Sunday, July 17, 2016

Plattsburgh and Montreal

We moved north from the Catskills to Plattsburgh near the Canadian border.  Since it was over the Fourth of July we were lucky to find the Twin Ells Campsites where they gave us the Passport America Rate even over the holiday weekend.  Mostly we just took it easy, but we did do a bit of exploring including a day trip to Montreal.
The drive north was through the Adirondack Park, one of the largest recreation areas in the country.  The park includes both private and public land.  The mountains are beautiful and the highest in New York. 
Plattsburgh is on Lake Champlain, a large natural lake on the border of New York and Vermont.  There are many marinas with both sailing and motorized boats.
Statue of Samuel Champlain, the first European to explore this area.  He was born in 1567 in France and died in 1635 in Quebec City where he was governor.
Looking across Lake Champlain to the mountains in Vermont.  It is beautiful, but I would not want to be here in the winter when it is usually cold enough for the lake to freeze enough that people can drive on it.  Plattsburgh is a beautiful stop, in the summer. 
We had been to Montreal before, but that was almost 35 years ago.  It sure has changed a lot.  This is a marina and the Old Montreal section of the city.
Old Montreal has been restored and is now a major tourist stop with its old buildings and cobblestone streets.  Most of the area is thriving with shops and restaurants. 
The main part of this area is Place Jacques Cartier built as a marketplace at the beginning of the 19th century.  At the top of the place is a statue of Admiral Nelson that was covered with wood while being cleaned. 
Loved the old watering trough.  The area is now a market for many artisans selling their works.
Montreal city hall and many of the streets in the area are being repaired to get ready for the city's 375th anniversary next year.  In 1967 Charles de Gaulle proclaimed from the city hall balcony, "Vive le Quebec librel" in support of Quebec's liberation from Canada.
We walked to Place Bonaventure, the place we stayed at many years ago.  We found the Le Castillon restaurant where we ate a fantastic meal back then, but it had just recently changed names and was not nearly as elegant as we remember.  To bad, it was really a great place to eat.  There are fountains and sculptures in the many public spaces.
There were a whole series of these martial arts sculptures.  
To give our feet a rest we took a carriage ride through Old Montreal.  It was a great way to see the city and learn a bit of history from a local.
Nanc giving the horse some tips about maneuvering the city streets.  Not that he needed any, he even backed into this parking spot without a hitch - no pun intended.
The Marche' Bonsecour dates back to the middle 1800's.  Once a large market building, it has been restored and now houses boutiques and restaurants.
These two statues are on opposite corners of Place d'Armes.  The English man holding a pug is giving a superior stare at Notre Dame Basilica, the symbol of the religious influence with the French Canadians.  The woman holding a poodle shoots an offended look at the Bank of Montreal, a symbol of British influence.  Even as the owners appear to be rejecting the symbol of the other's culture the two dogs are sniffing each other.  
At first I thought this bagpiper was being punished, but then I realized there were four of them standing in corners to help project their melodious tones. 
The Notre-Dame Basilica was constructed between 1824 and 1829 on Place de Armis.  The towers were added starting in 1841 to house the bells.
The beautiful stained glass windows honor various historic and religious figures in French Canadian history.
The sanctuary and altar.
The pulpit on the side of the sanctuary was built between 1883 and 1885.  The sculptures are by Louis-Philippe Hebert.
Behind the main sanctuary is the Chapel du Notre_Dame du Sacre'-Cocur.   The chapel was almost destroyed by fire in 1978 and was rebuilt between 1979 and 1982.  The bronze sculpture symbolizes humankind's march toward the Holy Trinity.  This basilica is not to be missed if you are touring Montreal.  There are both guided and self guided tours in French and English. A trip to old Montreal is like stepping back in time and well worth a visit. 

1 comment:

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

More to add to the list. Good post.