Monday, July 14, 2014

Canada Trip: Last days of conference

The conference I attended kept us pretty busy and didn't leave a lot of time for sight seeing, but I did skip some lectures here and there so I could see some of the city.  On Saturday morning I skipped the conference in the hopes of seeing the changing of the guard at the Citadel, only to find out it only occurred Monday through Friday at that time.  I still took the opportunity to walk around the outer edge of the city.  I started at the Plains of Abraham, the battlefield where the British defeated the French in 1759 during the Seven Years War.  This battle gave the British Quebec City and control of the St. Lawrence River, which eventually allowed them to conquer Canada.  Surprisingly, there was almost nothing to mark the spot, but this is currently being rectified as the Canadians are in the middle of building something on the site.

I walked along the river taking pictures constantly as I walked.  The view from the hills that encircle the city is just beautiful.  I walked from the Plains of Abraham to the area of Old Quebec that I visited on the first day I arrived in the city.

I finished up my walk that day by visiting the Basilica Cathedral Notre Dame.  The cathedral is currently celebrating its 350th anniversary, as described here.  In honor of the anniversary, a year of Jubilee was declared and a Holy Door was opened, the first one outside of Europe.  For those who don't know, walking through a Holy Door grants plenary indulgence, something that was a major plot point in the movie Dogma. I had no idea this was occurring when I made the decision to go to the conference.  I first learned about it from a story in the travel section of the local paper two months before my trip.  It was a very pleasant surprise.  Walking through the Holy Door was quite an experience, and the inside of the cathedral was ornately decorated and just beautiful.  It's just too bad the Holy Door is only open until this December.  I wish there was a more permanent door on this side of the Atlantic so more people could have the experience I did.

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