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Table of Content for canada:

More pages: July 2004 July 2006 June 2011 August 2011 January 2016 August 2016 February 2017




2004/07/25 Visiting Montréal
π 2004-07-25 11:05 by Merlin in Canada, Trips

The next two days, I spent to visit Montréal.
So, I was up by 10:30, which considering the previous night, wasn't too bad, and since I didn't have a guide or anything else, I cheated: I took the hotel map, and a tour on one of those double decker busses. I've always felt that tourists in them look silly, and I actually still do, but it was just a very convenient way to get a quick tour and know what places I should go back at. Most of the pictures I took from there were lost too, but that's not a huge deal, they were not the best ones, and many I was able to take again, later.
When my tour was over 2H later, I took the same bus again, and dropped at the bottom of the Hill with the cross, and hiked all the way up. There were boring paths going all the way around, but I went for the straight up "make your own" path through the forest and boulders (good exercise) and somehow managed to end up at the bottom of the said cross (I was climbing blind since it wasn't visible from the forest). The way down was even more dicy due to the grade and very limited grip (i.e. I was somewhat sliding down).




Overall, I'd have to say that Paris doesn't have a whole lot on Montréal: the city has some beautiful areas, and old city corner, very nice churches everywhere (Montréal is very catholic), and overall the city really reminded me about Paris, especially when they have french names like Champ de Mars :)






lots of nice houses, try finding that in Paris



Oh, did I mention churches? :)


believe it or not, they were celebrating the sunset :)


The nicer part however was that they have many festivals, and I thought I was just lucky and hitting the best parts and time of the city, but while a little luck was involved, I was also told "oh this is like this almost all the time".
I finished the afternoon/evening walking through the Juste Pour Rire festival, which had taken over multiple city blocks, and of all thing was able to enjoy a real Mergez with Harissa (Tunisian specialty I hadn't had in ages)


Saturday night, I had dinner with my buddies, watched some fireworks by the river, and we then wasted money in a bad copy of the gold club (no contact dances, sheesh...), which was kind of silly, but San wanted to go there for some reason, so we followed him, and finished the night in his bar and club (many more people that night). For the occasion, I had another table massage (it was probably 30mn, and it's interesting to swap the usual Enya-like music and light candles for club lighting and music :)



Sunday, when I got up noon-ish, I went to visit their Centre de Sciences , and used the rest of the time to visit the city with my rollerblades (that's the one time when they came in handy): Old Montréal, and the Marché Bonsecours before having dinner, trying the local métro, and catching the 20:30 bus back to Ottawa, where I just crashed, exhausted.


I obviously have lots of other pictures of Montréal, which you can all find here
2006/07/29 Ottawa/OLS 2006
π 2006-07-29 22:20 by Merlin in Canada, Trips

Due to complicated reasons, I didn't make it to Ottawa and OLS last year, but I was happy to be back this year, and see all my linux conference buddies :)
I also used the opportunity to show Jen around a bit, and introduce her to the local pastries and salty yummies too :)

While we were there, a good way to visit was to rollerblade the river banks, and the traditional sunday Hacker Bike Ride.

More pictures can be found here .



















across the river, it's all in French. Seeing McDonalds all written in French was funny


and like each time I was in Ottawa, I had another birthday there, sweetly celebrated. Muah :*



Sunday was the usual hacker bike ride, a nice route through Ottawa by the river paths







Yellow was the bike ride, white was the rollerblade ride 2 days before

2011/06/05 Re-visiting Montreal
π 2011-06-05 01:01 in Canada, Trips
Back in 2004, I did a too short but very enjoyable trip to Montréal. Due to a trip to go to Mont Tremblant for a Ferrari Driving Event, it was good excuse to go back and visit Montréal with Jennifer.

So, I should probably start by pointing out that they have a lot of very nice churches, more than in Paris for that matter.

