Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Old Montreal Part Deux

So, after a brief break to ice my knee and ankle (when I fall off I curb, I fall off a curb), we wandered a bit more around the Old Port.  Mostly shops selling handmade crap.  Indeed, there were many more opportunities to get a henna tattoo.  (Henna tattoo update:  five days and all that remains are a few persistent black dots.  On the other hand, mosquito bites I'd gotten more than a week ago still haven't completely disappeared.)

We then rented a quadricycle.  It's like ... take two bicycles and put 'em next to each other.  Connect em with some metal bars.  Replace both seats with a bench that runs across both bikes.  Put a steering wheel in front of one of the bikes.  Put a nice little fabric hood on the whole thing.  Result looks something like an old-fashioned car, excepting it is pedalled by two people.  And, no, you don't go around in a circle if one person pedals faster than the other -- both of you propel the vehicle forward.  Anyway, we rented one ("Good physical therapy for your knee," said Mary.  And she's a nurse, so I trusted her on that.) and we pedalled it all up and down the port for a half hour.

That night was Mary's last night in Montreal, so we went out to dinner at a really nice, trendy place.  We took the Metro out to it because the restaurant was only two blocks from the Metro station.  Two very creepy blocks.  (All the tour books we'd read talked about how safe the Metro is -- they left out the bit about the streets when you come OUT of the Metro station.)  We continued on to the restaurant and -- for the first time all trip -- I questioned the wisdom of carrying my passport in my purse (which I'd done on the theory that I didn't want it stolen out of the hotel).  Right as we're walking, some woman got thrown out of a restaurant (right next to our destination, it turned out) and yelling something in French (I couldn't figure what she was yelling, but it had that "I'm way too unstable to be out on the streets" feel to it) -- anyway, she gets thrown out of this restaurant right in front of our path, and Mary stops short because she doesn't want to walk past this woman and, y'know, make us register on her radar.  I muttered to Mary to just walk on by when -- quite conveniently -- a police officer pulled over, got out of his car, and started talking to the insane yelling lady.  (Also spoke with the guy who had, apparently, thrown her out of the restaurant.)  We let this little drama continue and went right into the restaurant next door.

The hostess asked if we wanted to sit near the window.  Not this time, no -- we'd rather disappear into the darkness of the trendy restaurant and let the excitement of life on the streets of Montreal carry on without us. 

(We took a taxi back.)


hewasolddog299 said...

Chicken! If you have to wander around at night in a major city in North America, Montreal is one of the better choices. Oh, it looks seedy in spots (you would, too, if you'd first been settled in the 1600's) but overall I much prefer it at night to Toronto or Halifax.

I wish I'd known you were going to visit -- I lived there once upon a time. Do stop and get a bagel at the oldest bagel bakery in North America, still baked in wood-fired ovens. Damn if I can recall the address off the top of my head -- the guidebooks should have it. Also try to take in the botanical gardens -- some of the finest in the East.


annalisa135 said...

sounds like you're having a wonderful adventure.  :-))  hope your knee is feeling much better soon, Ms. Klutz.