Thursday, July 14, 2011


The Solar House in Montreal with the Biodome in the background. 

I have spent the last week in Quebec, in the middle of the the old European settlements of Montreal and Quebec City. They are perfect models of integration between the old and the new. I asked a few people what the catch was to living here. The answer was unanimous. The Winter. I think this is an area that I would consider moving to if it weren't for the winters being brutal and long. 

Making good use of a $5 a day Bixi bicycle in Montreal
Living in the center of town in Montreal for about a week, it doesn't take long to learn one's way around. I have mostly been bicycling around, with the occasional subway and rideshare. It is nice to have some real car free options that are also safe and well thought out. Some say that Quebec is somewhat of a separatist province. It could be its own country. It could be France. Some think that it IS France. Some make a clear distinction. I found myself in some situations where no English was understood. 
The streets of Quebec City
In order to travel to Quebec city without a tourist budget, I joined a rideshare service called Allostop. They run a background check on all the drivers and passengers and have set times and payment amounts for certain common trips that drivers and passengers can sign up for. It is a very reliable service that is very popular and well used. It is much cheaper than the bus or train and faster too. I'd like to see a similar service in the USA. All of my rideshare experiences in the USA have been organized through craigslist and thus less reliable. 
Now that's a bike lane!
My gracious hosts who work for the Cique du Soleil comped me a couple of tickets to a eye popping show.
celebrating Joann's 30th birthday with what she calls and "eclectic" crowd
this $3.50 vegan vietnamese sandwich has been a staple lunch for me in Montreal as my budget wears thin being that
I currently have no income after having to cancel my Canadian shows.  
All the money that I made in the East Coast of the USA on my tour by train, which wasn't much, I have spent in Canada, and then some. So Canada wins. Canada could have been an even bigger winner if they had let me bring in my "tools of trade" because any money that I would have made in Canada would have been spent in Canada as well.

A couple of blocks from where I was staying, outside the St. James hotel, a small crowd awaits an appearance from Bono and the rest of U2. It seems that Canada not only allowed them to bring their guitars across the border, but also the largest traveling entertainment convoy ever in history of time. And the largest environmental footprint to go along with it. 


MsBelinda said...

What beautiful pictures of Quebec. Enjoy yourself because back in Texas it is HOT!!

Judith said...

You're just figuring out a way to stay up there til it cools off down here.....summers in Quebec, winters in Big Bend. Ideal.