The Basilique Notre Dame is absolutely beautiful:






Saint Joseph du Mont Royal was also nice, close to the Sacré Coeur in Paris:







but there were many others:

St Patrick's Basilica
St Patrick's Basilica

nice inside too
nice inside too









Of course, there was more than just churches, but they were worth mentioning :)

First, quick map of Montréal and surroundings:

Food, yum :)
Food, yum :)



Place de Jacques Cartier is a bit like Place du Tertre in Paris
Place de Jacques Cartier is a bit like Place du Tertre in Paris

Bixi bikes (like Vélib in Paris), very handy to get around
Bixi bikes (like Vélib in Paris), very handy to get around

Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden


After visitng the Biodome on Isle St Hélène, Montréal was starting summer festival season, and had an electronic music festival on Isle St Hélène, so we went to Piknicelectronik to see James Holden who was spinning around that time:


James Holden
James Holden

We then went to tour the Island on bixi bikes, and went over to Ile Notre-Dame



Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre-Dame just before the Grand Prix
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre-Dame just before the Grand Prix

North of Isle St Hélène
North of Isle St Hélène



Place de Jacques Cartier at night
Place de Jacques Cartier at night


The next morning we went to the Olympic Stadium and its tower, the biodome, and the botanical garden:




We went to the biodome next:






And the botanical garden was also quite a nice visit:





our cat would have been so happy in there :)
our cat would have been so happy in there :)

fleurs!
fleurs!




oui-euh :)
oui-euh :)



More random pictures form visiting the next day:



Rue St Denis at Night
Rue St Denis at Night


Views from Mt Royal
Views from Mt Royal




Yum :)
Yum :)


Those birds are angry :)
Those birds are angry :)

picnic by St Patrick's Cathedral
picnic by St Patrick's Cathedral


We also had some nice meals :)

Foie Gras
Foie Gras

Dessert
Dessert

More Foie Gras :)
More Foie Gras :)

Many more pictures, but that's enough for this page, click on the link below for more :)
Long story short, though, we had a fantastic time in Montréal, it's a great city to visit.

See more images for Re-visiting Montreal
2011/06/08 A couple of days at Mt Tremblant
π 2011-06-08 01:01 in Canada, Trips
After a few days in Montreal, the main point for the trip was actually go to to the Ferrari Experience Event at Mt Tremblant, so we used the opportunity to visit the place while we were there.

It's a quaint little ski resort town, and the first ski resort I've visited when there is no snow.

Nice view from Hotel Quintessence
Nice view from Hotel Quintessence


Room wasn't bad :)
Room wasn't bad :)




feels like something is missing :)
feels like something is missing :)



I guess they have snow during the winter :)
I guess they have snow during the winter :)

See more images for A couple of days at Mt Tremblant
2011/06/11 Visiting Quebec City
π 2011-06-11 01:01 in Canada, Trips
After a few days in Montreal, the guide book also had a section on Quebec City, and I realized that Quebec City was fairly close, and it'd be stupid not to spend a little time to visit too, so I moved my return flight to spend a couple of days there before flying home (Jennifer unfortunately had to go home earlier, so she wasn't able to join for that bit).

Interestingly, getting to Quebec City was easiest and fastest by bus: they had a bus going there every hour, you could just show up and be there in 3H door to door (actually faster than a plane), and enjoy power and wifi during the trip. The bus was clean and enjoyable, that beats greyhound by a little bit :)



So, Québec City is a wonderful little city to visit. I can all be done on foot, no car required (there are buses, but you can do without them).

Eh, let's do like Montréal, and start with the many churches. The difference for Québec City is that all the Anglicans have left, so the Protestant and Anglican churches have become empty, one has become a theatre school, and another one a library. The Catholic ones are doing a bit better.

The biggest/nicest church is Notre Dame de Québec, for which I got to visit the crypt which is still being escavated in hopes to find the remains of Samuel de Champlain, regarded as founder of Québec and father of New France:









Bibliothèque St Jean Baptiste:



Notre Dame Des Victoires in Lower Town:




Other random churches:





First, quick map of Quebec City and surroundings:

Ok, so like Montréal, it wasn't just churches. Québec City is most known for its Chateau de Frontenac (which is actually a fancy hotel, not a Castle):









staff at the Chateau wears clothing from the period
staff at the Chateau wears clothing from the period

Fortifications are still around the city, and it still has its citadelle that was built to defend the city from further attacks (after the British managed to take it from the French, they had to defend themselves from both the French and the Americans and won several attacks because their resupply ships got there faster than the enemy's):







you can walk all around the fortifications, it was fun
you can walk all around the fortifications, it was fun




they were prepared for coming ships :)
they were prepared for coming ships :)


yes, they were ready :)
yes, they were ready :)


More random pictures from around town:





Maison Jacquet, dating 1677
Maison Jacquet, dating 1677




La rue Couillard, je connais bien :)
La rue Couillard, je connais bien :)








I had a few crepes too many :)
I had a few crepes too many :)

The plains of Abrahams, which is where the British attacked from
The plains of Abrahams, which is where the British attacked from




