dimanche 24 juillet 2005

So, I went to Canada, and..

I hadn't been to Montréal since I was 10, and well, that doesn't really count now, does it? There's no time like the present to correct such matters, especially given that it's only a matter of weeks until I leave this humid coast.

This is the monkey I received in my Happy Meal. He became our trip mascot. You see, any time I'm in a car for more than two-and-a-half hours, I will want a Happy Meal without fail. Some sort of weird Pavlovian response to being in a car. But a Happy Meal is the perfect amount of food - six chicken McNuggets (and no, I don't care what they're made of, they taste good), small fries, a small drink, and the best part ever - a toy! This particular one looks a little demonic. It's funny.

Bucolic and green. That is what Vermont is.

Hey look! We're crossing the border! Picture-taking sure is fun when you don't leave the car.

At Parc Mont-Royal.

I like going to places where English isn't the first language spoken. It makes me feel like I've really gone somewhere new! sparkly! interesting!

From left to right: A view of Parc Mont-Royal from Place Ville-Marie; on Rue Peel and Boulevard René-Lévesque; the Hotel de Ville in Vieux Montréal; on Rue Sherbrooke and Rue St-Denis

What really struck me about Montréal was the juxtaposition of old and new. Beautiful old buildings, stuck next to ugly modern skyscrapers. It reminded me a bit of East Berlin.

Left: At McGill University. Right: At Parc Mont-Royal.

I also appreciated the funny signs. The one on the left especially resonates with me, for the one warning my father gave me before I moved to the East coast was to not walk too close to buildings after it's snowed, as an icicle might detach itself from an eave and SPEAR ME IN THE HEAD. Seriously. And on the right, look! If you feed a squirrel, you might destroy all of nature as we know it.

Such nice warnings.

Left to right: Outside the Musée des Beaux-Arts; Wheels! Randomly blocking traffic!; At métro Mont-Royal

There's a bit of the absurd scattered around the city. How fitting!

Those hearts are supposedly 6 feet tall, but I stood next to them and they are maybe like 5'9, tops. Tsktsk, what happened to truth in advertising?

The rainbow wheels were on their way to the comedy festival, Juste pour rire. What they were going to do there, we have no idea. All I know is that I was trying to find parking near the bar, and they effectively prevented me from doing so.

Top row: Advertisement on side of a building in Vieux Montréal; Poem on the side of a building at métro Mont-Royal
Bottom row: The former stock exchange, now the Centaur Theatre, in Vieux Montréal; Notre-Dame-de-Bon -Secours chapel, also in Vieux Montréal

But for me, I find that I'm continually charmed by the little details. That's always what makes it or breaks it.

From the top of Parc Mont-Royal. Look at me, using the panoramic landscape function on my camera!

It really is a beautiful city, and we were blessed with non-humid weather (after a brief thunderstorm quite neatly cleaned things up for us)! What more could a group of travelers hope for?

Oh, right. Good food. You think that we scrimped on that? Hah! But, that'll have to wait for another day.