Saturday, October 6, 2018

Montreal

Well troopers, here a hearty "eh" from the great white north.  Just a quicky to pass on some lessons learned to the unwary.

First, First Class, while fondly remembered for those who may have traveled by air in the '70s, is exactly the same as it was then.....if you were flying coach back then.  Good leg room, metal silverware and free drinks (if you want them....booze at 7am is not my cuppa...booze.)

Arrival in Montreal Trudeau Airport and followed the signs to Arrivee' involved a trek from one end of the terminal to the other.  Finally arriving and getting our pictures taken we picked up our bags and proceeded outside.

Important safety tips (which will be met with a "Well Duh!" from frequent travelers).


  1.  Canada is a different country. 
  2. Your data plan doesn't work
  3. Uber requires a reservation
  4. Your Uber app doesn't work
  5. Montreal is in Quebec
  6. People in Quebec speak both English and French
  7. If they don't want to be bothered, they speak French only
  8. The Taxi stand at Montreal Trudeau is on the lower level exit 23
  9. Exit 23 is on the opposite end of the terminal from the Arrival Customs station
  10. Dragging bags in crowds is not fun.
Cab ride to the B & B was uneventful and we were met by the B&B's Owner and given a quick orientation on where to go, where to eat and what to see.

Given that we had arisen at 2 and 4 am respectively, Reveille Taps was played very early that evening. Oops!

Thursday we walked about 4 blocks and passed by China Town.  Now, in my view, there's something dysfunctional going on here.  People from China have immigrated to Canada ostensibly to find a better life than they had at home.  They must have found it, or they would have returned.  Yet....



They're celebrating the 69th anniversary of la République de Chine.   Yeah, the one that has their capital in Beijing.  Some folks just don't get it.  ~100 million. Just sayin'.

 Our intent, when we set out, was to visit the Big Guy's house.  After passing China town, felt a stronger need to do that.  As we entered its plaza we found it to be remarkably similar to the one named the same in Paris.




After a brief conversation and a bit of looking around (breathtaking, but not quite as much as Big Bend) we then walked down to the St. Lawrence River and walked around there for a bit.  No real destination or activity in mind, but decided to indulge in a bit of history when we stumbled upon the  À Pointe-à-Callière Le Musée de Montréal.  

They had a very interesting history of the settlement display (which will require much more research to properly document than I have available time for today.)  Spent a couple of hours wandering around there.  They also had a fascinating display of the funereal procedures for Egyptian Queens in the time of the Pharoahs.



Finishing the Museum around 1430, we then decided on a nice bistro for a late lunch.

The sun popped out from behind clouds about this time, so we sat outside,  The ladies ordered crepes, My friend the winemaker had a salmon chef salad, I had Smoked Meat of Montreal,  

Oh, and wine, we had wine.  Mrs J enjoyed opening the wine.

As I said just a quicky, more to follow.

13 comments:

  1. Ooh!
    I love it when others write travelogues.
    All I wanna do is be a participant.
    It’s cold in Fargo is as much as I am saying for the moment.

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    1. Havent been in Fargo since I was 5. There’s a big Microsoft support center there now. I deal with them a lot. Ive google earthed the old radar site my dad “owned”. Not much there anymore. I do remember being cold...VERY colc. Stay warm my friend.

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    2. I've not been to Montreal, but I've been To BC...British Columbia.
      Much like Western Washington...cold, rainy...

      Keep having fun, Juvats!

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    3. Thanks BBC, been to BC once. Fortunately the wx was nice, so Victoria was beautiful. Getting on the ship in a couple of hours, looking forward to not bag dragging.

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  2. I went to Montreal for a long weekend shortly after the North American glaciers had receded enough to make that possible. In other words, a long time ago. Two things struck me, how European Montreal seemed to me (living in Europe has not changed that assessment) and how rude the French Canadians were. Keep in mind, great grandpa was born in Quebec and I served with French-Canadians in NATO, so it's not that I dislike them, merely find their lack of manners to be on a par with Boston drivers.

    Looking forward to the rest of the journey, looks like Mrs. Juvat is having fun, I trust you are as well!

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    1. Had dinner last night at a nice italian restaurant in Little Italy. The owner was second generation immigrant. When i mentioned my italian side (maternal grandmother) we were instant buds. Dinner was superb (gnocchi) and the wine sublime (Amarone). That was a fast improvement from the very highly recommended French Restaurant the night before. Service was surly in a friendly kind of way. Portions were miniscule yet expensive. The wine was solidly ok not great.. But it was obviously the place to see and be seen. So very European or NYC, SF or LA-ish.

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  3. I have the same thoughts on foreign countries as you do on first class. It 'used' to be something, but now it's a shadow of it's former self.

    I went to Canada once, right about, here: 49.0007° N, 115.0554° W.... The rent car couldn't go, but I did. Walked over to say I'd been there. They border guys thought I'd lost my mind. That was far enough for me. The US Border agent just waved me through on the way back, laughing and shaking his head.... The dang mala-mutt that came outta nowhere just about cost me some skivvies, tho. I knew I was too far from home then.... eh?

    I guess there are places that warrant a closer look, but if they are too populated, I'm not that interested. I've never had landscape try and take me out for the filthy lucre I had in my pocket....

    Be careful up there, madam et monsieur!!

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    1. Yeah the days of wanting to live in a big city are long gone. The sightseeing was fun. Mrs J’s fitbit reported 22,000 steps and 58 flts of stairs yesterday, but she takes tiny steps so probably only 7 grand for me. Tomorrow is Quebec City, then a bunch of small ports as we make our way up the St Lawrence. More my cuppa tea.

      Careful? Why Danger is my middle name! But we’ll try to keep the hull side down.

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  4. Well, a whole portion of the city celebrating the complete fun-ness of the ChiComs?? And we wonder why the Canuck Gubment is left of even France-France.

    As to snobbery, my Cajun-French speaking dad got snubbed big time by actual Frog-French pilots at primary training, but the Quebecois pilots he met at advanced took snobbery to a whole new level. Quebec is trying to keep the French language purer than even the French speak.

    I have had two experiences in haut-cuisine at fine French restaurants. Both times the food was adequate but miniscule, and as you said, more about being seen and seeing people. People who want to act like they're from the Isle de Paris are stuck up snobs.

    I prefer a more robust fair, and have eaten at both a Normandie and a Provencal restaurant, where they wheel the food cart to you on seemingly a pallet-mover, and then use the pallet loader to move you out of the restaurant. And tasty. And filling.

    Sounds like you and your lovely wife are having a fun time. Looking forward to the next installment.

    Hey... This is the last vacation someone else is paying for, isn't it. Only less than 3 months before you get to vacation on your own time. Enjoy the living snot out of it (the sticking it to the Man when they want you to be their wage-slave thingy.)


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  5. Have a good time and come home safely, Mr. and Mrs. J.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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  6. Thanks for the post. Have a great time, avoid French restaurants and surly B&B operators who tell you where to go. Phone for pictures and blogs only. No contact (except for family). Enjoy and chill!

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  7. Driving in Montreal is a lot like driving in Honolulu. You are looking for an identifiable street sign while you're driving, and before the series of consonants and vowels coalesce into actual words in your brain, you've passed them and you're looking at the next incomprehensible sign.

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  8. Good picture of the missus, but you take a lousy selfie. haha

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)