Friday, October 25, 2013

Canada Summer 2013: Old Port and Old Montreal


August 11, 2013 -- After biking along Lachine Canal, I rode to the Old Port and Old Montreal where I docked the Bixi bike share and walked around the area full of tourists and interesting historic attractions.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Canada Summer 2013: Atwater Market and Lachine Canal


August 11, 2013 -- On another spectacular sunny summer day in Montreal I rode Bixi bike share to the Atwater Market in the Saint-Henri area. The market opened in 1933 and to this day is bustling with farmer stalls selling local and imported produce as well as three cheese stores, a wine store, a fish store and nine butchers.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Canada Summer 2013: Montreal Olympic Park


August 10, 2013 -- Montreal hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics and many of the original venues are located in Olympic Park, which is easily accessible via the Montreal Metro. Just get off at either Pie-IX or Viau and it is a short walk to Olympic Stadium, Montreal Tower, Biodome, Planetarium, Saputo Stadium and other attractions.

Canada Summer 2013: Mount Royal Park


August 10, 2013 -- On my second full day in Montreal I decided to hop on a Bixi bike share in Westmount and ride up to Mount Royal Park, which is immediately west of downtown and is the highest point in the city.

Canada Summer 2013: Poutine and other Montreal Observations

August 9, 2013 -- It's always the little things that are different when you visit a foreign country and Canada is no different. For example, the food is a bit different in Montreal. Poutine originated in rural Quebec and is now synonymous with the province. Poutine is made with french fries, topped with a light brown gravy-like sauce and cheese curds. Here is an example:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Canada Summer 2013: Bell Centre, Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame and Old Forum


August 9-10, 2013 -- When I was a teenager I visited the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and it left a lasting impression on me. For the first time in my young life, I understood how hockey is not just another sport in Canada, but is actually deeply ingrained into the fabric of Canadian society, so much so that there is a mystical or religious quality regarding the reverence for hockey here that is hard to explain. For example, the Hockey Hall of Fame is housed in a former Bank of Montreal branch building, but with the stained glass windows you feel like you are in church. When you spend time in the Great White North, you realize why people say that hockey is a religion in Canada.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Canada Summer 2013: Westmount, Quebec


My home base for most of the Montreal visit was the wealthy enclave of Westmount. Notable Canadians such as former prime minister Brian Mulroney as well as the Molson and Bronfman families are current or former residents of Westmount and famous Canucks like Leonard Cohen were born there.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Canada Summer 2013: Montreal, Quebec Arrival

Saint Joseph's Oratory
August 8, 2013: I arrived at Montreal's Central Station a little late due to the border security check and freight train passing delays. I was picked up at the station by the couple I was going to stay with for most of the trip. They are relatives of my father's wife and live in the upscale Westmount neighborhood.

Canada Summer 2013: Riding Amtrak Adirondack Train from New York City to Montreal


August 8, 2013 -- The trip began in Washington, D.C. where I boarded the BoltBus intercity bus service for the four hour plus ride to midtown Manhattan. I stayed with family in Battery Park City for the night and early the next morning took the subway to Penn Station to get ready for the 11-hour, 381 mile (613 km) train ride through New York State and Quebec Province to Montreal.