Monday, April 18, 2005

Hard Rock Cafe, Montreal

Hard Rock Cafe
Originally uploaded by Digital_Daytripper.
Try their "pig sandwich". Swine-licious.

Street Art 02

Originally uploaded by Digital_Daytripper.
Urban art, Montreal style.

Street Art 01

Montreal Street Art 01
Originally uploaded by Digital_Daytripper.
Urban art, Montreal style

Day Two - 45o 28’ 0” N 73o 45’ 0” W - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

It comes as a pleasant suprise to wake next morning and find I'm still in the same bed as I went to sleep in. What comes as a bit more of a shock is that I have slept for 12 full hours and it's now getting on for lunchtime.

Since I'm unsure how much time I have left in Montreal, I decide I'd better make the best of it and throw my clothes on rapidly before heading out in search of some sustenance.

The Lucien-L'Allier Metro Station is only a few minutes walk from the hostel, and after a wait of only a few more minutes I'm rolling along in the direction of the city centre. On a whim, I get off the metro at Guy Station and within a short while I spot the Hard Rock Cafe. That'll do nicely.

An hour or so later, suitably sated on a Potato Skins starter and the amusingly-named "Pig Sandwich", I roll out onto the street and roll into the nearest tourist information office.

The wonderfully friendly and helpful staff make do the best they can to tempt me with the various attractions that are on offer, but I am rather early in the season they explain apologetically. In the end I think I'm needing a lift so I jump in a taxi and ask for 2111 Saint-Laurent Blvd, wherein resides the Just For Laughs Museum and soon I'm tee-heeing and laughing with the rest of the visitors at the antics of the likes of Steve Martin and Woody Allen in the International Comedy Hall of Fame show.

As the afternoon draws to a close and the crowds begin to thin out as busy commuters make their way home, I find myself walking along an almost-deserted urban thoroughfare. There really are some stunning examples of street art to be found in this neighbourhood, and as I stand admiring the technicolor masonry canvases, they begin to shimmer in front of my eyes...........

Parc Mont Royal

Purple Cross
Originally uploaded by Digital_Daytripper.
The Cross on Mount Royal.

Satellite Imagery

A satellite image of the Montreal Youth Hostel and surrounding area.

Day One - Later – 45o 28’ 0” N 73o 45’ 0” W - Montreal, Québec, Canada

...and clears.

My trusty GPRS tells informs me that I'm the city of Montreal, in the province of Quebec, Canada. My trusty senses tell me that it's a cool, clear mid-evening, and the stars are out. Looking around me I see a sign that reads "Parc Mont Royal" which even my basic, un-augmented, French-language skills manage to translate as Mount Royal Park.

Raising my eyes to follow the sloping path I can see a purplish glow through the trees and set off to investigate. Before long I find the source of the glow. I stop for a few minutes to catch my breath after the climb and question a passer-by about the significance of the cross.

"It's a symbol of Catholicism in Quebec," he tells me, "it turns purple after every Pope's death. It returns to it's normal white color after the Cardinals elect the new Pope."

Returning down the path I hail myself a taxi and ask the driver to find me somewhere to sleep for the night, not too expensive, and in short order he deposits me at the doors of the Montreal Youth Hostel. For my $25.78CAD for the night I get a bed in a clean, well-furnished dormitory, where I settle down for the night to read a copy of The Montreal Gazette which was in a newsstand in the Hostel reception area. Today's headlines include:

  • Finola Hackett wins the CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Championship
  • Cardinals begin conclave to elect next pope.
  • Jean Charest, prime minister of Quebec, makes his first official trip to Washington.

It's been a long day, though, and I can't take much more in. My eyes close of their own accord.