We spent the next two days, Monday and Tuesday, just bumming around a beautiful city. We took our bikes down to Old Montreal where there is some seriously magnificent architecture. Along the way, Richard found excellent espresso places. Some of the buildings are very old and there is an Old Port area that has museums and lots of touristy stuff to do. We mostly just enjoyed riding through. There are not only marked bike paths through the city, but also some bonafide lanes, with protected curbs.
Here are some shots from inside the Basilique Notre Dame de Montreal. It rivals some of the most spectacular churches in Europe.
The highlight, however, of our time in Montreal has to be enjoying the warm hospitality and delicious dinner offered by our “Alto friends,” Marie and Pierre. Back last summer, when I was looking for information on the Alto, I discovered there wasn’t much online, or at least not much that wasn’t in French. So I started a Facebook group. It began as a group of 2; just me and the woman who had shown me her Alto in person. Slowly, it grew. As of today, we have 227 members. The group includes people from the U.S., including Alaska, Canada, and now that Safari Condo is shipping Altos down under, Australia. It is a lovely group of helpful people, many of whom already own Altos, some who have placed orders and are enduring the long wait, and some who are interested or are considering placing an order.
So how did we thank them for their gracious invitation into their home? By asking if I could wash Bruce in their driveway, of course. I regret deeply that I did not take a before pic of what Bruce’s poor face looked like after 3,000 miles, but I did not want that to be Dory’s first impression of him. Marie kindly provided me with water (glad I’m not in California!), towels, and even car wash soap and bug grime remover. Marie pitched in, despite my protests, but the boys were mostly happy to provide quality assurance and supervision.
The next day we spent almost entirely in the Musee des Beaux Arts de Montreal. There was a Rodin exhibit there which was quite interesting. Richard found a semi hidden coffee place with excellent cappuccino, and I enjoyed marveling at the architecture all around us.
We are aiming to head out fairly early tomorrow since it will be the day of Francofolies. This is a Quebec tradition celebrating St. John the Baptiste and from the looks of the set up downtown, it seems like it will be a very big deal. We’ve already been warned that everything will be closed. Our only goal is to get to Quebec City, home to Safari Condo. This journey will be very different after Thursday morning.