October 10, 2004

Hello from Canada

Before you read this post you should know two things.
1. The Canadians love this weird dish called Poutine.
2. Jon cut his hair and it looks really, really great.

Hello from Rue St. Urbain.

Jon and I are taking some time off from our walking tour of Montreal. We've stopped in a little internet cafe on Rue St. Urbain across from Hotel Dieu, which we think is actually a hospital. Yesterday, after checking into the luxurious Sheraton, we went directly to Rue de St. Catherine. We walked all the way down to the Place des Artes, then hung a right on Rue de St. Laurent, walked through Chinatown, into Old Montreal where the fun really began. When we first entered Old Montreal we noticed a couple of brides walking around here and there and thought it very charming. But then as we walked further down Rue de Notre Dame, the number of brides started rapidly multiplying. It was when reached the PlaceVauquelin, and the Hotel de Ville, or City Hall, we realized that people were getting married en masse. We saw brides everywhere. Yes. I took pictures, but I used by Pentax K-1000 so hopefully they turned out okay. The camera is almost 20 years old and hasn't been tuned up in 13 years.

In the square across from the Hotel de Ville is this great fountain where all the brides were posing with their wedding parties. People were also posing by their limousines, their incredibly ridiculous Bentley and Rolls Royce limousines complete with tulle and other wedding decorations. Across the street at le Place Jacques Cartier, we saw the odd statue of one armed Lord Nelson, whose name I know, only from watching the movie Master and Commander. Jon knows more about the history of British naval warfare than I do, but from what I understand, Lord Nelson is famous for winning the Battle of Trafalgar which I guess was some important battle against Napoleon.

To the right, you can see the picture of city hall to the right of that very tall statue of Lord Nelson. Imagine this square full of brides. It was really quite lovely. Also imagine those big pots full of orange, yellow and purple flowers. Absolutely incredible.

We walked further into Old Montreal and found charming little shops and restaurants and windy streets and strange art stores and weird, original jewelry. We walked past the Notre Dame basilica but I was just too pooped by this point to really appreciate the basilica and besides it was overcast and you really can't enjoy stained glass when it's cloudy outside. We chose to save for it another day.

Today we took the metro to the Ile Saint Helene and saw the enormous geodesic dome which I photographed ad nauseam, and then this cool old fort, Musee Stewart. We were surprised to discover a fantastic little gem of a museum. Inside there was an interactive diorama explaining the history of the city plan. Very cool. There was also a lot of pewter, more than you can shake a stick at.

We're now headed out to Mount Royal to meander through the park and then walk back to our hotel back up Rue de Ste. Catherine. Can you guess what was named after Mount Royal?

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