Monday, July 31, 2006

Montreal Part Deux

Montreal: Part 2
July 18th

The next day we got up and had our continental breakfast: only the croissants and chocolate pastries were good, but I had to beat back the fruit flies. The eggs, pancakes, and bacon were all cold. We got our car out a tight squeeze in the gravel lot and drove down to Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal). We parked in China Town and tooled around the peer and ventured up to the Notre Dame Basilica and ran into a Swiss band warming up. Having nothing better to do, we followed them down the street till they disappeared, but they later turned up in a parade on the Main Square: Rue St. Jacques by the Hotel Ville. I don't know if everyone knows this (probably not) but one of my heroes is Lord Nelson, the fellow who whipped Napoleon's ass and died at Trafalgar aboard the Victory. Who knows why there's an old statue of him in this square, since he's British and Montreal is a French city, but maybe he did a good deed for the city. The inscription said he helped in a Copenhagen campaign. Looks like I need to do more research on this one.

Border Crossing

I sighed with relief after leaving Montreal without any car damage -- those bikes were a little close for me and Keith ran a red light ("Oh I did?). As we waited in the Customs line at the border and munched our day-old Dunkin' Donuts chocolate chip muffin, we mused that we couldn't get any tax money at the Tax Exchange. Turns out you have to spend at least $20 and have $200 in receipts. Oh, well. Then as Keith was trying to merge into the lane, a maroon mini-van nudged our side mirror with his mirror! Keith got out of our car and said, "You're doing everything in your power not to let me in!" I was impressed he didn't say something stronger, but there were lots of border guards with guns and knee pads around. Luckily, there weren't any scratches on our car. I couldn't wait to leave Canada.

Next time -- to Jay and Lake Placid!


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