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Quebec City Cathedrals: A Canadian Treasure Hunt

Quebec City Cathedral

You don’t have to be on a spiritual quest to enjoy these amazing places. History buffs, art lovers, musicians, and ghost hunters all love to visit cathedrals when they are traveling. If you’re curious, in Quebec City, Quebec, there are an abundance of gorgeous cathedrals to visit that will inspire you with their soaring spaces and untold treasures.

The Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec

The Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec first opened it’s doors in 1664. Some of the most noted architectural features are its two asymmetrical towers, a neo-classical facade, and a baldachin of gold which appears to float over the main altar. Bask in the colorful glory of the incredible stained glass windows, as well as three Casavant organs.
The cathedral has seen its share of trials and tribulations. During the British siege in 1759, the church was bombarded and burned down, and then rebuilt exactly according to the original plans. It burned down again in 1922 and again was rebuilt exactly as before.

Standout Experience

Visitors can see the “Holy Door”, one of the only seven Holy doors in the world officially recognized by the Vatican. It is a very significant symbol of a spiritual experience, giving pilgrims the chance to collect lost parts of their lives. The Holy Door has a life-size relief of Jesus Christ in it, whose hands are worn from thousands and thousands of pilgrims touching them over the course of the centuries. Currently, the door is closed until next Jubilee in 2025.

How to Visit

The best way to enjoy this cathedral is through a self-guided tour. A map will guide you to all the cathedrals highlights and give you in-depth information on them. Visitors can explore daily from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. weekdays, 7:00 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8:00 a.m until 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Quebec City’s Notre-Dame Cathedral is located at 53 Rue Sainte-Famille, Québec, QC G1R 3V6, Canada.

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

This is the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec. Tucked in the heart of Old Quebec, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was built between 1800 and 1804 in the British Palladian style of architecture. The classic, austere exterior, gives little hint to the marvels that exist inside. The carved white columns and soaring proportions are just the first thing that catches the eye. An amazing array of stained glass, sculpture, and artwork awaits while strolling the interior of the cathedral.

Standout Experience

Listening to the famous bells at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is and experience that is not to be missed. The bells began ringing in 1830, and they are the oldest bells of their kind in Canada. They were forged by Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the same London foundry that made Big Ben and the Liberty Bell. The Quebec City Guild of Change Ringers, a team of 8 people, is required to ring all eight of the heavy bells. For the full effect, visit on special occasions like Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.

How to Visit

Over 150,000 people visit the cathedral each year, and there are several types of tours available. The public is welcome to take free, self-guided tours any time the cathedral is open, mid-May through mid-November, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guided tours are available for $6 mid-May through mid-November, Monday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sundays from 12:30pm to 16:30 p.m. It is also possible to arrange a group tour any time of the year with a reservation.

Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica

This cathedral is 19 miles outside of Quebec City, and according to over a million and a half visitors each year, it’s worth the trip. According to the Catholic Church, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica is said to be the place of many healings and miracles in its 350 year history. It is one of the only 5 national shrines in Canada, and is one of the oldest pilgrimage destinations in North America.
The cathedral’s soaring towers can be seen for miles around. They stand above the St. Anne’s Fountain, near the site where a crippled man was said to be healed by placing three stones in the church’s foundation. The fountain was installed in 2008 as part of the 350 year anniversary celebration of the cathedral. Another unique site is the “Scala Santa”, a staircase that is an exact replica of the Scala Santa in Rome that Jesus ascended to meet Pilate.

Standout Experience

There is nothing like this cathedral’s basilica anywhere else in the world. The Romanesque Revival cathedrals historic basilica will leave you amazed. The roof rises 100 meters into the air, and it is decorated everywhere you look with stained glass windows. There are over 240 stained glass pieces depicting an incredible array of scenes and stories. The basilica’s copper doors were created by the artist Albert Gilles, and the sanctuary itself is filled with additional sculptures and paintings dating back centuries.

How to Visit

The public and pilgrims are always welcome to the cathedral, located at 10018 Ave Royale, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, QC G0A 3C0, Canada. You can visit the Basilica, Shrine Store, Information Center, and other chapels and shrines year round, 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The information center is open July through May, and the Monestary’s Reception Desk is open year-round to answer visitors questions..
Any trip to Quebec is greatly enhanced by taking a tour of the city’s magnificent cathedrals. They are an intimate part of Quebec City and the surrounding area, tying visitors to the past with their architecture, craftsmanship. Canada is an an amazing country to visit and full of surprises, and the cathedrals of Quebec will take truly your breath away.

