Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

The First week…

Posted by quirksalight on July 11, 2007

The first 6 days (sunday-friday), a good chunk of my day was taken up with the International Bone and Mineral Society Meeting, for grad school. Not too bad – it just was very hard to sit in a conference center all day listening to seminars when there was a city to explore and great weather to do so.
In the afternoon and evenings, I got a chance to get to know the other people in the hostel, and walk about the city. The day arrived was St. Jean-Baptist Day, or Fête nationale du Québec (“Quebec National Holiday”), as it’s also called. So there was a hostel outing to this huge outdoor concert/party in Olympic Park. Which is a neat place, I’ll head back to it later in my visit. But it was cool – this huge crowd, totally reveling in the fact that they were Quebecois. The energy and atmosphere reminded me of the 4th of July festivities on the Mall in DC. Hmm… I think it was also the first time that I was at another country’s national holiday – meaning like Canada Day, or the 4th of July, etc.
Monday night, there was a private performance of the Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal at the Notre Dame Basilica for the conference attendees. Which was rather cool, but I thought the program selected was a rather tame one with the typical Mozart and Beethoven’s 9th. At least it didn’t detract from the Basilica – an amazing piece of architecture!
Biking along part of the Lachine Canal and to the two islands in the St. Lawrence River – St. Helen’s and Notre Dame, was the free afternoon event through the conference…. a guided tour lasting over 2 hours, it was a lot of fun. Of course it was also on one of the hottest days there… almost 90 degrees… in Montreal! Yeesh… made me glad that I was a couple hundred miles north of my usual stomping grounds. On the islands, we were able to see the World Expo ’67 pavilions and exhibits that were still up, such as Habitat ’67. A really neat part of the bike ride was the we were able to go on the Grand Prix track and bike on it as there wasn’t a race going on.
L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, aka, the Montreal Fireworks Festival, was also going on during the two weeks I was there. We saw England’s entry into the contest on Wednesday night. Pretty cool… I wished that I saw some of the other entries to get a gauge, but the Jazz Festival took precedence.

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