Quebec – Day One – Montreal

My brother Frank sent me this video to post of his and Kathy, my sister-in-law’s, dog Frisco.  Apparently, Frisco has no problem taking a dip in the pool.  I imagine that it gets pretty warm there in the Gold Country, in Sutter, CA, on a summer afternoon.

Montreal Traffic SignageOn The first of August, Anne drove from Ottawa to Montreal.  Also on the first, Phil, Mary and I flew into Montreal, via O’Hare.  Anne picked us up at the airport, but not until we waited an hour to get to customs and then another hour to clear customs. Eventually we entered Canada and ventured out into Montreal.  Anne had already checked into the hotel, so she already knew the way back there.

We stayed the night at Hotel Anne Ma Soeur Anne (Hotel Anne My Sister Anne), a small room with a kitchenette, but why would anyone want to cook in Montreal.  There are way too many good places to eat.  It was hot, 84 degrees.  The hotel opens up on a busy crowded street, Rue Saint Denis in the Lafontaine district.  Lots of shops and restaurants front on the street, but some of the better finds are just of the Rue.  After walking around for a while we decided upon an Italian dinner, at Edwardo’s on Duluth.  I had a plate of a delicious lemon veal, not anything like the dreaded veal cutlet.  This restaurant like most restaurants in Montreal, didn’t have a liqueur license.  So while waiting for our table we went next door to a conveniences store (Depanneur) and bought some wine to bring to dinner.

This picture of traffic signs shows some of the differences in driving in Quebec.  Above is the traditional red circle indicating no.  In this case the signs are for a closed off street, just off Parc Saint Louis.  Hence no vehicle traffic is permitted.  What I find interesting is the green circled sign.  This sign indicates that it is permitted to walk your bicycle through this route.  This sign implies that it is not permitted to ride through here, but it does not expressly prohibit it.  Most of the street signs are green circle signs.  There are relatively few red circle signs.  A typical green circle sign might indicate that it is permitted to turn right or go straight at an intersection.  This same sign implies by omission that no left turn is allowed.

French is the language of Quebec.  Almost all people first address you in French and most also speak English.  Anne and I were initially reluctant to exercise our high school French at all.  We started with bonjour and merci. Deciphering signs has been a favorite pastime. Only on a couple of instances was there someone who could not speak English.  Even there the currency of modern commerce willed out.  Fortunately, Phil speaks passable French and Anne is quickly remembering her high school French.

Below is a picture of one of the Bixi Bike stations.  According to the ad that kept playing over and over again along with all the other ads that I watched while waiting in line to get to Canadian customs, there are over 300 Bixi stations like this one about Montreal and over 3000 Bixi bikes in Montreal.  You rent them by credit card and then go.

Bixi Bikes

1 thought on “Quebec – Day One – Montreal

  1. I love the bike idea – with the credit card. The shared bike use has been talked about in a few places I have lived, but never with a credit card as a tracking device. In Seattle I imagine there would be complaints that it is not fair to those that can’t qualify for a credit card.

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