Montreal, day two

Yesterday was our trip to Pointe-à-Callière, the archaeology museum I’d really looking forward to seeing. It’s built on the foundations of the old customs house, and down in the basement you can see various foundations and the results of excavations in the area, which had centuries worth of human occupation. There’s also a nice observatory, and a temporary exhibit on pirates (way too crowded, mostly stuff I knew about already, in more detail). We got there around 10 am, when it opened, and didn’t end up leaving until around 3 pm. The restaurant in the museum was amazing, not at all what you’d expect. I had a prix fixe of zucchini cream soup, ceasar salad with crispy bacon, and an artsy raspberry tart. All of it was beautifully prepared and flavorful. The only flaw in the meal was a fire alarm, which meant I had to carry my dessert down several flights of stairs and eat it outside. (A kid had pulled the alarm.)

After that, we walked through a nice little park that had been created from an old industrial canal along the river, ultimately arriving at a pier where one could book boat tours. We snagged flyers for all the different tours and ducked into a restaurant on the quai to peruse them, only to discover the restaurant had circus performances several nights a week. While I drank my cafe au lait (primo! the coffee’s all been excellent), I watched an acrobat working on choreography for an act involving two long strips of fabric hung from the very high ceiling. Sometimes, she would be hanging upside down by her feet while she conversed with her companion, who stood on the stage and dealt with various props.

We took a quick walk along a touristy plaza with live music, balloon artist, sketch artist, souvenir shops, etc. while we waited for our boat to leave. The boat was actually enclosed; I would have preferred to feel the wind, but the view wasn’t much good from up top. The boat also did supper cruises, so we could have had drinks and snacks if so inclined. I spent most of the cruise taking pictures. There were a couple of really cool rollercoasters visible from our boat, bridges, kayakers, and the Biosphere.

We visited some drool-worthy shops afterwards, on our way to dinner–all stuff by local designers, including some seriously tempting handbags and scarves and ornamental items. We both resisted (so far). Then dinner at a club/restaurant that C. had heard about, at a place that specialized in fish and game. I had elk (wapiti), and I loved it better than steak; it was served with quinoa and lightly cooked nectarine slices. I also really liked their lightly cooked, marinated beets and a puree of carrots and sweet potatoes, garnished with a smoky, spicy oil. C. picked the wine, which was delicious, though I have never put anything so expensive into my mouth before.

Today’s plan is to visit the Biodome/Botanical Gardens/Olympic Stadium area.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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