Friday, July 24, 2009
New France Road,Quebec-July 24
My brother Wayne and Mary Jo left this morning for western Canada. John and I felt that there were still some areas here in Quebec which we wanted to see. We started and ended our day with waterfalls. A few minutes from Quebec city is the Parc de la Chute Montmorency. We took a cable car to the top of this 83-meter-high waterfall. We were able then to walk on a suspension bridge over the falls and take a foot path back to the bottom. From there we started our drive on what is called the New France Route. This road links Old Quebec to the Beaupre Coast. It has the claim of being one of the oldest roads in North America. Again I was fascinated with the homes along this route. According to the tour book "the architecture of the heritage homes reflect the English and French culture and the Quebecker's spirit of innovation". Also along this road were old barns,procession chapels,(pictured here),crosses and half-buried vegetable cellars-all reminiscent of the coast's rural past. After driving through many small villages we were surprised to see a large Catholic church called the shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre. We knew that it is a world renown pilgrimage site but did not expect to see so many people milling around the church. The church has 240 Neo-Roman stained glass windows and a beautiful rose window. The central nave is covered with mosaic tiles. There were several small stations in the front were people were praying. At these prayer sites were cards written in many languages for the pilgrims to read while making their petitions to St Anne who is the healer of diseases(as believed by the Catholic church). Across the street from this church is the Way of the Cross which has life-size bronze statues cast in France. Pictured here is one of those stations where Christ is blessing the women of Jerusalem. The last picture I have here is of the falls of the Canyon Sainte-Anne. Henry Thoreau visited these falls in 185O and wrote that they were the most spectacular of North America,second only to Niagara Falls! I would agree with him.