Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30 Day Trip to Montreal

We decided to see the Impressionist exhibit in Montreal. The regular bus fare is about the same as VIA and the service much more convenient. Incredibly OC Transpo doesn't serve the bus station any more so we had a couple of blocks to walk in -10 weather. Alright for us with no bags but not good with bags or small children.
The bus station was its normal scudzy self but the bus was uncrowded and warm. The driver took tickets and he was assisted by a station man to load the bags. VIA staffing levels are much higher than Greyhound.
We left on time at 0800 without any fuss. Mary and I both had two seats each so we could stretch out, relax, listen to music (Bach Orchestral Suites (Air on a G string) and Violin Concerti) and eat  a drunken sausage in  a tortilla with HP sauce. 
We arrived at the Montreal station at 1006 and were pleasantly surprised to find a completely new building just to the north of the old station.  It has more room and well laid out.  The access to the Metro has too many stairs at present but we were told that they are building a more convenient one.
The Metro to Peel was quick although surprisingly I noticed that the floor of the cars was two inches higher that the platform so disabled access is not good.
The croissants at A.L. Van Houtte were pretty good as was the coffee.  We arrived at the gallery just after it opened at 1100 to find a line up.  Everyone must have had the same idea - get in early.  There were many groups and the Impressionist exhibit was crowded but we went through a couple of times and had the opportunity to see everything.  The pictures were all new to us as they have not been seen in public before but, naturally, there were no new artists.
Tulip Fields


Rouen - unloading lumber
The Snake Charmer

I was using my smart phone to take the pictures and it took a while to find out how to shut off the flash.
We took a look at some other exhibits, including several chairs, one being made from corrugated cardboard.

Lunch was at an Italian restaurant, La Capaninna.  They made us welcome and found us a table by the window. Soup and chicken with provolone and a glass of wine. The leisurely service was fine as we had plenty of time.
A visit to an audio store to investigate ear buds for Mary and we walked back to the bus station. They started loading the 1600 bus early.  There was going to be more people than the bus could hold so the driver closed with 13 empty seats and called for a second bus.
The ride home was slower than this morning because of the traffic but by getting off at the very convenient Laurier stop we were back home by 1900. I would prefer to take the train but you can't beat the bus for convenience and price.