Day 103 Montreal: It's Not Over 'Till It's Over - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

August 11, 2011

Day 103 Montreal: It's Not Over 'Till It's Over

Lots of people sent us messages of congratulations for having made it to Montreal, and it's true - the subtitle of this blog is Victoria to Montreal Babysitting Odyssey. But maybe it won't end here. Maybe we will make a dash for the Atlantic Ocean, or tour Quebec, or both! In the meantime we need to re-explore the city. So keep tuning in, and see what happens next!

We had press ganged Cameron Wade (Detroit to Florida the Long Way)into staying one more day, so we could brung him to our two favourite food spots: St Viateur bagel bakery and Schwartz's deli.

Dodie (Grampie #1) is having a ball hanging out with Amelia.

Dodie loves Amelia
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Dodie begins corrupting Amelia's little brain at the computer.
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Cameron and I left them and headed out to get some real bagels. There are three locations now for St. Viateur bagels, with the closest on Mount Royal St. It's a bit of a walk, but worth it.

The bagel bakery. This is not St Viateur's main location, but it still has all the official, magical elements.
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The bagel trip was also a chance to have another look at and to appreciate the city.

Cameron at the Royal Bank. I had just run through a half hour review of the history of the French, the English, and the Americans since 1760 so it seems quaint that he should change his $US at RBC.
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The streets of the city
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The Jacques Cartier bridge makes an interesting backdrop
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When we arrived back at Josh and Sabrina's corner we spied this bagel cafe. Cameron proposed a bagel test vs St Viateur
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The St Viateur bagel (left) is bigger and chewier and fresher, but since this is Montreal, even the corner store bagel was quite acceptable
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Josh and Sabrina's house - features the candy striped top
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Later in the day we set off again, this time on the longer walk to St Lawrence street. Our route passed through Lafontaine Park and on to Duluth Street. Duluth is narrow and has cobblestone paving, making it an ideal place to walk.

Dodie and Cameron in Lafontaine Park
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A good urban park
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Interesting urban scene
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and many many interesting buildings
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Duluth street
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Since this is Montreal, there are many bakeries along the way (not to mention fruit and cheese stores and zillions of restaurants.) The spanish bakery was one of the first up.

The spanish bakery
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Laurie's favourite tarts
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St Lawrence is a mega famous street, and so are literally all of its cross streets. So each intersection is laden with meaning or nostalgia for those who know the city (or who have read the novels of Mordecai Richler).

One famous intersection
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We found Schwartz's unchanged (thank goodness), with the exception that our waiter was friendly and efficient. We usually expect the waiter (an unwritten rule makes all servers in Jewish delis male) to be rushed and curt. Hmmm.

Schwartz's
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The lineup outside
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Inside Schwartz's
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We of course had to share a table and right beside us was Mario. A typical Montrealer and former bus driver, he was perfectly bilingual and well schooled in what the moistness and colour of his smoked meat should be. He felt both were a little off, and we could see what high standards the deli must uphold to stay right in the eyes of its clients.

Mario and Cameron
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The briskets
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Spices, peppers, and other things are on sale
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Cameron gets ready to try his smoked meat
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The jury is out
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He likes it!
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It's the real thing!
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Schwartz's is famous, and now more so since there has been a musical about it, and more than one book.

The book,the play, the bubble gum cards?
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The line outside had grown by the time we left
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Parc du Portugal. Just back from this is the former house of Leonard Cohen.
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More of Laurie's tarts, this time in a Greek bakery
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We need to soon buy all these for Amelia
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Montreal!
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Bagels and Portugese tarts are of course not all there is to Montreal -- there are of course Croissants. We stopped in to one bakery we know on Mont Royal, and as expected the quality was primo.

The croissant bakery
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The croissants
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The Bixi bike scheme is super neat and well developed in Montreal, with scores of stations where you can rent or return a bicycle. However the cost is $5 for 30 minutes. On Mont Royal street, though, an alternative has been developed: Just leave your ID for security and they will lend you a green painted bike. Just like that!

A neat bike loan scheme
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There are many other weird sights in the city - how about these:

Some of Roslyn's family
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A "trandem" ?
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Sort of home made
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Another view of the bridge
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Back home, it bed time for Amelia, but first:

Bathtime
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She likes it!
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