Quebec Thurs 7/12 – Beaupre, Waterfalls, Cirque

Drove east about 30 minutes to Beaupre area for Canyon de Saint Anne, a beautiful gorge trail, and hiked in the footsteps of our own  Henry David Thoreau. The canyon has 3 footbridges crossing the gorge, with warnings for those scared of heights. Also zip-lines, rock-climbing cables, and a group of adventurers on a tour over the rocks. We stuck to the trail and bridges. So scenic, with the chute/falls roaring down the gorge providing the sound-track. This is video of the falls from the 3rd footbridge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbY_h3l_Cag&feature=g-upl

Then drove back west to the St. Anne de Beaupre Basilica. When I visited as a child, I remembered a wall covered with crutches and canes left by worshipers whose infirmities were healed by their prayers to St. Anne (Jesus’ bubbe). Now there’s an elevator blocking that wall, so the canes & crutches hang from columns at the back of the pews. Up front is the statue of St. Anne, with many worshipers kneeling in prayer at her feet. Downstairs is a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta. Next to the Basilica is a round building the Cyclorama de Jerusalem a giant circular painting, first opened in 1895, with the landscape of Jerusalem at the time of the crucification. We skipped that one.

Then back west to the top and bottom of Montmorency Falls. After enjoying the views, we headed back to town, walked and sampled our way through the Marche (farmers market). Then more walking around the Lower Town, toured the other Notre Dame church, Rue Champlain, murals. Dinner at the Belgian restaurant on St. Paul by the hotel. Walked from there to Le Chemin Invisible – a nightly free performance by a Cirque du Soleil troupe – set up with full staging, lighting, sound system, lasers, trapeze, everything – in the vacant space under the highways. They easily fit thousands standing and watching the hour-long show.

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