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Trip Report une semaine a montreal

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bonjour e merci, to all who helped me in planning my just completed week in montreal. i was there the 20-27th september. the 25-27th i participated in the north american housing and hiv/aids housing research summit VII. this was held @ the omni mont royal and i stayed there for 4 nights as well before the meeting

i was lucky w/ the weather. there was some rain /overcast on the sunday and one other evening but aside from that beaucoup de soleil and around 23C during the day.

to save the organizers money i came in from the airport on the #747 bus $9 ( the same price as a daypass) as i was in-bound on the friday, it was a relatively smooth trip. not so going out there on the 27th, friday afternoon @ 3PM. i was surpruised at the lack of anything better than a bus sitting in traffic ( it was the same traffic one would sit in for about $40 btw)

even in toronto one can take the metro to kipling station and be met by the flyer bus (all in one regular transit fare) it takes about 50 minutes regardless of traffic on the streets. the trip to dorval was 1 hour 20 minutes. come on montreal you can do better ( a bus express lane would be nice!)

that's all my rant. the rest of my week was fantastique!

the omni ( a former four seasons) wa lovely. management offered the conference rate of $179 for my entire stay. joining omni's frequent guest program gets on free internet; morning coffee to your door and a daily newspaper.

a call to the hotel garnered me an upgrade to the 29th floor and a large corner room w/ a view out to mont royal , over the mc gill campus and ouest on rue sherbrooke. the room was comfortable and the hotel staff was very accommodating and friendly in a professional manner.

i scored a ticket to the habs/ carolina match on the weekend which was a disappointment for canadien fans ( by a 3-1 losing margin, desolee)

the hotel is well located a block from line vert metro @ rue peel and buses on rues peel e sherbrooke. it's also a 5 minute walk to the wonderful musee de beaux arts where i caught a dale chihuly show that was suspitiously similar to one i saw in san francisco 3 or 4 years ago. but the museum has beaucoup d'art quebequois e canadienne aussi

for longer distance i used the wonderful bixi bike ( too bad they are mud grey though rather than the cheerful and shocking pink of their ottawa cousins) system and the fine metro.

one of the best opportunities i had was to visit the international sculpted plant competition , "mosaic" @ the stunning jardin botanique. this was bizarre, beautiful and extraordinary

walking around vieux montreal is nice but mid week rather quiet aside from around the basilica.

i had a friend who lived a cote the "village" montreal's lively and colourful gay quartier which abuts the busing UQAM. and enjoyed both good food and over the top street traffic and eye candy

asisde from that i just walked and walked: a bit in the golden square mile and plateau neighbourhoods including a hike up mont royal from my hotel.

people were overwhelmingly friendly and kind. as soon as they heard my terrible french they started in their generally excellent anglais. i just continued en francaise as j'ai besoin d' practicar.

of course the hot topic of conversation was the proposed charter. my friends both anglophone and francophone were not very fond of it it. they are all strong supporters of their unique heritage which is of great contrast to ours on la cote ouest but respectful of the heritage and culture of the many immigrants both recent and past from francophone former colonies of france around the world and what i believe is the largest jewish heritage community in our lovely land. and oh those bagels!!

so merci beaucoup and i hope to return

cheers'
AndrewDavid

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