Funiculaire between High Town and Lower Town
Funiculaire between High Town and Lower Town

Rotating Restaurant
Rotating Restaurant





the citadel
the citadel

Lower town:






more food, yeah :)
more food, yeah :)

yet more yum :)
yet more yum :)



And after 2 days of intense visiting, it was time to go home:

That's all folks :)
That's all folks :)


had a nice dinner before leaving for the airport
had a nice dinner before leaving for the airport


See more images for Visiting Quebec City
2011/08/17 Visiting Vancouver
π 2011-08-17 01:01 in Canada, Trips

Welcome to Vancouver Airport
Welcome to Vancouver Airport

I went to get a few pictures from Prospect Point at sunset. The only problem was getting a ride back to downtown was hard since cabs didn't quite want to come there to pick me up, but oh well, the view was worth it.





Jennifer was supposed to join me friday night for the weekend, but unfortunately United screwed up with her plane, so she never made it. As a result, I went to visit stuff on my own during the weekend, and started with Capilano Park and then went up Grouse Mountain.

they're known for their long suspension bridge
they're known for their long suspension bridge

they also just finished a fully suspended path on the clifside
they also just finished a fully suspended path on the clifside






I then took a quick cab to the bottom of Grouse Mountain, and instead of taking the gondola up, I climbed up the grind in about 1h, which is a respectable time I'm told (but it does kick your ass, it's pretty straight up).




the top
the top

Grouse Mountain is a ski resort during the winter, but they have lots of attractions during the summer, which are worth the visit (on top of just the view of course):








They had a nice bird show:






Their bears seemed pretty happy:



Their lumberjack show was quite good too, those guys knew their stuff and competed on multiple skills for our amusement :)




their tree climbing skills were impressive too
their tree climbing skills were impressive too


balancing on a log until the other guy falls off
balancing on a log until the other guy falls off


When I was done, I took the fun way down, parasailing. It was way way overpriced (a lot of money goes to the mountain for the privilege), but it was definitely fun and a great view.




then it was my turn
then it was my turn










we landed in a park in the end
we landed in a park in the end





From there, I took a bus back and a ferry across back to downtown to have dinner at the Top of Vancouver revolving restaurant.

you can see the restaurant
you can see the restaurant

I got day and night shots while having dinner
I got day and night shots while having dinner






The next morning I took my rollerblades to go around downtown's waterfront path via Stanley Park.






They had a nice little aquarium in the park, so I went there.








I then continued the rollerblade tour:





went to the Grandville Island Market:






back to downtown:




and on my way to the airport, I went to see the very nice Bloedel Conservatory, which was small, but a lot of fun:



I love the colors on that one
I love the colors on that one





And just like that, the packed 2 day weekend was over, and the tram back to the airport.



That's all folks...

See more images for Visiting Vancouver
2016/01/18 26 hours in Vancouver
π 2016-01-18 01:01 in Canada, Trips
I didn't really go to Vancouver just for 26 hours :) but since I was flying through it to go to Whistler with Arturo, I went to see the few museums I hadn't on my previous trip, and went to Bloedel Floral Conservatory again, just because it's that great :)

New SFO tower
New SFO tower

Welcome to Vancouver
Welcome to Vancouver

Early sunset on the bus ride to Whistler
Early sunset on the bus ride to Whistler

You can read about our time in Whistler here and heli skiing there.

Since weather in Whistler sucked (rain instead of snow), I headed back early and went to see a few museums in Vancouer starting with the science museum. Its open body exposition was good, the rest was "meh"



I have big hands :)
I have big hands :)

this will keep jennifer up at night :)
this will keep jennifer up at night :)






I then went to MOA, the Museum of Anthropology:


nice board
nice board



local first natives got the short end of the stick, as usual :(
local first natives got the short end of the stick, as usual :(




At the end of the day, I drove to Granville Island for a bit of shopping and food:






The next day, I went to the space museum/marine museum/vancouver museum (all in one place). none of the 3 was earth shattering:










And I kept the last hour for the best Bloedel Floral Conservatory, I love this place and its beautiful and yet tame birds:










bathing time
bathing time

haha, death to you selfie stick users!
haha, death to you selfie stick users!

small mice were also there to enjoy the food :)
small mice were also there to enjoy the food :)

For there, I drove to the airport and got back home. Good little 26 hours in Vancouver...

