Sunday, 15 August 2010

Two days off in Montreal

First of all, many thanks to my excellent hosts in Montreal – Elisa and Gavin. Their wonderful hospitality under exceptional circumstances (more of that later, I expect) and generosity was greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

Viewing the city from the terrace of Chalet du Mont Royal.

I spent one day wandering around downtown Montreal. First of all I climbed up “the mountain” to Chalet du Mont Royal for the fine views of the city from the terrace. It was quite a steep climb and descent using the steps and it made my legs go all wobbly on the way down (and my calf muscles hurt spectacularly the following day). I’ve obviously been cycling too long…

View from Chalet du Mont Royal. Pont Champlain over the St. Lawrence in distance.
Also from Chalet du Mont Royal (to the left of previous shot)

I continued back downhill wandering amongst the tall buildings and found the Musee D’Art Contemporain in the Quartier des Spectacles. There were several stunning pieces (as usual), in amongst the incomprehensible stuff (as usual).

Pyramidal roof of Le 1501 McGill College
Building Reflections

I continued on, after a pretentious lunch in the museum’s restaurant and ended up at the Cathédrale Marie-Reine du Monde (Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral). It was cool, deathly quiet and dimly lit inside. I had a snooze.

Cathédrale Marie-Reine du Monde
Reflection of Dome of Cathédrale Marie-Reine du Monde and Statue (name?)

It was quite hot by now and looking for one more thing to do I picked the Planetarium. It had excellent air-conditioning, was dark and had comfortable reclining chairs. Perfect. Drifting in and out of consciousness (quite a few people were also doing this), I watched a presentation on Saturn and the Cassini Probe mission. I was a bit sorry when it ended and I had to go back outside.

Skyscraper (Tour KPMG) and sun
Gargoyle on Christ Church Cathedral

I had planned to go back into town the next day and visit Vieux-Montréal (Old Montreal), but my legs hurt as I've already mentioned so I just did my bike maintenance* in the morning and took a short local walk to Pointe-Claire instead. I'll obviously need to come back sometime without a bike and explore the city properly…

*For Bryan: I did the Rohloff oil change and changed the rear tyre for a new Marathon Supreme. I think you could just about swap the original tyres and get to the end (with not a lot of tread left on either) but I had two new spares so it seemed sensible to use one. The existing front will last the distance easily, so didn’t bother changing. I’ve also decided to run the same chain until the end. I’ve put another turn on the EBB and wiped and re-lubed. There’s some mild hooking on the sprocket, but the chainring looks OK. Everything’s running sweet!


R & A said...

sleeping in church, that a new one!!!

Martina said...

How's your French holding up?

Bryan said...

Hey Shaun, I'm a bit behind...
I'm amazed at the mileage you get out of your chains! I'm still waiting to check out Wipperman Connex chains... As for the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires: did you know they're rated for 5-9K kms, whereas the Marathon Plus is rated at 8-15K kms! A bit late now for you.. :-)
Isn't it awesome to ride a bike such a long distance without any worries?! Imagine the old days when we'd change flats in the ditch in a driving rain/sleet storm... No worries, you're not jinxed as I've got my mojo, plus threw salt over my left shoulder, just to be doubly sure. ;-)
I'm looking fwd to your NB reports as you're going thru the middle whereas I did the coastal route...
4 provinces to go!