Monday, May 25, 2009

a sunday afternoon delight....

Not that long ago...we toured a few landmarks on the north shore of the Fraser River...not all that far from here. We have so many treasures nearby that many of my friends have never taken the time to visit. So...I organized a tour...and ordered some sunshine...and lined up a few vans...and took a whole gang along for the ride yesterday afternoon.

Our first stop was Westminster Abbey...home to a Benedictine monastery and Mission's most imposing landmark. The grounds are rather like a park...but are actually a part of a working farm operated by the self-sufficient monks.

The abbey stands atop a ridge overlooking the Fraser River valley....and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

The monks welcome people of all faiths...and the monastery is open to the public every afternoon. We entered quietly...and observed the beauty of the sanctuary...and respected the signs that indicated we were in a quiet zone. Someone suggested it would probably be acceptable for us to sing...and so we sang "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..." in four part a building with amazing acoustics...and it was good!

We chatted with a monk...who told us about their facilities...their lifestyle...and their farm. They planned to make grass silage today...exactly what we are doing here on the farm today.

From there we all wandered down the trail...

...through pastures and woods...where the scent of spring flowers hung in the air...and the birds provided the music.

The trail ended at a viewpoint...overlooking the Fraser Valley and the farms of Matsqui Prairie just across the river. And the favorite peaks...were all clearly visible.

Just a short drive away...we stopped by Nielson Park...along the banks of Hatzic Lake. People picnicked and water skiied...we watched and then carried on our way.

In a few short months, the new Golden Ears Bridge will be ready for use...and the last remaining ferry across the Fraser River will be pulled out of service. So we thought we would take the Albion Ferry one more time...for the record. We had not really counted on a three-sailing wait...but we were in good even the waiting was good.

The actual ferry crossing takes only about five I had to be quick with the camera.

The only other river traffic on this bright sunny Sunday...were the tugs pulling logs.
Our trip across was uneventful...and soon we were in Fort Langley...the perfect spot to find a bite to eat and end our tour for this time.

Next stop? I'll keep you posted...there's no end to things to see and do in the beautiful Fraser Valley!

Have a great day...


  1. That is one delightful tour Judy, you are a wonderful tour guide..thank you! I got goosebumps..singing in that beautiful monastry must have been awesome and I love the song you chose to sing.
    Loved the photos..gorgeous!

  2. I'd love to have been in that van!
    I often hear the report on the Albion Ferry "X-number of sailing waits" and wonder about it - now I know!

  3. Beautiful, nay, exquisite tour! I would have loved to have heard the four part harmony...I hope that others did. I am moved just thinking about it.

  4. beautiful. haven't been up to the monastery in years; it's so peaceful up there.

    we did the ferry on the long weekend; wish they would keep one in service just because :)

  5. Judy, you should organize tours! We haven't been up to the monastery for a long time...maybe our daughter's wedding. The picture of the gate reminded me of that.

  6. My first visit to the Frazer Valley, thanks to you and your camera. What a delight for all of your friends, to have someone like you take the initative and set up a trip like this. What exquisite beauty you have in your part of the world.

  7. Yesterday our pastor recommended that all spend this week remembering the Doxology - and that those who didn't know the song, find the words and learn them. It's THE song for the ages!

  8. I was so pleased with your post today and spiritually uplifted. I will be glad when I can organize my blog like that, and I will eventually.

  9. It is so fun to see the same things that I've seen before through the view of your lens. I tried to find the home I lived in on Matsqui flats. . .couldn't it is exactly but it was enough to know it was there.

  10. wow! thanks for such beautiful virtual tour!
    singing in 4-part harmony in that monastry! wish I'd been there to hear it!

  11. Great Tour!
    We do live in an amazing place, don't we ?
    There are so many things to see and enjoy!
    Beautiful photos, Judy!!

  12. Judy, you seem to have the most fun. What a beautiful place to visit. What a great tour.

  13. My next trip to the FV I am definitely heading to that beautiful sanctuary. thanks for tips.

  14. You live in an absolutely beautiful area of Canada, Judy. The monastery was very interesting. How nice to have given the gift of a song there.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson