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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bonjour

The last time I was in Montreal was for the 1967 Expo.  My parents had taken my brothers and I when I was 14.  I had this beautiful city on my bucket list of places I needed to see again before I died for quite a while.  So Gary and I ventured there during Canada's Thanksgiving weekend.


You can still see the Biosphere in the background of this picture that was originally built for the Expo World's Fair.

Walk down any street in the Old Town section of the city and you will find narrow, cobbled streets flanked by centuries-old stone buildings and you're magically transported to Europe. Outdoor cafes, flag-festooned souvenir shops, signs in French and people greeting each other with kisses on the cheek conjure up images of France.

Canada is officially bilingual, but Québec province has laws that make French mandatory in signage.
About 20% of Montréal's population has English as its first language (about 5% of Québec City's population does) and an estimated four out of five Francophones (French speakers) speak at least some English. Hotel desk staff, sales clerks, and telephone operators nearly always greet people initially in French, but usually switch to English quickly if necessary. Outside of Montréal, visitors are more likely to encounter residents who don't speak English.






On Friday evening we took in the light and sound show at Notre Dame Basilica. You can travel back in time as animated light displays and dynamic projections blaze across giant screens suspended from the vault of the Basilica. This show was amazing!

 Unfortunately cameras are now allowed during the show.
The music from this pipe organ gave me chills.

Of course we had to experience crepes while we were here.
A stop at famous Suzette's was a must.

  Gary had apple and cheese...
and I had the ham and cheese.  Sorry I couldn't wait to take a picture I had to start eating.

 On Saturday we hopped on the subway for a ride to the Jean-Talon Farmers Market.
Walking the few blocks to the market was entertaining.


Honey in all flavors and colors.
I love how organized and colorful the displays are.
 I love the colors of fall.

This display case was so hard to walk away from.

Our next stop was to the Montreal Botanical Garden.  We knew we would be visiting at least 3 museums while we were here so we bought a Montreal Museum pass which includes admission to museums,boat tours and transportation (subway and bus) for 3 days.






 Although this was October some flowers were still in bloom.

Chinese Garden
To mark its 20th anniversary, the Chinese Garden is offering the 19th edition of  The Magic of Lanterns, on the theme of “The First Emperor's Procession”. 


 These beautiful lanterns are lite ever night at 7:00.

 After a long day all we had on our mind was some food and entertainment.


 Just like in Europe you can find street entertainers.  This little boy mastered juggling.

Dinner was at Jardin Nelson.  This wonderful open air restaurant with hanging plants and flowers has a live jazz band nightly. The atmosphere was so romantic.

We were fascinated with these umbrella's that opens outward.
 We always try local beer from the area we are visiting.

 Roast Beef,  French dip au jus was on Garys plate...while

I had Italian pizza. Again I was so hungry to eat I forgot to take a picture.

To finish off the meal and the day...Chocolate Molten Cake...yum!

The next morning we were off to the Montreal Biodome.

 Capybara
An oasis in the heart of the city, the Montréal Biodôme recreates some of the most beautiful ecosystems of the Americas: Tropical Rainforest, Maple Forest, Gulfs of the St. Lawrence, Labrador Coast, Sub-Antarctic Island. 


 Beaver





Their is something about Penguins that tickles my funny bone.
 
Our next stop was a ride on the Lachine Canal.



 Downtown Montreal.
 Swing railroad bridge.


On Monday it was Thanksgiving for our neighbors to the north and we are on our way home from a wonderful visit.  The city brought back a lot of memories for me as a child and new memories with Gary.  Montreal...check this city off my list.

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