Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hello Montreal!

A bit out of synch with the blog posts, but I shall try to rectify that.
On Thursday I flew from Boston to Montreal. I slept the whole way, all 45 minutes of it. I didn't even feel the plane touch down, just slept right through it. Very nice.

At Montreal's airport I had to go through not only customs but also immigration. They had all sorts of questions, wanted to see my credit card, asked repeatedly what I was doing in Canada, etc. It wasn't rude or anything, but it actually felt like more scrutiny then I've gone through whenever I've traveled to the US, which I find interesting.

Then I took a bus into the city. On the way I noticed a poster for a metal festival. Kiss as headliner, and I was about to dismiss it when my eyes caught some more bands further down. Machine Head. In Flames. Etc. Cool.

My hotel is OK. Somewhat old and worn, and my bathroom, which isn't shared, is across the hall. Building layout planning at its best. But the place is charming and placed well between downtown Montreal and the Old Port.

Thursday I went exploring down towards Old Montreal and the Old Port. Old Montreal itself turned out to be just like most of Gamla Stan in Stockholm. One giant tourist trap. I found a nice café that had all organic food, where I got a very nice soup and a chicken curry that was really good.

Blog-posing in front of Cirque de Soleil's tent
setup for their show Totem, down at the Old Port.

I walked over to the Notre-Dame Basilica and took the brief tour.

The altar space in the Basilica.

My way back was through Chinatown, which also screamed Tourist Trap in big garish neon letters, surrounded by small plastic cats waving with one paw. There was a small street market with all kinds of knick-knacks and cheap crap on display. Much to my surprise they had a stand of bokken. I was not surprised they were all crooked, unlike the one I have that I assume was whittled out of a hundred foot oak by a small old Japanese man using nothing but his eye-lashes (thanks again for that gift, bro).

Then the heat got to me, so I had a quick meal at a Chinese place and then went to the hotel to hug the AC.

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