Church Hopping and visiting Vieux PortSeptember 28, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C
Today we started off with a savoury/sweet breakfast at Paris Crépe, just a couple of minutes' walk away from our accommodation.
Then we headed off to visit L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mount thru a cab service. We were walking down the street when a taxi passed us by. We had a lovely chat with the driver who originally came from Africa.
When we got there, our driver kindly drove us up to the entrance section, otherwise we would have had to climb up a couple of flights of stairs. Inside, we had to pass by two floors (by way of escalators) to get to the main hall, one of which led to a museum; the other featured a shop. The Basilica was the highest ceiling I have ever laid my eyes on. There was grandeur in every angle. At the back of the altar we visited the Blessed Sacrament, and its golden walls and domed roof was a peaceful aide to some deep prayer time, which we allowed ourselves to be immersed in and help with our meditation. As we were about to make our way to the exit, we saw a passageway that led to the Crypt Church, a votive chapel (that contained 10000 candles), and the tomb of Frére André, recently canonised into Sainthood, was also housed there, which made our visit even more special.
Then we made our way to the Basilica de Notré Dame. What a magnificent splendour indeed! The Gothic Revival style carvings and decour were resplendent and detailed, the stained glass art were mystical. It was a beautiful reminder of the talents of that era. Heaps of tourists in this place, and luckily we managed to get in just before closing time. We had to pay a minimal mandatory fee. Later on we saw some scaffolding on the sides that indicate that the fees are truly allocated for the upkeep of this National Heritage.
Then we made our way towards the Old Port (we got lost but backtracked our way and got there in the end). There was a cruise ship docked in Alexandra Berth, and we saw some tourists enjoying the afternoon. To our delight, we saw another "Canada 150" signage installed just across Montreal Science Centre. Of course we had our obligatory selfies there, and we also got to meet an immigrant Filipina visiting the area.
My mom's third degree relative, Tess, then met us at a nearby shabby-chic bistro called Le Magasin Général du Vieux-Montréal. After more than three decades, they have finally been reunited once more. They reminisced with utter joy, and tried to update each other of their loved ones and people that they know. Meanwhile the bistro's strawberry chai tea and rustic pizzas were quite scrumptious.
Mom's cousin then walked us around Old Montréal's cobblestone streets, leading us to the city hall, Marché Bonsecours and then to Notré Dame Chapélle. The walk made us feel like we were in Europe. My sister and I wished it rained prior as it would have made the streets more picturesque. We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere, and there were plenty of tourists enjoying the food and the vibe of the area.
We took a cab back to our accommodation, fully satisfied with our spiritual and cultural experiences for the day.Read more