I had this day figured out in my head: brisk walk up Mount Royal using a different exit point, to walk all the way down Rue du Rachel to Olympic village. Can’t be that far can it?
As the day was still a little cloudy and cool, I took some time to complete a post before heading out. Then, worked my way round to find the correct path to the cross, so spent a little time there. It is certainly an interesting edifice, and I think given the right circumstances could be a quiet place of contemplation and reverence.
Finding my way back down was straight forward and I started the walk down Rachel with the iconic view of the stadium to guide my way.
I had chosen to go down this street, as it appeared on the map to be most interesting, a variety of parks and green areas, some shopping areas, and a bus route, just in case. It started well but just when I thought I might be getting close, and crossed the railway, it became just an area of commercial buildings and new apartments. By this time I was in need of some nourishment, at least a drink. Finally came across a tiny little ice-cream store and was delighted to be offered a Latte served in a pretty china mug.
Now refreshed and ready for the last push upped the pace a little, and soon the Olympic park was looming large in front of me once more. However, so were the grey clouds and spots of rain.
I had no idea what to expect, really, as I had been unable to find out much of what to do there, other than the botanical gardens but even as the rain began I thought this might be the better option.
Well, of course it was, as this place was huge, and for a small charge, I chose the warmth and shelter of the greenhouses. I am not really going to say much, letting the images speak for themselves.
Possibly my favourite shot of time in the greenhouses was this waterfall shot.
And all too soon, it was closing time and I had to leave the comfort, shelter and beauty of nature inside to brave what looked like storms brewing outside. To make my way back home I went via the stadium capturing the spirit of past glories in the flags flying and then the rings symbols of nations both competing and supporting each other to be ,”Faster, Higher, Stronger”.
But my personal marathon was only half way; time to head up Sherbrooke, the most direct route home. Which also took me past a Timmies which would provide a much needed cup of tea, “large earl grey with double milk”. Oh and just as an extra treat today, my Timmies reward card gave me a free donut…..sour cream glazed, always a favourite.
By now the familiar and comforting sight of Mount Royal was keeping me going and turning off Sherbrooke I walked along St. Denis towards Mount Royal and Parc. Home.
Ah but an impulsive decision to pop into what looked like an interesting art place gave another fascinating experience to this wonderful day. The art was modern, and different techniques and mediums. The first to grab my attention was what I would call punk art, objects made up of scrap pieces of metal and old equipment. The pictures do not do justice to the work but at this point I had not managed to ask permission to photograph. They do demonstrate the skill and intrigue of the work.
Then I was looking at some other work that I admit were not at first to my taste. However, I was trying to read and understand the titles of the pieces and those I could understand began to make sense. Finally, the artist, hopefully noticing my interest, came over to speak to me, which resulted in a delightful conversation in clumsy French and English on my part, and limited English, carefully spoken French and sign language on her part, in which she was able to tell me about her work with teenagers, using art to be able to express themselves and have a voice. The work she was exhibiting was her impressions of her students. I was so grateful that she took the time to explain it all. I left the gallery with new understanding and respect for work done by amazing artists.
I may not have physically run or walked a marathon, but it was certainly an Olympic achievement in touring and immersion into this beautiful city. Thank you Montreal for feeding me; treats for the taste buds, treats for the eyes and ears, but most of all memories for the mind and soul