Oooh la la it's Montreal!!!!
Since Miranda was off on a cycling trip with her sister, Ralph planned a trip to Montreal to see the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Arthur and I decided to go along and we took our 16 year old neice, Caitlin, who had never been to Montreal.
The festival was a unique experience, a one of a kind adventure for a comedy novice such as myself. Aside from the hassles of french logistical disorganization, the events were fun and belly jingling. There is an excellent review of the festival online but off line, there was a highlight of our own. At the Aussie comedy show Ralph's presence soon became known and he was invited up on stage. Being the shy fellow that he is(n't) he was persuaded to display his bare crack for which he was given a beer as all good stagies must have a beer!!!
Since we attended four different shows: The Ethnic Heroes of Comedy, Late Night Down Under, South Park Live with creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and New Faces of Comedy, we enjoyed a good variety of humour. Some of the shows were in night clubs and some in theatres and all were lined up and sold out. It gave me a good appreciation of how difficult stand up comedy is to perform and yeah, I had a refresher course on swear words and off colour jokes!!! Sometimes we felt like we should be covering Caitlin's ears.
Montreal however was not all comedy. Between shows we were able to take in several other sights and soak up the ambiance of this exciting city. We dragged Caitlin off to see St Joseph's Oratory. She's not used to touring churches. For those of you who have never been to Montreal, this amazing sanctuary is a must see. Everything is gigantic at this church built way up on the mountain on the site where the sainted Brother Andre lived a humble life of devotion and healing. His wee original chapel is full of crutches left behind by those he had healed. The view is spectactualar and the double domes, incredible stained glass and amazing carvings, iron work and scultped way of the cross touch what is deepest in our core of being.
Of course Montreal has many other lovely churches. We also visited the famous Notre Dame Basicia and it is a breathtaking cathedral with all the pomp and splendour it its day. Caitlin laid low for this event but enjoyed shopping in the old city. This link will show you the layout of the down town area and has 150 photos to enjoy.
For Arthur, the highlight of this trip was an afternoon at the Montreal Royal Botanical Gardens, with special emphasis on the Bonsai exhibits. We saw all three Bonsai exhibits, the Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden and the newly formed Tree House Garden of naturally collected native Bonsai. This map will show you the extent of these remarkable gardens where one could easily spend the entire day.
Caitlin and Ralph adventured on their own at the gardens and their favourite part was the butterfly insect exhibit.
And now for the COOL CONDO!!!
I managed to book the most amazing condo pad to stay in while we were in Montreal - just stumbled into it online and it was even better than we expected. Photos can not do justice to the funkiness of this apartment. The condo was 2500 square feet and located in an old skate factory, not far from the old city, in sight of La Rond. The condo had a grand piano, a swing, a hammock, glass blocks and table, huge plants and everywhere you looked was colour and interesting artifacts. Too many photos to insert here, so check the collection at Flickr.
We created many wonderful memories on our outing to Montreal. The Comedy festival is well worth the trip and Montreal is a place you can visit time and time again.
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