Archive for July, 2012

David and Sarah

David just married Sarah!

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Welcome to the family!

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The Mighty Climb

Our last day in Montreal. Greg wanted to do some shopping, but we started out at a large park called Mont Royal. It’s a large hill in the middle of the city with an observatory and many paths to hike, not to mention a high view of the city.

Here is Greg sitting on the Metro on our way to Mont Royal.

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So we took the short route up all the stairs instead of weaving. Wow. Quite the workout. We didn’t go all the way to the top but stopped at the Mont Royal Chateau.

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I forgot to take any pictures of the city with my phone. But it was worth the climb.

After a much faster climb down, we spent some time wandering around the University of Montreal.

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Then visited Tim Hortons for a little snack before heading off to shopping.

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The food court was definitely the cheapest place we ate during the trip. We lost ourselves in at least three different malls (although all connected side by side) and I’m not sure if there were more if we had kept going.

We then headed home to pack for the next leg of our journey.

The Perfect Blend

Overall impressions: I am absolutely loving Montreal. I enjoy having everything in French. I definitely read and understand better than I speak, but that’s acceptable. Most people will try to speak english. Quite a few places, they start out by asking “Fran├žais ou Anglais?” It’s also not assumed that we’re American. We could be just as easily be English-speaking Canadians. Or locals who are more comfortable with English. Sure we do stand out some places, but not everywhere. And opening our mouths doesn’t automatically classify us. Fabulous!

We spent most of the day in a museum that I’m not going to name because I took this picture of a Japanese tea service on the sly.

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This was part of a Samurai exhibit.

The museum had a well done movie on the history if Montreal – incorporating ruins under the building. Afterwards, we walked through said ruins.

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They’re still working on excavations, but give it a few years and you too can walk through old sewers.

The last exhibit we visited was about the Etruscans. They lived and traded in the Mediterranean during the times of the Greeks and Romans. Interesting artifacts.

Nice slow no rush day in all.

Biosphere

Our second full day here. We spent today at the Biosphere.

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It had information about different areas of ecology. The water room looked fun, but would have been more entertaining for children. The roof took my breath away. But my favorite part was the solar house.

They also had a room full of clothes made from trash. This dress was made from cassette tapes, video tapes and 35mm film.

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Next to the Biosphere was a festival that ended up being a great place to get lunch.

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We also stopped to watch some folk dancers.

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Finally we wandered town trying to find a medieval weapons shop (it had closed) and Petite Italia. On our route, we saw several churches.

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We finished the day with a delicious pizza in Little Italy. We finished the day with Chocolate Mousse.

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Joys of the Metro

After a marvelous breakfast and pleasant conversation with our fellow travelers, we hopped on the metro for to see the sights. Well, Greg got his first chance to experience the occasional fickleness of subways. We got stuck at Cremazie (a station far enough past our B&B but not close to anywhere we wanted to go) for about 90 minutes – including time for a bus that didn’t come before trains were running again.

Then it was off to Basilique Notre Dame de Montreal. We walked by it last night, but made it inside this time.

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I thought the church was amazing. It just glowed with blue light.

We ate a lunch of mushroom and cheese crepes followed by a lemon crepe that we split. Charming place. A bird flew in the window and was pecking crumbs off the floor.

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Then back on the metro – taking a deep breathe – and off we headed to the Olympic Stadium to try and find the insectarium. We took a wrong turn (construction that made it confusing) and ended up walking by an oreo factory.

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The tower of the Olympic Stadium.

Then it was on to the Insectarium.

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Bees creating honey.

And the Botanical Gardens.

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We finished the day with an ice cream supper. We found a little place that use maple syrup for the sweetener in their ice cream. The Strawberry Mint Basil was fantastic. Greg tried a maple carmel pecan that he says was fabulous also.

Going to Montreal

We’re off to Montreal. Our plane had free movies and tv, but no free food and very few free drinks. Felt odd. Most planes I’ve taken lately have offered a snack, but required you to pay for entertainment. Greg enjoyed a movie. The food was better than anything I’ve had on a plane before, but not really worth the money.

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We decided to take the bus and metro (subway) to our Bed and Breakfast. The bus was hot and stuck in rush hour traffic so we jumped the first available stop near a metro station. The metro here reminds me more of the London tube than the Paris metro.

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After getting settled at Gite du Margot, we took off for Old Montreal

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Our first order of business was finding food. We found a burger place where I had a delightful burger with avocado and mango, finished with a basil and strawberry drink.

After that, we had fun walking along Vieux Port and seeing more of old Montreal.

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