Our last day here in Montreal was quite a surreal experience.
It started in our ordinary, quiet sort of way. We met Nadine and decided we’d spend Saturday morning on Rue Laurier, pottering about this little neighbourhood like ordinary Montrealers, stopping for coffee when we felt like it. Though it’s fun to see the “sights” in a city, sometimes (and especially after two weeks of doing such things) it’s good to assume some kind of normality; to share a bit of ordinary routine in a place.
We were especially taken with the outside staircases which are so very characteristic of the city. Here, there are four front doors, each to a different apartment in the same building. I always think that having one’s own front door is important: Montreal was built for people like me!
After a little mooch along this smart street, filled with lovely independent shops selling beautiful kitchenware, shoes and things for the home, it was surely coffeetime?
We perched, the four of us in a line along the window of the patisserie and watched the world go by.
We chatted about how the view opposite didn’t really feel North American at all and wouldn’t have been out of place in a French town.
(As we were thinking that, a chap left the patisserie with a baguette under his arm, as if to confirm that very thought)
Yes, of course we passed comment on the dress standards of those who passed by, not to mention the ability (or lack thereof) to park a car efficiently.
We can only hope that our comments couldn’t be heard through the glass!
Before we left, we needed some group photos, so we persuaded Mark to step outside with our cameras and we posed for some silly shots, entertaining the passers by as we did.
No, this isn’t a member of our family, but Victor, the mascot of the comedy festival which reaches its conclusion tonight. He was walking in front of the first slightly surreal event of the day.
This was the Twins Parade, when 500 pairs of (mostly) identical twins walked through the city centre, on their way to the Annual Twins Ball.
Twins of all ages carried their portraits in what Mark declared, a slightly creepy experience.
It was a challenge to take photographs since three of Montreal’s most statuesque women were working as stewards and standing right in front of us.
But occasionally, those in the parade were happy to pose, especially the young women, who seemed to be enjoying the occasion most of all.
In the evening, Nadine had booked a table at The F Bar, a portuguese brasserie adjacent to the main Comedy Festival venue. We enjoyed delicious food with the added bonus of the festival sideshow.
Sensing a buildup to some kind of finale outside, our waitress explained that a Human Cannonball act was going to take place shortly. Dessert was ordered as we stepped outside to observe this spectacle! Sure enough, the chap climbed inside the cannon, the crowd counted down “quatre, trois, deux, un…” and pouf, he was propelled high into the air to land safely in the net high above the crowd.
He took his bow and spectacle over, we returned to the dessert business and savoured our crispy-crunchy choco-coffee gelato, our natas with sorbet and rice pudding with anis-pear sorbet and red fruits.
The crowd walked home and we followed on a little later, bidding Nadine a fond farewell and promising to get together again soon.
A bientot, Montreal!!