After a micro sleep I woke up in the hostel room feeling very disoriented. Especially as the three boys were getting ready, in various states of undress, to go to the pre-qualifying race. However, I was off to explore Montreal but after a few more hours sleep. It was still eight am after all. Once I had managed a bit more sleep I said a quick prayer to the goddess of directions (who hasn’t listened to me yet but I’m sure she will one day) and ventured off into the unknown. I thought the directions goddess had listened to me after my initial triumph of finding the metro station. I decided it was best not to walk because it would mean the chances of being lost would be decreased. You would think. This proved false and no-one had been listening because a few minutes later I had to return to the same station. I had cheerfully got on the metro going in the wrong direction.
Never mind, I was still doing remarkably better than I thought I would. I got off near Notre Dame and went to have a look, after walking around a few additional and unplanned sights.
It is a beautiful building, almost as nice as the one in Paris. I was so taken aback by the grandeur of the building that I failed to spot the water pipe that was on a rotation system to wash the pavement. I heard a nice, clever man who could foresee what was about to happen say ‘attendez’ but, too late. So , with wet feet I squelched up the steps of the church to have a closer look. I did not go in but instead admired the architecture and then went in search of the Bonsecours Market (again, sorry Nana for choosing a market over a church!).
The market was through the streets near the old town and it was lovely to be somewhere that felt a bit less square than Indy. Not that I don’t love Indy but the streets were actually windy and not just set out in a block. I suppose that is the french influence. As are the lovely cafes and people enjoying long lunches as I passed them on my merry way. It was as I headed to Montreal’s Museum of Archeology and History, clutching my picnic, that I heard the roars of the F1 cars reverberate around the town. It was quite exciting. As was my picnic , which I had sat in a little garden by the museum before going in.
I explained, in my version of French, that I would like a sandwich on brown with no butter, mayonnaise or dressing and instead I would like various bits of salad (I am not a fussy eater, honest!). There were a few misunderstandings but I got my sandwich, eventually, so I felt very victorious. It’s the small things.
The museum was fascinating. The first section was all about the history of wine. Perfect! I discovered that wine was only drunk by royalty and beer was for the commoners (so that is 1-0 to me against Luke then). It is also a gift from the god Dionysus so, in my opinion, that is a good enough reason to drink it. I shall ignore Cicero’s comment that commoner’s intelligence is weakened by wine. I think it is a little late for me. I am also very glad that women are now allowed to drink and are no longer betrayed by a kiss! I don’t think I would pass that test with flying colours.After learning about wine, and the reasons we should drink it, I went to the cinema room to hear about Montreal’s history.
It was with trepidation that I took my seat and watched as the huge doors sealed us in. Thank goodness other people were there. Especially when it froze at the beginning and we were sat in complete darkness and silence, untill people started nervously giggling. Luckily, there was a more sensible person who went out of the fire escape and located someone to play the film. It was certainly worth the wait as Montreal’s history is fascinating. I even got to go into the vaults after and see some of the original buildings. I also got a fantastic view of the city from the outside terrace.
Feeling very cultured, I set of again amongst the very self-assured , fashionable lot of Montreal. I grabbed some birthday cupcakes for Alex and located my hostel.
First time I might add. Once safely back I got ready and headed out with the boys. We meandered through the packed streets full of F1 stalls, nicely drunk people and amazing cars. We stopped at a lovely French restaurant for a huge dinner, and wine of course. It was gorgeous food and the waitress proved amusing as she kept flipping between French and English. She had no idea she was doing it untill she saw our blank expressions. It is a great skill though.
We then ventured to a bar and met up with some of the boy’s friends (all boys! so no one to go the restrooms with. Oh the trials of being a lone female) and played pool. I sneaked a coffee in and sat people watching. Afterwards, we went to a heaving club and I am pleased to say I only had two drinks. I had learnt my lesson and I did not want to repeat what happened in the Indy 500. Although it may have been because they had no diet coke and they kept putting ie in everything! The boys didn’t heed my warnings. This became apparent when I had to let them in as they couldn’t open the bedroom door. They blamed their key-card for this, but I’m not so sure.