Shopping: Wednesday we were on our own. We explored the underground malls. They link building to building, sometimes two levels below street. Many malls rise 3-4 levels above ground. I wonder if anyone actually works, based on the level of people crowding the corridors.
Singing: Thursday we drove to Ottawa and took in a matinee production of "Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz" at the National Arts Centre. This production is a part of the "Broadway Across Canada" series. This is an entertaining show. We had seen it in Chicago in May and loved the humour and music. It's a prequel about how the characters in the Wizard of Oz became who they are.
Sumptuous: After the show we met our friends in Hudson, on the Lake of Two Mountains, to have dinner on the terrace at Auberge Willow Place Inn. Originally built in 1820, it's now a bed & breakfast, with a restaurant and pub. Another delicious meal, this time overlooking the water, complete with ferries traveling back and forth to Oka. Very picturesque. Delicious food.
Sharing: Friday morning I visited a poet friend in Verdun. We had brunch, shared some poems and took a lovely walk around the nearby park. Sightseeing: I then picked up A & B in Old Montreal and we ventured out to the Olympic Stadium, took the funicular to the top to get a birds' eye view of the city and then visited the Biodome next door. A quick visit to the former Expo '67 site satisfied our childhood curiousity (both B and I visited in '67).
More Shopping: Our afternoon brought another visit to all those wonderful malls and Ste. Catherine's stores. I picked a copy of "Two Solitudes" by Hugh Maclennan, a landmark of nationalist fiction. Our traveling companions suggested it might help give me more perspective on the Quebec/Canada issue. I also picked up two poetry books by Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States, based on recommendations from my poet friend, Judith.
Sumptuous Too: We then wandered into Old Montreal and found a lovely streetside café at the corner of St-Paul and St-Vincent. There are actually two restaurants, one Portugese: Solmar, and one French: La Sauvagine. Our table was actually on the original cobblestone street and we could order from either menu. A lovely gentleman flattered us, promised 99.9% satisfaction and made sure we received the best of attention. I got the sense he owned the place, based on how the servers responded to him. We couldn't have had a better spot: to watch people, to observe the area, to enjoy classic old town views.
Surprise: As we walked back to our car, we heard booming over the water. We turned to see a fireworks show. A perfect finish to our last night in Montreal.
See my Montreal pictures here: