Friday, July 11, 2014

Montreal-Quebec-Nova Scotia Day 1. Travel to Montreal

This is the story of my bicycling adventure from Montreal to Quebec City, and later around Nova Scotia. I have come back to Montreal and Quebec City because they are places where I experienced great happiness two years ago, but since this time I am alone I have the goal of exploring new places and people in this French-speaking portion of Canada. I think Canadians are kind and generous people, and I am looking forward to a great adventure.

Faby, DJ and I left from Modesto at 3 am, and by 4:30 am we were at Sacramento airport, in plenty of time to catch my 6 am flight, frist to Denver and from there to Montreal. Unfortunately United had decided to change my reservation to a 5 am flight, first to San Francisco and from there to Montreal. End result, my suitcase made it to the San Francisco plane, but I was delayed in security control and missed the plane. No big deal, since they promptly rebooked me through Chicago and then Montreal, but the end result is that I landed with no luggage.

Otherwise Montreal welcomed me with open arms. The weather was a dream, sunny but not too hot, I had Canadian dollars in my pocket, and I knew my way around bus lines and the downtown area. The folks at Alexandrie Hostel were, as usual, super, and din’t bat an eye at changing my reservation from a double to a single (I only saved $30, but is thought that counts), and gave me acute little apartment overlooking a quiet corner that could be anywhere in Europe (or French Canada, of course).

My first walk through the city was glorious. All the cafes had tables al fresco, folks were enjoying a Friday afternoon, and Rue St. Denis (the Quartier Latin of Monteal) was at its best with an outdoor exhibition of Cirque de Soleil and tons of folks strolling around.

I did all the things you are supposed to do when you first arrive in a foreign city, including going to the bank to get even more money, sipping a coffee in one of the many terrace cafes, trying to get my cell phone to work here (unsuccessful), and buying soap, a toothbrush, and toothpaste (my bag is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so tonight I will do the time-honored tradition of washing my clothes so tomorrow I am not Pepe Le Peu.

For dinner I had a half bottle of red wine and fondue, happily remembering the same meal I had with my parents a week ago in Monclova. The night is pleasant and I think I will now stroll to the terrace of my small apartment for a night cap. A votre santé!

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