Saturday, July 12, 2014

Montreal-Quebec-Nova Scotia Day 3. Week-ends du Monde

I love my new bike! It rides smooth, is really pretty (it is a red Bonellii, a good Canadian brand), and is light. Now my only concern is that someone might steal it while I am in Montreal or Quebec City (Canadians are super-honest people, but apparently bikes are fair game).

I took my bike for a spin back to Ile Sainte-Hellene, where I wanted to visit the Museum of the Environment. The museum is housed in what was the US pavilion in the 1967 World Expo, which in very American style was big, futuristic, and impressive. As museums go it was OK, without being Wow. One of the sections was devoted to photographs from the North Pole, and that was pretty cool.

In the afternoon I hung out in the island, walking through the booths of Week-ends du Monde, a festival lasting two consecutive weekends to celebrate the peoples of the world. This particular Saturday the emphasis was in Latin America, with big areas dedicated to Peru (and its cuisine, products, music and dance) and El Salvador (ditto). The main activity was eating, of course, but they had four different stages and I saw all sorts of folk dances. One particularly cool performance was in a tent for maybe 100 people, where each person was provided with a drum. The group of six performers carried most of the music, but the public was invited to participate and drum away in rhythm with the music. Great fun!

I came back early to the hostel, where I had a delicious lobster sandwich I bought in the way in, and then sat down to do editorial work on a bunch of chapters I have pending for the new book Applied Geology in California that my friend Bob Anderson and I are editing.

Tomorrow is the final of the World Cup. Go Germany!

P.S.. I had finished writing and posting my blog around 9 pm, and was ready to head for bed, when one of the guys working at the hostel asked me if I was going to accompany them to see the fireworks. Yes, of course! At 9:30 we headed out toward the river, and by 10 pm we were in place to see the most glorious display of fireworks you can imagine. The riverside was packed with people, and for at least half an hour we were all riveted to the wiggly trace of the rockets, and the rosettes they painted for us on the sky. Seeing this whole crowd flow away from the river after the fireworks were done was also something to behold.

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