Friday, September 30, 2011

Before continuing...

So many things, so many pictures, so many foods, that it is hard to keep up writing all that I'd like to write. I was in Québec City and told it here. In the Jean-Talon Market and in the Atwater Market. In Little Italy, in Chinatown. I ate hot dogs, ramen soups, smoked meat sandwiches, cannoli, raw food and bagels, lots of bagels.

Though I know that the best memories will be the diners and the walks I made with the friends I leave in Montreal. Like the trip I did with my friend Arantza and her husband to pick up fresh apples.

Beignes aux Pommes

A little sad because I have to leave, but looking forward to the new destinations. Today I'm heading to the West, to the Pacific. Besides, I'm also very excited because tomorrow I'm meeting someone special, I have a date in Vancouver. Next post from there!


Confessions, yes, two to be more precise. The first one is that until now, I hadn't eaten in a restaurant on my own, well, better said, I'd never had the guts to do it. Nonsense, you will say. Well, I'm afraid it was so. The thing is, it is a little inconvenient if you travel alone, so I did it... and not just once but several times now. Hunger made me lose the shame, totally groundless by the way.

The second confession I have to make is that I ate (alone) a whole poutine: French fries topped with fresh cheese curds, and covered with gravy. Well, at least I did it at the most famous restaurant in Montreal serving poutines, La Banquise. If you gonna do it anyway, at least do it properly!

La Banquise Poutine

Monday, September 26, 2011


As promised, a little bit more on the Le Main street, the popular name by which the St-Laurent Boulevard is known. You will probably remember better if I tell you that it is the street where Schwartz's is, the restaurant specialized in smoked meat sandwiches, won't you? Well, the St-Laurent Boulevard not only divides the city in two practically equal parts, but it also draws (more or less) a linguistic line that separates the French speaking from the English speaking Montreal. As you all know, Canada is an officially bilingual country, but not everyone speaks both languages though. Keeping nationalism apart (which most of the time leads to some absurd situations), I cannot think of a better place to learn and practice both languages at the same time.

Farine Five Roses

There is something that I like a lot and that is caused by this linguistic situation, especially in Montreal, and that is the combined way to say hello in many places, the "Bonjour-Hi". This way, the customer is given the election of the language he'd like to use. Another amazing thing that gets me quite disconcerted is the very polite manner, from my European point of view (not judging, just saying that it is a different way to use manners), used in many establishments. What I mean is the question: Hi, how are you today? I know it doesn't mean anything, it is just another way to say Hi, but not being used to it, this question pops out of the blue and I get disconcerted because I've spent all the time on the line trying to build mentally a grammatically perfect sentence in the foreign language which is, of course, suddenly gone!

Anyway, I only have a couple of days here before I continue my trip, and there is still so much I'd like to write about. I'm looking forward to continue and I'm already a little bit sad about my leaving. Especially now that the city is getting its most beautiful colors.

Fall again!

Friday, September 16, 2011

An opportunity to celebrate

Why not take this opportunity to celebrate the first month (and first third) of this trip, the additional year I carry in my baggage since a couple of weeks and, keeping apart egocentricity (it would have been more elegant to begin with that, I guess), the last corn harvest.


Anyway, we celebrated the occasion with an épluchette de blé d'Inde, that is a gathering with friends to eat fresh corn. The nice thing is that everyone should first peel the corns. Then they are cooked in salted water and eat with some butter and salt on them. It is such a comfort warm taste they have!

Ouvert 9 à 18 h
Markierte Fotos10
Markierte Fotos9

We bought these corns on the road, on our way back from the Eastern Townships, that region with towns in which porches, gardens and mailboxes are almost annoyingly perfect. After the visit I can understand better why the Quebec mysteries of Louise Penny take place here.

Adirondack Chairs

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Postcard home

Dear family and friends,
During my stay in Montreal I couldn't miss the opportunity to visit Canada's capital, which is only two and a half hours by car. So here I am, spending some days in Ottawa, visiting a part of the family that I hadn't seen for so many years, and catching up with family stories, which at this side of the Atlantic are served with a nice slice of lemon meringue pie.

Picasso y Limon Meringe Pie

I'm having a very nice time in Ottawa. It is an easy city to walk. The Parliament buildings, bridges, canals, museums...

Parliament Hill
Union St Bridge
Rideau Canal

...and tasty things like the beaver tails in the crowded ByWard Market. Beaver tails are a kind of fried dough pastries topped with various condiments (cinnamon sugar, chocolate, etc.). Take a look by yourselves and decide whether you'd like them or not!

Beaver Tails

I've already decided to come back some winter in the future. I can't wait to eat beaver tails, hot as they're served, on the Rideau Canal kiosks while skating it up and down :-)

Greetings from Canada's capital!