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Monday, August 10, 2009

Montreal Through My Camera Lens

At the end of my vacation, last week my Mum and I put together an overnight trip to Montreal together at the last minute. We had originally planned to hit the St. Lawrence Seaway in the Ganenoque area but the weather was just too predictable to have outdoor plans with no easy indoor backup. Thus our choice of Montreal, if it was beautiful we'd be outside, if not we'd hit the Metro, check out the underground city, and the museums. It turned out we had to gorgeous days in Montreal which allowed us to play cameras outdoors at the Botanical Gardens (if it rained we would of hit the greenhouses) on Friday, and Vieux Montreal on Saturday.

Friday really was a jam packed day! It started out with a two hour drive into Montreal, and each time we go there I'm becoming more and more familiar/comfortable with the city. Though I was born there and lived there until I was 11 I was always a passenger. Now I'm the chauffeur. At least that's the arrangement I have with my Mum, I drive she pays... fair don't you think? We headed right downtown to our hotel which was a short walk to the Metro and Vieux Montreal/Old Port, our room was ready early so we could check in before noon and have the Valet take my car away. From there we hit the pavement, heading to the nearest Metro station to take the subway to the Botanical Gardens.

Of course the Metro lets you out right at the Big "O", the home of the 1976 Olympics. It kinda looks like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind doesn't it? Or Star Trek maybe!

Good daughters always get the gold medal in their Mum's eyes!

The Athlete's Village in 1976

I last went there about 5 years ago, during March and was only able to check out the greenhouses. This time I was able to wander the acres and acres that make up the outdoor gardens... Rose, Chinese, Japanese, First Nations, Alpine, Shade, Lilly, Water gardens and more!

We started out in the Rose Gardens

Then moved onto the Chinese Gardens which were spectacular!

The entrance
Fierce Garden Guards

Beautiful Stone Mural

What a frame for a wonderful garden!

Colourful gazebos

A perfect photo-op!

Bonsai! (some were over 100 years old)

Next was the Japanese Garden which was so serene and minimalist after the riot of colour and elements in the Chinese Gardens.

What would a Japanese garden be without Koi?

Koi, being watched by this hungry heron

More... bonsai!!!

Lotus flowers

This bell was a gift from the city of Hiroshima to the city of Montreal.
The Beautiful Water gardens

Assorted flowers and fauna my lens captured at the Botanical Gardens (the Chinese & Japanese gardens were the true highlight of the day). There are just so many gardens, flowers, fountains and structures that in six hours you still won't see it all!

We came across this bit of eye candy in Vieux Montreal at night. We were treated to this spectacular fountain (Vieux Montreal really comes alive on a Friday night!) after the worst Indian meal ever! Mum and I have decided we'll have to make up for the horrible food with a trip to our favourite Indian restaurant here at home! I mean... since when did naan, butter chicken and lamb korma all taste sickly sweet? There were no complex flavours... and a huge waste of money we could barely eat it! Once I dropped Mum off at the hotel I went and met Kathryn, another blogger from Nevada who was in town for a Si-Fi convention. So was Ruth, but it didn't work out for us to meet, hopefully we'll be in the same city again... someday! Both ladies are from the Western US and it was a miracle we were in the same city at the same time! As Christin says... I can't go anywhere without running into someone I know (be it in real life or online and yet to be met in person).

Saturday was bight and VERY sunny which made it hard to take photographs which are full of depth and colour. I'm sure if I had the patience to play with these pictures for hours in Photoshop they'd look much better but for now they'll have to do! Mum and I started out with a walk through China Town, which led us to Vieux Montreal/Old Port.
The first place we hit was Notre Dame Basilica, and paid the fee to go inside. I managed to get a few shots inside but without a tripod and a VERY powerful flash it was just impossible to photograph the beautiful architecture.

As you can tell I love stained glass!

I just love this picture, the subjects in the Cleche (horse and buggy) show so much life and character (click to enlarge to see!). We would of loved to do a tour of the Old City in one of these but they were so expensive!

This resident definitely put forth the effort to decorate their winodows... beautiful!

There are little gems hiding in every nook and cranny in Montreal!

Artist at work in an alley crammed with photographers and painters selling their art.

A couple of ships in port.
This two day/one night trip was so jam packed I felt like I was gone from home for four days! Today it was back to work, and back to the real world!!!


Suzanne said...

Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing.

Carol R said...

Wonderful photos Dani - thanks for sharing!

Karan said...

Ooooo fabulous photos Dani! You sure know how to pack alot in too. :0)

Anonymous said...

what a great trip. I love seeing the world through your eyes

jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

Great photos, I find in interesting to see the world through others eyes, and what they find interesting enought to capture in photos. I love the stainglass pics. Almost want to pull the colours and start stitching. Have a nice day and be always in stitches.

ollie1976 said...

Love the pics!

Anonymous said...

I feel like I was THERE! Great pictures.

I love the iron spiral staircase with the hens and chicks plant on it.

Kathryn said...

It was so lovely to meet you. Since you saw much more in Montreal than I did, I am glad you shared so much in your wonderful pictures.

Heidi said...

Great pictures!!!

claudia said...

Thanks for the trip to Montreal! It was beautiful!

Von said...

You did have a jam-packed time in Montreal! Your pics are marvelous - what a beautiful city!

Julie said...

Dani, i do so love to go on your virtual tours of the places you visit, such beautiful garden pics here, i could almost smell those roses. I wonder what the folks were chatting about in the horse/carriage LOL

jane said...

great photos - Montreal is a city I really want to visit one day!

Daffycat said...

What lovely photos! It looks like a wonderful trip!

Mary said...

Great pictures. The idea of going to Montreal for a visit at some point is really starting to buzz around in my head.

I'm glad you and your mom had a wonderful weekend and the weather cooperated.

Your new picture looks great!

tkdquintmom said...

BEAUTIFUL photos! Thanks so much for sharing....I just love Canada and what it has to offer.

Wanda said...

Such gorgeous photos, Dani! And what a wonderful place, that garden! I have also wandered around flowers and plants with my mom for hours and hours on end in Holland one spring....somehow it is just RIGHT to do that at least once in a life time.

Doris said...

beautiful photos Dani!! i love all!. the stairs , the gardens, all!.

Rachael said...

Fabulous photos!!

Kajsa said...

Looks like a great trip! Can't go wrong with Montreal!

Carolyn NC said...

Wow - Dani,
Fantastic pictures! Love the pic of the horse, buggy and guy talking! Sounds like a blast! You and your mom sound like my mom and me - I drive, she's forever trying to force money down me. (well, maybe not always force!) Glad you had a good trip!

Katri said...

Thank you for the beautiful photos and a tour of Montreal!

Mylene said...

Enjoyed looking in at your vacation pictures. Thanks for sharing these beautiful views.

Andrea said...

Fantastic photos. Thank you for taking us on a tour of Montreal.

Brigitte said...

Ohhhh, such beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing this exciting trip to Montreal.

Christine said...

Montreal looks beautiful, thanks for sharing your pictures

Sharon said...

Gorgeous photo's!

Cindy F. said...

I've missed so much...still so far

Great pics Dani! This is better than a travel agency's brochure! Makes me want to go and visit! I know you and your mom had a blast! Thanks for sharing:)