Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Montreal, y'all

 It was a very interesting trip from Quebec to Montreal.  Only about four hours of driving but we stopped in a town called Trois-Rivieres (three rivers) even though it's only one river, the St. Maurice, which joins the St. Lawrence.  Something about three channels but it just doesn't make sense.  Anyway, we went to another paper mill museum, this one in a real paper mill building with tons of interesting facts making paper history, and about how horrible it was to work in the heat and damp. 

 But the really interesting part was trying to get out of town because every way that Roada, the GPS woman who lives in the dashboard, sent us involved an underpass that was an inch too low for Homer to pass through.  Those fan covers keep the rain out but also make us just a teeny bit too tall for some places.  We finally managed with the help of other drivers who had to back up, go around, or wait for us to maneuver out of the road.  They don't tell you about the low clearance until you're right there. 
 If I ruled the world . . .


 Monday was very frustrating because Al thought it would be a good idea to drive into Montreal.  We drove for almost two hours, looking for parking, getting lost, following detours that led nowhere.  All on very bumpy construction zone roads.  Seems like all of Montreal is a construction zone but all of the roads are awful.  Someone told us that the road crews never do a good job so that they will always have a job.  But we saw many parts of town that we wouldn't have otherwise, so that counts for a little bit.  Sort of.

Finally we gave up and drove to Laval, the next island to the North.  It's bordered by Riviere des Mille Iles (thousand islands) and Al kept hoping to find a giant bottle of salad dressing, but all we saw was this little island.  It looks better on the map.  The island was given to the Jesuits so wouldn't you expect to find a lot of information about their years there?  Wrong. 
 The friendly girl at the tourist bureau didn't even know about it and had to look online.  So she sent to St. Rose, the oldest church.  It was locked.  Both chocolate shops were closed, the boulangerie was gone, and there is a stop sign at each and every block.  

In our wanderings we went by the Biosphere.  Remember when it was such a big deal for the Expo 67?  Now it's a museum for the environment, but we didn't find the enthusiasm to visit it.  

Then we went looking for a Persian restaurant because Al was in a mood to reminisce about the Peace Corps and there is a whole section of it here.  One place was closed, one out of business, one too dirty to see in the windows, one on the other side of town, and the only one left didn't serve lamb, so he had to settle for beef.  I had chicken schnitzel.  Yes, chicken schnitzel in a Persian restaurant.  The owner told us that they serve a lot of it.  Hmm. 

So we were very glad to get home, but both woke up with achey parts from 101 miles of bouncing around in Tom Dually. 

The Man With The Maps

Tuesday we made a smarter decision and took the Metro into Montreal.  Whew.  It was delightful to wander around, visit a museum, have a snack, visit the huge Underground, which is 21 miles of linked shopping malls beneath the streets, (we only did a few blocks) have another snack, look at yet another Notre Dame (they wanted $5 just to look inside so we enjoyed it from the plaza), have dinner and leisurely take the Metro back to the parking lot where we left the truck. 

And I still don't speak French.  

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