Blogs from Montréal, Quebec, Canada, North America


North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Downtown October 9th 2018

Nous voici de retour de ce petit périple et en route pour Montréal ou du moins en un premier temps Longueuil... Ouf, on ne s'est jamais trompés... on a jamais pris le pont pour les USA ! Puis à Longueuil nous découvrons tout de suite qu'Halloween se rapproche... Comme les deux fois que nous sommes venus à Montréal nous n'avons jamais vraiment visité la ville... nous nous décidons un des trois jours là-bas de prendre le métro et d'aller explorer ce que nous ne connaissons pas ! Nous n'avons pas préparé cette visite, et ne savons pas vraiment où nous diriger... C'est alors que me vient l'idée du Bus Hip Hop, il n'est pas donné comme prix mais au moins on fera un tour de ville complet.... Je dois aussi me trouver une boutique qui me ... read more
l'automne arrive
Halloween se prépare

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal October 6th 2018

Bon. Alors voilà, c’est parti pour de nouvelles aventures avec Romy! Mine de rien, c’est dejà son 3ème vol international! Elle est vraiment chanceuse. Et pour la gratitude, on repassera. En t-k... ce premier post est surtout un test pour m‘assurer que le blog fonctionne comme du monde. on en profite pour mettre la table pour la suite du blog. Cette année, on a acheté nos billets vraiment dernière minute. Genevieve préférait planifier tous les endroits où on irait (elle me montrait même des photos de places qui avaient l’air cool) avant d’acheter les billets d’avion... moi, je penchais pour acheter les billets d’avion avant de planifier tout ce qu’on ferait une fois arrivée. Question de perspectives. Tergiversations. Glandouillage. J’ai finalement gagné et réussi à convaincre Geneviève. Une semaine et demi avant le départ. Les vols ... read more

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Downtown July 8th 2018

In late June, a conference trip took me to Montreal. I arrived there on a Saturday afternoon, caught the shuttle bus into town, and walked to my hotel. It was screaming hot, which I absolutely had not expected. I had checked the weather forecast, so I had been prepared for temperatures above 30° Centigrade. However, what I had not expected was the humidity in the air. It was almost as humid as in Singapore! So I definitely needed a quick shower once I had checked into my room, then walked into town to meet my colleagues (the gang of cuties who had arrived just shortly before me) for dinner. It was great to catch up with Achim, Richie, Mats, and Alina. The food was nice, but we did not stay for too long because all of ... read more
Mont Royal II
Mont Royal III
Mont Royal IV

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal July 7th 2018

Time to pack it all up and head back home, I guess. And watch some England-Sweden in the World Cup. I have enjoyed some of my time in Montreal, so I'm glad I made the trip. And I know that the heat wave has obviously affected my experiences, but Montreal has not been my favorite Canadian city. I enjoyed it last time I was here, but it was only for 2 days and with a friend. This time, 5 days and solo travel didn't go as well as I had hoped. All that to say, I will be happy to be back home. One of the things that I do enjoy about solo travel is being free to make my own plans. And yesterday was a great example of one of those days. In fact, I ... read more
Botanical Gardens: art deco!
First view of the Chinese section of the Botanical Gardens
Japanese section of the Botanical Gardens

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal July 5th 2018

I always enjoy learning new vocabulary words when I travel abroad, especially when they're immediately useful. But la canicule is not one of those words I wish I had to learn. Another thing I learned from the Biosphere park today was the origin of the Humidex, something I had heard about in my previous Canadian adventures but just thought was a weird way to refer to what we call the "heat index" in the States. It was also 'fun' to find out how that whole system works--I had no idea how those forecasters got the heat index, but now I know the way it works. So, in Fahrenheit, the temperature made it up to 91 (though I saw at one point on my phone it was 95), and the heat index was 110. I'm still in ... read more
Votive Chapel (art deco!) at the Oratoire St-Joseph
"Sidewalk closed": a very common sight around Montreal
view from the Observatoire Ville-Marie

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal July 3rd 2018

After only one afternoon in Montreal, I was already exhausted! Perhaps I should've taken it easier after I got to my hotel, but one thing is for sure: that taxi ride from the train station to my hotel was the best $15 I've spent so far on this trip. In truth, I seldom take taxis. Maybe I should get into the Uber or Lyft mindset, but it's just such a weird concept to me, on top of the whole trust issue. Anyway, I walked around for at least 15 minutes after getting off the train, trying to figure out what my GPS was telling me to do on my phone. It had said the hotel was a 30-minute walk from the train station, which I've done in the past. But it kept telling me different directions--mainly ... read more
Park La Fontaine
An old Montreal favorite
Something crazy on Rue St-Denis

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Old Montréal May 16th 2018

Today's tour was led by Michel who was assisted by Mario. It was mostly walking, with a few short bus hops. Mario was only with us part of the time; the rest of the time was running ahead to get our tasty-tastings set up at the next locale. What a variety of offerings! We started in the Portuguese section of Montreal (who knew there was a Portuguese neighborhood there!?) and ended up at the farmer's market, which was (to me) very similar to Cleveland's West Side Market. On our way to the first stop at Padaria Portuguesia Cafe, Michel talked about the early settlers in the area. Young girls (some native, some French, aged 12-15) would choose from the available male suitors. These young girls (especially the natives) taught the men to survive. The commitment was ... read more
Fairmount Bagel
Mural Fest
Chapelle du Notre Dame du Bon Secours

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Downtown May 15th 2018

After our hotel breakfast, we met our guide for the day, Christian, in the lobby for our tour "Facets of Daily Life in Montreal," which is to include the Theater District, McGill University, the Golden Square Mile, and the Underground City (a taste of that yesterday). One of the things that Christian emphasized was the immigration trends, and how that shaped the neighborhoods in Montreal. Christian talked a bit about schools in Montreal; some are primarily Francophone (French speaking) while others are Anglophone, and still others are bi-lingual. In addition there are public and private variations of both. It can be a complex decision for families, but some of the decision is simplified by the constitution, which eliminates some of the conflict. Non-citizens must send their kids to Francophone schools, but English-speaking citizens may choose the ... read more
Metro and Underground Art
The old next to the new!
Ball on a rope!

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Old Montréal May 14th 2018

After breakfast buffet at the hotel, Sylvie introduced Marie who would lead us on a walking-history and culture tour; in the afternoon we would have the rest of the day to explore. The potential difficulty is the fact that nearly all the museums are closed on Mondays, so with the beautiful weather, we planned to spend the afternoon in the Botanical Gardens, but that was not to be, since THEY are also closed on Monday! Marie promised to be entertaining and she was! she started out by telling us that Montreal is on an island, with its own "mountain," Mount Royale (get it? MontReal). It's really more of a huge hill, but we learned during the tour that Montreal's tallest building cannot exceed the height of their mountain! The a park surrounding and including Mount Royal ... read more
Marche Bonsecours
Updated Coat of Arms

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal » Old Montréal May 13th 2018

We awoke in Gananoque, ON, ready to head for Montreal. Though we didn't have time to visit the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY, we decided to try the Great Lakes Maritime Museum in Gananoque. FAIL. It apparently had been a large and interesting museum, but they had to move to a different location, and have not yet opened at the final location. What we did find was a) REALLY hard to find and b) a room about 10' x 20' that was part of the yacht club office! Maybe next time! We hit the road for Montreal to meet up with our Road Scholar travelers. But on the way, we stopped in a small town, determined to eat in a local place (I think there was a Subway in every place we went, and in ... read more
Detailed Stone Work
les Chuchoteuses - The Whisperers

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