Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Montreal I

Had a fantastic half-day in Montreal yesterday. It's an easy 1h drive north of Plattsburgh (add 15-45 minutes for the border crossing. No problems going into Canada or returning to the US, though the latter crossing took forever since there was only one lane open). I'd last been to Montreal with my mother in 1986 -- that was also a day trip from Plattsburgh. Definitely want to get back for longer. It's a beautiful city, with a very European feel. I spent most of the half-day visiting churches (surprise) -- the Basilique Notre Dame, the Cathedral (La Reine du Monde, a scaled down and less impressive version of St. Peter's in Rome), St. Patrick's (an Irish church where daily Mass in English had just started when I showed up at 5:15 pm) and the Italian Gesù, which was closed. The concert in the evening -- Gounod's requiem performed by visiting French children's and youth choir and orchestra -- was simply awesome. It's been a while that I've been so surrounded by French (though English is commonly heard. I also heard Russian, Polish, Hindi and Punjabi) and I might just have to grant that it's more than just froggie throat sounds. :) I'm happy to report that I can read and understand basic French about as easily as I could Portuguese. Knowing some Romance languages helps. I doubt that it would work with Romanian though ...

Here are some pictures from the day.

The church of the Gesù reaches out to artists

The Queen Empress

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