Having spent the previous evening out and about in various establishments until the early hours, I was feeling more than a little delicate on the morning of our full free day in Montreal. Michele and I staggered to the subway and headed out to the Biodome through the muggy morning air.
The Biodome is essentially an excellent indoor zoo, with four separate manmade ecosystems for guests to explore - a rainforest, a North American wilderness, a coastal gulf and the North and South Poles. It sits beneath the shadow of the Montreal Tower in the Olympic Park. Although Montreal hosted the Olympics in 1976, the tower wasn't actually completed until 1987... oops.
We wandered around outside for a bit, basking in the distinctly retro feel to the place - the subway station for example has surpassed outdatedness and now enjoys a rather kitsch aspect. There weren't many other visitors around so we could enjoy the place more or less to ourselves, imagining what it must have been like during the glory days.
Inside, we hung around the sloth enclosure, hoping that one of them would make an appearance. They had other ideas and promptly stayed in bed. But at least we saw a tortoise before moving on into the ecosystems...
^These ducks were hands down my favourites. They would swim down and down into the depths of the tanks, holding their breath for far longer than I would ever be capable of before suddenly snapping upright into a streamlined position and letting their own buoyancy carry them back to the surface. As such, they looked like funny little duck superheroes as they sped back up to the air above. I watched them for at least fifteen minutes, cackling the entire time.
night in the gay bar and a sit down and a nice bit of music was just what I fancied.
It turned out to be a kids show that weirdly told the story of a male sloth battling against the odds to mate with a female. It involved a lot of sound effects and audience participation (which I just wasn't prepared for) as well as a rather unsettling sound effect at the end of his, um, journey. Not sure that one was quite appropriate for the kiddies but there you go.
Apart from visiting the Biodome (which I would definitely recommend if you're in Montreal) we had no other plans so spent the afternoon wandering through the streets. We came across a lot of street art reminiscent of that we'd seen in Toronto which made our aimless ambling all the more entertaining.
A park provided us with a much needed sit down - and a sleep. We pretty much napped the rest of our free time away sitting beneath the trees with the sound of the fountain in the background. Then suddenly it was a dash for dinner, running through a summer shower and encountering a number of audacious squirrels along the way.
And then we reunited with the rest of the group for dinner at Poutineville, where Michele and I both groaned at the sight of more fried food and promptly ordered Greek salads (seriously, a month in Canada played havoc with my digestive system!)
Right now I can't believe I turned down the opportunity to eat more gravy slathered cheesy chips which goes to show just how much shit I actually ate during our roadtrip... eek!