Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday Boring Sunday and Montreal Monday

Guess I should've pointed out in the previous post that I didn't upload it on Sunday afternoon. The coffee shop across the street had no Internet either -- must've been a local thing. But since Monday morning, I've had Internet access here in the B&B.

But to backtrack a little, Sunday afternoon I hopped on the Metro for the soccer stadium to see the game. First off, my travel book gave me wrong information. They had me get off a stop too late, so I had to walk a mile-plus -- not a big deal, I could use the exercise. However, once at the stadium, I learned that I got my wires crossed. The security guards informed me that the game is Wednesday. Doh! So I wandered around the area . . . plenty of touristy things in that complex.

On my way home, I got stuck in a thunderstorm (should've bought that umbrella I saw in Staples on Sunday morning for $10). There's a pharmacie two blocks from the B&B, so I got an umbrella there, but I was drenched. Not feeling like searching for a good place to eat, I ducked into a tiny pizza shop and clogged my arteries. Afterwards, it was about 7 p.m. I just strode back to the B&B and watched TV. I fell asleep about 9:30.

Monday morning I woke up around 7, feeling refreshed. I skipped a few blocks down to the Tim Horton on Avenue Mount Royal and bought a croissant and a 300ml OJ (10 oz.). Then I wandered around because I was thinking about writing at one of the libraries near my B&B -- each one at least a half-mile walk. I passed the one, which is right across from the Mount Royal Metro station, and I kept walking. A half-mile later I turned left at Avenue Christophe Columb and came across these apartment buildings that made me feel like I was in Paris -- winding staircases that started at the sidewalk and went up to the 2nd floor. Once I reached Boulevard St- Joseph, I hopped on a bus . . . gotta love a weekly transpass!

After showering, I decided to go back down to the soccer stadium so I could get a ticket without Ticketmaster raping me online. I got a $40 ticket under the roof. It's kinda high up. I'm now second-guessing myself, wondering if I should've gotten one on the other side for half the price, cuz it's not supposed to rain on Wednesday night. Oh well, I'll find out soon enough.

Afterwards, I headed across the street to check out the Insectarium, but it was closed due to a "labour dispute with the Montreal municipality workers". Bummer.

I then headed back toward the soccer stadium. In the same complex is the Montréal Tower, which stretches 175 metres into the sky (574 feet or 53 stories) at a 45-degree angle. Unfortunately, it was overcast so I couldn't see 80 kilometres (50 miles) into the distance. Still, well worth the price of admission of $18.

Next up, I went downtown to the underground mall. I was in the mood for a burger so I got one in a food court, but it wasn't that good: not a lot of meat, cashier put too much mustard on it, and the fries looked like the tiny bits you get at the bottom of a bag.

Apparently, the underground mall is something like nine miles. I only wandered through two or three of the mall -- I think there are seven or so of 'em. I was looking for stuff to buy for family, but it's all very high-end. I held back . . . the week's young.

Around mid-afternoon, I returned to the B&B and wandered down Avenue Mount Royal, which I've grown quite fond of; lots of shops without being too expensive. I hit a couple DVD and used CD shops. I wanted to get the new Kids in the Hall DVD, but nobody has it . . . looks like I'll have to get it from Amazon Canada. At the CD shops, I picked up the Flashback soundtrack (crappy 80s pic w/ Keifer Sutherland and Dennis Hopper, but it has a Flesh For Lulu song I never heard before). At a used book store, I picked up the Nikita soundtrack; great French film.

I also walked down Avenue Laurier for an eight-block stretch because my travel book said it was awesome, but it wasn't really my cup of cola cuz it's too upscale for my middle-class wallet.

I returned to Avenue Mount Royal and saw a Thai restaurant that looking interesting, since I was hungering for seafood. But it was only 5:30 p.m., so I kept on walking until I hit the end of the strip, about two miles. I hopped on a bus that I thought would take me to the Thai restaurant, but it went in the opposite direction. I got off at the stop near the soccer stadium, took the Metro back to the Mount Royal Metro stop, then hopped on the right bus.

For the entree, I ordered pork dumplings in peanut-butter sauce . . . very odd. The main course was a seafood mix over red and green peppers. It had bits of crab and the usual suspects (shrimps and scallops) plus squid, which I never ate before -- real rubbery.

The service as piss-poor. I had asked for Chinese tea but never got it, and I had to go up to the counter for the cheque. It came to $18 and I didn't leave a tip. The casier/server didn't seem to expect one, so I left.

On the walk to the B&B, I stopped in an ice-cream place and got a sugar cone with cappuccino ice cream. Delightful!

I crashed around 10:30 p.m.

Soccer stadium -- seats 13,000 -- I'll be seeing the Montreal Impact play on Wednesday night; I took this pic high up on the Montréal Tower. I'll be on the left under the roof. (If ya click on the picture, you'll see the right seats spell out the word IMPACT.)

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