O’ Canada

We have loved our culturally diverse international experience in Montreal.  Here are some things I learned…

The best bargain in the city is the one hour organ concert at the Basilica of Notre Dame.  It costs 5 bucks to get in and tour the church.  Sometimes you get a guided tour for that price and sometimes, if you are very lucky, or if you plan it, you can hear the organist.  The organ was built in 1891, it has four keyboards and over 7000 pipes.

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If you are there from early July until early October there are performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 2:30.  To hear it, and feel the music in the church is awe-inspiring.

Although so many people in the city ride a bicycle, this isn’t someplace to come for a cycling vacation.  You will need to be prepared to drive into the countryside for your rides.  Some roads are smooth, while others have been attacked by the ravages of long winters. Once you are away from the city the roads will be lightly travelled and there are many bike paths available.

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It’s crazy in the city with lots of cars and people on bikes as a means of transportation.
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Conversations start in French, but as soon as they hear how bad our French is, they gladly switch to English.

Sadly, these white hydrangeas will never grow up to be beautiful pink, blue or purple blooms.

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It seems that the color is determined by the soil pH.  In the southeastern United States the blooms on one plant can be all three colors, but the natural blooms of this plant are actually white!

Corn and soy, that’s what we saw growing all over the farmlands of Quebec.

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The soil is rich, and dark brown, and fertile, and it smells good!

smell the rich soil
smell the rich soil

The beer is very good and you can find plentiful quantities of any kind of food you want.

A Canadian white Belgian-style beer
A Canadian white Belgian-style beer

Our travel heat index curse continues… wherever we go in July, the locals will tell us it’s never this hot. This week we have been sweltering in an apartment with no air conditioning while the temps are about 10 to 15 degrees ABOVE the usual August averages.

The cycling clothing is clean, and the bike is stowed in our tandem hauler, still to be cleaned. We rode over 500 miles in our two-week odyssey. The only hiccup was a flat front tire one day in New York. Our summer travels have been terrific and I’ll check back in with you when our cycling adventures continue in the fall.

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