Archives by Month - November 2006
Well, I said that I would be posting my photos of Montreal periodically in my usual blog posts. However, many people have been bugging me to post a large photo entry so they can see them all at once. So I've caved and put together a seven part photo series of some of the better photos. There were actually quite a few photos that didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. A lot of the photos were taken at night or in areas with poor lighting. Thankfully I took a few hundred photos in total, so there are still a fair number of decent ones to share.
The following is my trip to Montreal illustrated by photos:
We just got home from our trip to Montreal, and it was a blast! We stayed at l'Auberge du Vieux-Port in Old Montreal, which is a great place inside an old stone building. The service was great, we enjoyed free wine and cheese every evening, a free breakfast every morning, and our room was nicely decorated with an old feel. The lounge was also very stylish with wood paneling and shaded lamps. The quarter around our hotel is the old part of the city, which is beautiful. It's full of cobble roads, old stone and Victorian buildings, lots of shops and boutiques, and many restaurants and pubs.
The food and wine we had was great too. We tried quite a few different restaurants during our stay. My favourite was the St. James Pub, which is pretty much my ideal type of place. The decor is very stylish with swede chairs, large wooden tables, chandeliers, and many large decorative mirrors on brick walls. The pub features a raised DJ booth where deep house is the prominent music mixed live. Kerri Chandler was the headliner DJ the night we were there, which is pretty awesome (I have a few of his records in my collection). Even though the place is pretty classy, the vibe is quite relaxed and there are often people standing around enjoying drinks and chatting which gives the place a nice lounge atmosphere. The tables near the center and front are high up with tall chairs, so as dinner parties finished and more lounge style guests came they removed the chairs and people were standing around the tables enjoying their drinks. We enjoyed a nice dinner with dessert, quite a few glasses of red wine, and of course some awesome music at this pub. I'd definitely make this one of my regular haunts if I lived in this city.
The night life in general seems pretty cool in Montreal. There is a large youth population, and many bars and clubs to hit up. There are also a lot of cool restaurants to discover. One place we went was very European in that it was a "bring your own wine" place. This type of thing is illegal in B.C. but it's a cool idea. Another small place we tried had live jazz music and great food. I enjoyed a very thick steak there, and of course some more great wine. The jazz and deep house scene in this city seems pretty strong, and that was awesome for me.
Besides the thriving night life, there was lots for us to do during the days too. We checked out some old historic sites, some huge churches, the Biodome and of course we did lots of shopping. The Metro system gave us easy access to the downtown area, and there were tons of boutiques connecting the underground shopping areas. We came back to our hotel each evening for wine and cheese with extremely tired legs and feet. It was a very satisfying tired feeling though.
Almost all the service workers spoke both French and English, but I enjoyed using my French skills where I could. People working in shops would often speak English to you once they suspected it to be your primary language, but sometimes I could fool the person into never knowing. Our waiter at the St. James Pub didn't speak English very well, so I got to use my French skills there a lot. It was great to finally be able to use the French I took in school for 13 years, at least in some way that was useful. It was great to know that it all comes back really easily too, because I hadn't spoken French for almost 10 years until this week.
There is so much more I could write about my trip, but this post is already too long. I have a bunch of photos too, so you are likely to see them posted in future blog updates. In fact, I should probably start sorting through those now. Bon soir.