Monday, August 11, 2014

montreal, part 1.

this week finds us in montreal, canada, where ben is participating in the international union of crystallography. if you ever think to yourself, "that ben guy seems to travel a lot for meetings & experiments," well...yes. you're right. i'm lucky enough (& have a benevolent, generous, & kind enough boss) to be able to travel with him to many of the places he's been going to. i think the mentality of the people who plan these conferences & experiments is, "if we're going to be ________ (<<-- insert difficult physics-related activity here), we might as well do it in an awesome location." so we're going to ride that train of thought as long as we can. 

but back to montreal - we've loved it here so far. the weather has been AMAZING - sometimes even TOO amazing. it's extremely hot during the day, until about 6 or so, when everything cools down & it suddenly becomes the most pleasant place you've ever been in your life. we were walking around after dinner last night, at around 9:30 pm or so, & i didn't even need a jacket. aren't those places that let you go jacket-less at night delightful? our hotel is steps away from chinatown, old montreal, downtown montreal, so we've been able to take nice walks pretty much to every place we want to see.

we bought a few bubble teas in chinatown:

visiting the olympic stadium (the summer games were held here in 1976):

& randomly running into a unicycling competition that was taking place just a few steps away. unicycling! who knew??

(these pictures were taken after the competition had ended. from what the announcer was saying, it sounded like this was the semifinals or something, & the finals were going to be held later that day. you can't quite tell from these photos, but there was quite the sizable crowd there. again - unicyling! who knew??)

we also visited the notre-dame basilica of montreal, & it was beautiful. the vibrant, bright colors of this church were insanity! ch-ch-check out the gold-speckled ceiling, the reds & blues of the pillars,  the bright stained glass (notable for their depictions of historical events of montreal, instead of biblical events) & that blazing blue behind the altar. so of course, after doing a lap around the entire church, we plopped ourselves into a pew & just sat & stared at everything for a while.

the windows in the ceiling above the altar were game-changers!

it took a second to decipher this sign - ben thought it was a cross atop hills, at first, or something like that. ha!

in lots of churches you'll find a large, grand pulpit & steps leading up to it, but i think the stairs of this one are the largest & most intense i've ever seen! seems like it would be a workout to get to the top :)

i mean...

& here is the basilica from the outside:

& a few photos cute ben took of the supermoon that lit up the sky & took the world by storm:

as seen in one of montreal's many pretty gardens:

OH. okay, so there's this store right by the notre-dame basilica - literally right across the street - called noel eternal. it's basically a christmas shop that's open year round, which, why don't more places do this more often? :) we took a nice long stroll through it, because i quickly got really into the holiday spirit, didn't want to leave, & found like 17 different ornaments i wanted to purchase. BUT the craziest ornaments we found there were DEFINITELY the sparkly, strong, sexy mermaids. if these aren't "wtf?"-inducing, i don't know what is :)

montreal, part 2 coming soon!

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