Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Word-less Wednesday -- Let's Stroll Through Montreal Together. . .

 As you guessed, my two-hour train ride Monday morning took me to Montreal for an all-too-short, yet nonetheless satisfying visit to that wonderfully vibrant city, with the weather turning to spring perfection just for me. I stayed at the very reasonably priced, well-appointed, and pleasantly staffed Hotel de l"Institut on Rue St. Denis., a training hotel that offers certification in the service industry. The hotel was recommended to me by a blogger some of you will know well -- (I've included a photo of us below--not flattering of me, but she looks great in it, so I "got over myself, already!"). . . besides recommending my hotel, Duchesse brought me to some wonderful cafés and restaurants, and we happily wandered the streets of her neighbourhood catching up with each other on the eight years since our last IRL meeting. At that time, Duchesse was living in a house in Toronto, so it's gratifying to me to see how happily she's settled into her Montreal neighbourhood, to life in a condo. Very encouraging to me, just embarked on a parallel venture.

 No more words, though. I'm off to meet another blogger today, back in Ottawa, so I'm going to let you wander the Montreal streets through my eyes, if you're interested. Very idiosyncratic impression of one fairly small section of the city, and you'll see that it's the architecture and the street art and the tiny front gardens that prompt me to pull the camera back out of my pocket. -- and bikes, of course. . .  I do hope you enjoy these.

 Wonderful service all across the city, I have to add (I know, I promised word-less but . . . ).  I've never found the city unfriendly, although there has certainly been resentment and truculence on both sides of the language divide over the hundreds of years of the city's colonial history.  But there have been times in the past when our attempts to speak French were met by a very quick switch to English. We would generally counter with a request to stay en français parce qu'on veut pratiquer and this request almost invariably received a favoured -- and generous -- response. This visit, though, I noticed several times that when my accent was detected (you know, with the first syllable I breathed!) I was asked if I wanted English? français? Neither choice resulted in any detectable rancour, and my French was not just humoured with patience but rather was taken at face value, in the same way the English of an ESL speaker from, say, Vietnam or China or Italy would be accepted in Vancouver or London or Seattle.
 That's truly all I have time for, though. So I'll leave you to wander. . . .


I have a very similar copper washing kettle that almost got sold by mistake at our recent yard sale. Now I'm thinking how great it's going to be, planted up, on our new terrace.
















 What do you think? Could you enjoy wandering these streets? You're never far away from a wonderful meal, excellent coffee on a nearby sunny terrace, a glass of wine in a prime people-watching location. Have you visited the city? Would you like to? Comments always welcome, as you already know.



20 comments:

  1. I've always liked visiting Montréal. I first visited in 1969 on a student exchange and it seemed so much more cosmopolitan than Vancouver (or Lulu Island). Didn't you love the stories of Mordecai Richler, Gabrielle Roy and Michel Tremblay? There's street art! And wrought iron balconies,people, cafés! I've never felt uncomfortable
    in Montréal but I think that in earlier days it really was a tale of Two Solitudes. You
    both look lovely.

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  2. How great that you could meet up with Duchesse again! I'm looking forward to seeing what you and Sue get up to in Ottawa.

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  3. Such great pictures Frances ..The city looks colourful and vibrant. You've reflected this much more than my guide book! Hope you and Peter are enjoying this time together ..to relax and explore. I think its a lovely picture of you and Duchesse. Wonderful, that you got to meet up again. Sorry we missed each either this time ...maybe one day in Vancover ...or London, Paris or Rome (sure there's a song in there somewhere :) )
    Looking forward to reading about your time with Sue.
    Rosie

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  5. The time just flew! You've captured the city wonderfully. I promise not to let eight years go by again, even if we have to meet in Paris ;)

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  6. Many thanks for this mini-vacation. I love the intimacy of these photos.

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  7. Ah, my favourite city!! Love these photos - thanks for posting. I'll be there in a little over a week... BTW, I've found, in the last decade specifically, my French isn't questioned - and mine is FAR less capable than yours. It seems that Eng/Fr divide is closing in some ways.

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  8. It is beautiful!
    And you both look so happy!
    Dottoressa

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  9. What a fascinating city. How great to meet up with a fellow blogger! Montreal is on my list to do. From family history research I discovered my great grandfather was born there. I am curious to know what brought my great great grandfather to Montreal to work in the late 1860's! B x

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  10. Interesting to see Montreal. I love the photo of you and Duchesse. Very natural looks like there's a real connection between you. Mary

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  11. Looks like a lovely city...I stayed with my cousins in Montreal for several months when I was about 7 and it was winter time and all I remember was the snow!
    Fabulous that you met up with Duchesse and look forward to hearing about your visit with Sue.

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  12. Love seeing Montréal through your eyes! It seems like a city in love with color. And that shot of you and Duchesse is wonderful!

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  13. So that's where you are!......and in Ottawa too! I think it's a splendid way to mark your big move. When you go home, you will really be going home.
    I am anxious to visit my sister, who lives in Montreal. I haven't been there for many years.

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  14. Wow! Great pictures, Frances! It really makes me feels like I am having an intimate little visit in Montreal. I had the pleasure of two brief visits to Montreal when Adam was at McGill, so I was introduced to the city through the eyes and experiences of a student. I loved it! I also did one of my famous trip-and-fall escapades in the rain, at night, in front of a fancy restaurant with windows right at street level for a good view of my embarrassing moment. My son and my ex were very helpful, but as they say, pride goeth before a fall- or something like that- and my pride wenteth! ���� How wonderful to meet up with a friend and then to do it all over again in Ottawa. I will be heading to Ottawa in August to visit Adam, Rekha and my three youngest granddaughters. Can' t wait! Enjoy your much deserved holiday! Jennifer

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  15. So glad to see this rest and relaxation. Enjoy yourself!

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  16. Fantastic pictures! I hope the blogger meet-up was a delight!

    I've only been to Montreal once. I loved and would definitely welcome the opportunity to return and explore more of the city.

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  17. A wonderful chance to revisit Montreal - thank you! I was able to see some of it last October, even going on a bus/walking tour (something I usually don't do), which turned out to be fascinating, especially since I had the chance to more or less test my knowledge by retracing much of it with friends the next day. I would love to return and see how much I retained. And I very much like the photo of you and Duchesse - you both look charmingly informal and happy!

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  18. Oh how lovely, seeing Montreal through your photos. It has literally been a couple of decades since I've been there, and now I am sad about that. Of course I have the power to change that. I had a copper washing kettle which we kept next to fireplace for logs and kindling. Alas, the bottom was falling out and I didn't bring it with me when I moved south.

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  19. It looks fascinating and sounds very welcoming . Pity it's such a long way away ...

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  20. I have never been to Montreal, and somenjoyed your photographic tour. It reminds me a bit of Paris, a bit of Amsterdam. Looks like the ideal place to wander about, lovely X

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