitted with a license of course. The parking and access are free.

I had my first swimming experience in a small lake in the south of Quebec near the Vermont Border, more precisely in a small lake north the “Parc National de Frontenac”. The weather was perfect for driving and sightseeing. It was very nice to relaxingly drive in the rolling hills covered with trees and see many farms along the way, beautiful indeed.  The swim was very relaxing and a nice way to end the afternoon. While there I had the opportunity to speak with the local people there. Although there was a language barrier we were able to communicate, friendly folks.

Seyfettin 4The day after my journey continued on the north shore of the St-Lawrence River heading to the Tadoussac area renowned for its whale watching. A few minutes passed Quebec City we started up the Appalachians Mountain range, the scenery was at times remarkable. I finally arrived at destination in late afternoon.

I overnighted in a motel by the St-Lawrence River where I reserved my whale watching ticket. I chose to take the “Thrill seeking tour” on a zodiac boat. At about 08:30 I made my way the wharf were I was to board the boat, the weather was exceptional, warm, no wind, quiet sea. I purchased my ticket and was given a rain/wind suit (pants and jacket).

My “Abi” gave me as well a heavy long sleeves jacket with hood and told me to take it along and said: “It can get cold on the water”. I was already wearing a sweater and long pants, I thought it was more than sufficient, in any case I took it…, I had little choice. The boat finally arrived and our group of thirty five set off for the 2.5 hours tour.

 - to be continued - 

Seyfettin Yilmaz

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