Saturday, July 8, 2017


As one last insult, the toilet in our hotel room packed it in this morning and wouldn’t flush. Given that they haven’t managed to find a key for our room in the 3 days we’ve been here, I don’t hold out much hope of getting a plumber, so it was lucky we were on our way out of Montreal today.

We left our bags at the hotel and walked down to Rue Aylmer to collect our rental. On the way we came across masses of people dressed just in their undies and completely covered in red, yellow, blue or purple body paint. Like inquisitive aliens, they spread out across the city, climbing on statues and stairs and interacting silently with the public. I’m not sure what or who they were promoting but it was very cool ‘arte’.
The 'invasion'
There’s nothing quite as adrenalin rushing as driving a rented vehicle, on the ‘wrong’ side of the road in a country whose signs are written in a language other than the one with which you are familiar! Luckily the lovely man at Hertz (we haven’t met an unlovely Canadian yet) upgraded our vehicle to one with an inbuilt GPS, and with Taine & I chanting ,‘righty tighty’ or lefty loosey’ at every intersection we made our way safely out of the city.
We got a Jeep!
A few years ago we were lucky enough to ‘inherit’ an exchange student and so the motivation for our trip to Canada was to catch up with her. Thanks to social media we’ve been able to keep in contact, but seeing her in person and having us all in the same face to face space was awesome. As with all good friends, we just took up where we’d left off and it was as if the time apart had never happened (except that Taine now looks like a giant beside his Quebecois sister!). Florence cooked us a local pasta dish for dinner and we practised our Fringlish together. Montreal is a truly bilingual city. Every sign is written in French and English and every person in every shop seemed to be able to switch effortlessly from one language to another, sometimes in mid sentence. Provincial Quebec however, is solely French so we will be dependent on our interpreter for assistance!

Last time we saw her she was taller than him!
We’re staying at an Airbnb just out of the city of Sherbrooke where Florence is at university.

Its lovely to have the space of a whole house after a week of hotel rooms and behind the house is a wood full of maple trees so we might find some more squirrels.
Our backyard

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