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The Best Things to Do in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington is a city that is full of amazing sights and things to do. You can almost feel the magic around you as soon as you arrive. As the country’s capital, it sits at the Southern end of the North Island, and has a mix of culture and cuisine that is not to be believed! The list of things to do is historical and unique, letting visitors get a feel for quite an interesting culture. Wellington features amazing restaurants, exquisite culture, and more. From the beginning of the trip until the last second, you are sure to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Explore Cuba Street

To begin, you’ll definitely enjoy the coolest street in all of Wellington. Cuba Street, with its bohemian vibe, is a registered historic area where everyone goes in order to sightsee, socialize, or just take in the culture. Named after a ship in 1840, the street offers plenty of musical events and art. For retail therapy, visit the north end of Cuba Street, and if you are in the mood for the entertainment side of things, wander down to the “top” or Southern end. Bring the camera, because photo opportunities are quite plentiful here. Don’t forget to snap a picture or two of the Bucket Fountain, a statue that has come to be known as one of the most recognized landmarks in New Zealand. You can experience Cuba Street all on your own, or be part of a guided walking tour to ensure that you don’t miss a thing.

Go to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

One of the most enriching things you can do is visit the Te Papa Museum. You’ll see collections that add to the whole tone of what New Zealand is all about. The museum prides itself on featuring the most abstract, significant cultural property, and the exhibits are nothing short of amazing. The interrelated thematic areas include the history and culture of Matauranga Maori, the culture of the people of New Zealand, the natural environment of the country, as well as art and design.

Take a Ride on the Wellington Cable Car

For one of the most fun experiences that you will have during your entire trip, plan to take a ride on the Wellington Cable Car. As New Zealand’s only functional cable car, you can get views of the city that you won’t find anywhere else in all of Wellington. Known as an “escape from the hustle and bustle of the city”, you can take in the tree-lined botanic gardens as you ride high up above everything. Spend some time at the cable car museum, where you can see the original machinery for the system that operated for over 75 years.

Do a Karori Cemetery Tour

There is no better way to dig into the deep history of Wellington than to take part in the Karori Cemetery Tour. The second largest burial ground in the entire country, the cemetery was established over 110 years ago and is now the burial ground for thousands of people. The tour will allow you to explore all of Karori Cemetery’s heritage values, and learn about the lives of prominent individuals through their graves and memorials. The expansive area features scenic and rolling landscaping, as you hear all about themes such as the “flu epidemic” and people who were “accidentally killed”.

Eat Fabulous Food

Dockside Restaurant & Bar

Located on Queen’s Wharf, Dockside Restaurant & Bar is situated in a historic waterfront shed with spectacular views. With a menu that changes on a daily basis, guests can be sure they are always getting the freshest and finest meals possible. The restaurant has a maritime theme, adding to it’s fun and casual feel. Guests will choose from menu items such as Mussels in Steamed Coconut Milk, Pan Roasted Salmon served with Grilled Calamari and Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon. Be sure that you do not forget dessert, because here at Dockside Restaurant & Bar, you’ll find Soft Coconut Cake with Mango Gel, Bananas Fosters with Rum Caramel, Apple, Blackberry, and Cinnamon Oat Crumble, and more. The only problem you will have is deciding which scrumptious menu items to choose.

The Larder Restaurant

When dinnertime comes, visitors to Wellington are typically looking for the best places to go. To truly get a taste of the city, we must discuss The Larder Restaurant. Providing a relaxed atmosphere, the owners of this quaint restaurant want every guest to feel as comfortable and welcome as possible as they enjoy mouthwatering food and professional service. The menu changes seasonally, and dishes utilize the best products available. The owners believe that all parts of the animal should be used in the recipes they create, providing a unique approach to cooking. Come see for yourself when you try the Pappardelle with Lamb Meatballs, Risotto prepared with Parmesan and Prawns, Gremolata Crumbed Lambs’ Brains, and much more. It is a meal that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon, as this establishment lets you capture the culture of Wellington right from the start.

Whitebait

This harborside restaurant is known for having some of the best local seafood in all of Wellington. The high-ceilings and sophisticated environment at Whitebait are only the beginning, as the head chef takes pride in every single ingredient, herb, and spice that he uses. You’ll only be offered the finest dishes possible, and they will be served with great pleasure from a staff that goes above and beyond to cater to your needs. Selections include a four-course land and sea dinner with dishes such as Raw Oyster, Rock Lobster, and Ruakaka Kingfish. Dessert is something special, with treats such as Ricotta Ice Cream and Raspberries with Champagne. When you want to have a meal of what is quite possibly the best seafood you will ever enjoy, Whitebait is the perfect place to do just that.
Wellington, New Zealand is a city that is to be enjoyed in so many ways. The locals take pride and delight in their wonderful landmarks, and visitors are encouraged to enjoy everything as much as possible. During your trip to Wellington, be sure to visit all of these incredible places, so that you can fully experience all that New Zealand offers!

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4 Great Ways to Experience Downtown Melbourne, Australia

Choosing to visit Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, Australia, for a nice respite won’t leave you disappointed. This popular cultural hub boasts many accolades and offers a multitude of exciting destinations to visit. One of the best areas to explore is downtown Melbourne.
Downtown Melbourne almost completely surrounds the Port Phillip Bay and has the perennial Yarrow River running through it and into the bay. It’s also where Melbourne was first established by settlers in 1835. Suffice it to say, this coastal town with 4 million residents has many attractions to visit within its downtown area, yet to narrow it down some, let’s explore four great ways to experience downtown Melbourne Australia.

