Welcome to Montreal! Here are some deluxe accommodations for your stay!
STOP! What? That's right--this past weekend we went to Montreal to celebrate my birthday! Usually for my birthday we head to some beachy spot, but this time I chose Montreal...in part because I wanted to practice my French. That first picture is in fact a hotel...but not the one we stayed in. Ours was much cheaper. The one pictured is where Madonna and the Rolling Stones stay when they are in town!
Sometimes it is nice to get out of the country. Just to keep things spicy. There is Brandon in his new pumas on a street called L'avenue des Artistes.
The light isn't so good in this picture, but it does reveal the swarms of people that we were circulating in. This is the very oldest part of Montreal by the water. I suspect it is also the most touristy. But it was spectacularly fun.
These working brumbies were the only ones I saw on this trip. They were large and good-natured. I couldn't help but feel sorry for them, lugging those carriages over the granite cobbles all day. I hope they didn't have to work every day and had a nice pasture to lounge in part of the week. Many of the streets in Old Town were handmade granite cobblestones from hundreds of years ago. Even though the horses all wore shoes, I wondered if their feet hurt. (It is so like me to zero in on that.)
This church is the basilica of Notre Dame. I wanted to take a walking tour that met on its front steps, so we zoomed up cute street to get there.
There is Brandon is front of the basilica. I think it is funny how all the civic buildings are orderly, neo-classical while many of the church buildings are gothic and dreamy looking.
Our walking tour started inside the basilica. That blurry guy in the white shirt is George, our tour guide. I love going in churches like this. Gorgeous. This church is used for very important state functions, like funerals of important people. George also told us Celine Dion was married in this church. I am not what you'd call a Celine Dion fan, but I do not blame her one bit for wanting to be married here.
I had another picture of George here but accidentally deleted it! Too bad because it was very cute--depicting him waving his umbrella at us to follow him, like a shepherd might wield his crook around at his little lambs.
Sheep-like, we followed George all around the interesting and gorgeous art of the city, where we looked at numerous architectural details. I do believe he said a Julia Roberts movie was just filming here, and before that, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Some of the buildings were verrrry old. Like this one that used to be some merchant's home.
Here is Brandon in Chinatown.
Here is Brandon in an herb shop in Chinatown where we wanted to find some medicinal herbs that are hard to find (if not impossible) at an ordinary grocery store. Everyone was speaking Chinese in there. They had many dried mushrooms, and an herbalist in the back if you wanted a consultation. There were also two small chinese girls giggling wildly at everything.
In Chinatown, I saw lots of things my brumby would love!!
While we were in Montreal, they were having a Taste of Montreal festival. Here I am in the beer garden getting up close and personal. What a huge forehead I have!! This was right after a Cosmo.
OK, I LOVE this picture. Do you see how instead of tearing down the old building there, another one was simply built on top of it? Look at that cute little stone house in there!
Here's another old house, and those tricky cobblestones. The new cobblestones are not handmade like the old ones. Brandon says there was a special tool to cut them, all by hand. Shaped like a star, you'd pound it into the rock, turn it, and pound again. Turning and pounding for hours, until you got the stone just right.
This is the Chapel of St Marguerite. It is on the water and on the back of the church is a balcony where the priest would come out and bless the boats and their crews before they left for sea.
This was my fave waiter of all time. He serves us crepes and gave my French very high marks!
Hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend!