Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Sunny December 24th from Montreal

Lily, our sweet house cat, waiting for birds on a sunny December 24th

My Closest Catholic Church

     My first sunny day in Montreal was today, December 24th.  I have been looking forward to today.  I have plans to go to Christmas Eve Mass.  I am not Catholic, but find the service a joyous spiritual event.  Last year in London I walked a few blocks to attend the Mass, arriving to a standing-room only service.  I'm not sure what to expect this year.  As I have walked about the last few days I have noted so very many churches.
     Yesterday, I could see the large city park with it's frosted trees climbing the hill.  I headed in that direction only to be way-laid by the Cathedral Marie- Reine of the World.  The grey stone bulk from the backside beckoned me.  I plowed through a narrow path along the side wall and without looking up, I entered the heavy front door.  This cathedral was modeled after Rome's St. Peter.  I was stunned.
     On two columns inside were the names of the early parishioners.  Some names were French and some Scottish.  If faith could be translated into some measure of architecture, their faith was enormous.


     Looking back after leaving the Cathedral, I took this photo.  I think it
conveys the complexity of Montreal.  You can just see the Cathedral dome and the statues on top of it's facade... that is if you can look past that truck flashing video advertisements.  The building to the far left was filled with banks and financial companies.  The solid design of grey stone of the financial building fit well with the Cathedral's.  Odd though money facing faith.  

         Another church attracted my attention today.  The sunny weather seemed a great day for photos, so I set out to the market intending to look for good photos.  I passed the market where I intended to buy some meat for Christmas Day to get closer to an interesting church.  As I slipped around the corner, cannolis came into view! 

     My friend Todd loves cannolis.  The ones that we have had in Washington and Oregon never quite live up to the ones that he remembers from New York.  These, Todd, I am sure would meet your standards.  I slipped inside thinking that I might get one.  The line was long.  I didn't stay, but vowed to return.  I took a few more photos as I slipped out.  Anyone want a little cake or sweets shipped your way?

Little Fruit Candies
      I continued on intending to cross over to any road that I have not yet walked.  A few blocks away I turned to see old buildings with canopies as far as I could see.  The St. Hubert Plaza was a creative way to turn a stretch of old shops into a reasonably-protected shopping area.  Both sides of the streets were covered in the same style of canopy.

    The first block of shops were filled with wedding dresses.  A bride would have had many choices.  Jewelry stores, kitchen shops and house decor shops complimented the bridal shops.  
    I may have neglected to mention that the temperature on this sunny day of walking was about 10 degrees at the warmest.  I didn't have anything to purchase, but just  kept warm by ducking into a shop here and there.  Two particularly beautiful book stores kept me warm.
    The first store had wonderful displays of children's books.  All of them in French.  I was happy to see a collection of Ernest and Celestine books.  If there is a child in your family, any of these books about a little mouse and big bear would charm them.

  Heading back home I came across this snow plow loading a semi-truck.


     I can't explain why I find these snow removal systems so fascinating.  While I watched, this plow filled three semi-trucks.  The semi-trucks just keep rolling up one after another steadily.  I left before another one appeared.
    (Notice the church spire.  This was the sixth church that I had seen today.)

    Almost home with this view.  Another 10,000 steps today.  At this corner I turn right.  Earlier in the day there was a plow here trying to make parking a little easier.  Most cars are just backed into a three-sided snowbank like that suburban on the left.


    I'm not really shaking... it is just the window.  However, if you crossed my path, you likely wouldn't recognize me.  That neck gator is usually over the nose!

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