Shop, Eat, and Appreciate Art at the Centre Place Laneway

The Centre Place Laneway is one of the many exciting destinations to visit in the heart of downtown Melbourne. The lively blue cobblestone laneway is designated as a pedestrian district where visitors can enjoy the unique shops, cafes, and artwork on their way to other close-by downtown Melbourne destinations. The local feel is palpable when walking through Centre Place, as apartment balconies above the shops rise multiple stories high, locals take their favorite spots at the cafes and bars, and ever-changing artwork depicts the native cultural flavors.
When you’re done with your coffee and crepes at a quaint Centre Place cafe, you can move on to explore the many small and large destinations within the downtown Melbourne area. Some of the most noteworthy are Flinders Street Railway Station, Yarrow River, Degraves Street, Campbell Arcade, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Federation Square, and Princess Walk.
To get the full experience, you’ll want to spend at least a day or two in this area of Melbourne. You can start with a visit to the Centre Place laneway, then move a block south towards the Yarrow River and experience the underground Campbell Arcade and Flinders Street Railway Station, where your City Circle Tram awaits.

Take the City Circle Tram Tour

Another great way to experience downtown Melbourne is by riding on the City Circle Tram. You can get on the largest urban tram network in the world at Flinders Street Railway Station and fast-track your exploration of downtown Melbourne. The City Circle Tram tour is free and runs throughout the day, allowing passengers to get on and off quickly to explore different parts of the city. There are two types of trams that service the City Circle Tram route, including the retro heritage maroon colored trams with gold trimmings and the standard modern trams with green and white colors.
Instead of driving, taking a taxi, or walking around the large downtown area of Melbourne, you can use the trams to get around with a great view and in local style. Besides being an experience in itself, the City Circle Tram offers local information and maps for destinations, events, shops, restaurants, etc.
Perhaps, after enjoying the morning at Centre Place, you can hop on a City Circle Tram and travel a mile west to visit Docklands Park or watch a soccer event at Marvel Stadium; or, you could travel southeast about a half a mile over the Yarrow River to visit the historic Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

Experience the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Any vacation to Melbourne should include a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, which is one of the area’s biggest and most historic attractions. This is a special reserved area covering 38 hectares (118 acres) of land and drawing in over 1.8 million visitors a year. The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria was preserved by the early settlers of Melbourne back in 1846; this large green area in the midst of downtown Melbourne creates an intriguing contrast between the brick and concrete of the city and the neatly carved out natural beauty of the botanical gardens.
There are many interesting sections of the gardens to explore; if desired, you could make this relaxing destination a day-long affair. After exploring the busy downtown area, you’ll appreciate the calm, beautiful environment the gardens offer, including small lakes, 12,000 species of plant life, large scenic lawns, various trees, wooden walkways, and much more.
You can also sit down at one of the two cafes located within the garden: The Terrace and Jardin Tan, where you can get organic, French-Indochina flavored food while enjoying the lush tropical surroundings. Afterward, you can decide whether to take a guided tour, shop for souvenirs, take a nap on the Eastern Lawn, or get back on the tram to visit the next location, perhaps the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Check Out the Melbourne Cricket Ground

If you really want to get a taste of Melbourne, you’ll have to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground, (a.k.a. “the G”). Even if you’re not interested in Australian Rules Football, cricket, tennis, or rugby, you’ll enjoy the historical significance associated with one of the largest and oldest sports stadiums in the world.
The G was built in 1853 and has a seating capacity of around 100k, making it the 10th largest sports stadium in the world. Notably, this is the home of Victorian sport, a major part of Australia sport, the birthplace of cricket in 1877, the home for Australian football since 1859, and the location of the National Sports Museum. The entire area around Melbourne Cricket Ground is sports oriented and full of notable destinations. This includes Melbourne Park, which is where the Australian Open tennis tournament is held; also, Richmond Football Club Museum, Olympic Park, Rod Laver Arena, Tennis World (National Tennis Center), and more.
The center of it all is the G, which offers visitors more than just sports, including cinema night, concerts, guided tours, museums, cafes, pubs, beer gardens, and souvenir shops. This special destination in downtown Melbourne offers you a great way to experience the best of Australian sports, and with the G located just west of Flinders Street Railway Station, you’ll find it easy to circle back around to where you started on your City Circle Tram ride.
These four great ways to experience downtown Melbourne should give you a rough outline for your adventures. Along the way, you can fill in the blanks with a multitude of additional unique and exciting destinations, cafes, shops, and activities. In the end, experiencing the heart of downtown Melbourne will give you a greater understanding of what this unique city in southeastern Australia is all about.