Canada is made up of states that have free will to become independent if they wish. Montreal is in the state of Quebec and every 10 years they hold a new referendum. But even though they feel different from the rest of Canadians, they know they are better off with them as a nation. What sets them apart is not just speaking French. They really are a mix of being Canadian and European.
Montreal is a bilingual city but above all with a “bilifestyle”, like the water of two rivers that sometimes mix and sometimes separate. Montreal is like itself and cannot be compared.
One of the most visited cities in Canada, it was its economic center for many years. A friend told us that the city lost the title to Toronto when the state of Quebec started talking about independence, as many companies were afraid and left.
After our first night in town, we talked here .
We started the next morning wandering from graffiti to graffiti, the city breathes art. We feel their alternative environment, we linger in the streets. We were lucky to still see graffiti being finished and in another the author himself took pictures and publicized his work.
Until we were surprised by a guy on a bike with a surfboard! “Hey man, where do you surf here?” We yelled, and he answered back: Habitat 67! We were curious and promised a visit, for now we continue along Rue St. Catherine. A paradise for those who like shopping, not for me of course, I don't like it at all!! (read with irony). The street took us through cafes and restaurants to the Des Beau-Arts museum and we were surrendered to yet another work of art: this time outdoors.
In Montreal, in the middle of August, it seems that the cold is never felt and that winter is not coming, the restaurants have big windows open to the street and people linger in the parks.
We strolled through the Cartier des Spectacles. We strolled carefree down Rue Saint-Denis, and stopped at a bar for a Budweiser before heading to the Olympic stadium.
The Olympic Games in Montreal took place in 1976. As we arrived near the Olympic stadium, we saw what we had already seen in the news. The stadium is now occupied by migrants fleeing the US for fear of being deported and seeking a second life in Canada. There are 250 a day that arrive here and the government helps with the entire legalization process.
On the other side of the stadium is the botanical garden and the biodorm, we chose not to visit. Dogs are not allowed. As the sun had not yet set, we forced the mammoth to take us to see Habitat 67. We saw a beach with a continuous wave and many people packing their surfboards in their cars. Ivo didn't bring the board, and it's not time to buy one yet. Soon there will be more surfing around here.
Another night of sleeping in the parking lot followed... oh, how we yearn to get out of the cities.
All photos with Fujifilm X T-2