See more images for 26 hours in Vancouver
2016/08/21 A few hours at Niagara Falls
π 2016-08-21 01:01 in Canada, Trips

Since we were going to Torronto, I figured we'd arrive a bit early the first day and go to Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, it started with Budget (the only place that had cars left) sucking ass, and taking 30mn to get us a car despite being registered for quick pass, and then having to return the car and exchange it bcause it had a check engine light on (54mn wasted total). Next, the drivers around Torronto are total idiots, who caused multiple accidents on the road, and made the trip a lot longer than it should ahve been:

this was only one out of 3 accidents on the road
this was only one out of 3 accidents on the road

We finally arrived in the area around 18:00, quite late :( but thankfully sunset wasn't very early either, so we still had a bit of time, although it was rushed. We started with a nice butterfly sanctuary, and went by a cable car that goes over a whirlpool (but was closed due to wind):

one of the bridges to America
one of the bridges to America







Next, we took an elevator down to a white river walk:





Finally we got to the main part of town, albeit pretty close to sunset, and parking was a bit challenging:




the US side has a walk to see the water and falls from above
the US side has a walk to see the water and falls from above


sadly we were already in twighlight by the time we reached the main falls
sadly we were already in twighlight by the time we reached the main falls


We then had a decent dinner at the visitor center complex, and came back for the night illuminations and fireworks:





We then had a longish drive back to Torronto, but thankfully the road was much more clear on the way back.

See more images for A few hours at Niagara Falls
2016/08/22 Visiting Toronto
π 2016-08-22 01:01 in Canada, Trips
As part of linuxcon NA 2016, we went to Toronto, we flew to Toronto, and right after landing, we first went to Niagara Falls.

The rest of the time, we went to visit Toronto:





from our hotel, we had view on the boats that were going back and forth to Toronto Islands, a big park
from our hotel, we had view on the boats that were going back and forth to Toronto Islands, a big park


and small commuter plane airport
and small commuter plane airport

Toronto is a very nice city to visit, lots of things to see. We did the CN tower first in the morning as the lines are known to get very long later on (hours):









30X zoom, woot! :)
30X zoom, woot! :)

Next, we went to Casa Loma, a very impressive residence built by a successful businessman 100 years ago:






great view from the residence
great view from the residence






there is a tunnel going under the street to the annex
there is a tunnel going under the street to the annex


the never finished swimming pool was turned into a movie theatre
the never finished swimming pool was turned into a movie theatre

From there, we took a clueless uber that barely managed to get us to the Royal Ontario Museum. Very varied collections, well worth the visit:











poor wolf, got spikes in its nose :)
poor wolf, got spikes in its nose :)






there was a special expo on tatoos
there was a special expo on tatoos



By then, it was raining pretty hard. We had a look at the nearby university, and found our way to the Ripley aquarium (on its own page):



The next morning, we started with the St Lawrence Market indoors:





We then found our way to the Ontario Science Museum, a bit far away, but in a very nice facility on multiple levels following a hill down:






After the museum, we went to Chinatown and walked around there. There were also many murals:









It was then time to slowly get back to downtown. We took the underground streets through PATH, a full city underground for when it's all cold and snowy above ground:





and we eventually took a train back to the airport (quicker than a cab)
and we eventually took a train back to the airport (quicker than a cab)

Toronto was a nice city to visit. Seeing the major sights in 48H was a bit rushed, but I think we got most of it :)

See more images for Visiting Toronto
2017/02/17 Visiting Revelstoke in British Columbia, Canada
π 2017-02-17 01:01 in Canada, Trips
Arturo and I flew to Calgary, picked up a wretched Jeep Wrangler, one of the worst cars ever made on this god forsaken earth (and it still costs over $30,000). I owe Arturo again for driving us to Revelstoke (almost 5 hours). Despite the weather not being great for sightseeing, it was still a nice drive:





frozen lake
frozen lake


After skiing, we spent a bit of time in downtown and went to the city museum before doing dinner:






The next day since the snow was not great, we ended by noon and went to the rail museum:







the train cars were huge
the train cars were huge



and the steam engine was also gigantic
and the steam engine was also gigantic



And that was it for Revelstoke, nice little place to stop if you're driving the trans canadian highway 1, or you're there for skiing.

Of course, we were there to snowboard, more pictures here

2017/02/19 Visiting Banff and Lake Louise, Canada
π 2017-02-19 01:01 in Canada, Trips
After Revelstoke, we went to Lake Louise and Banff:


The first day, we went to snowboard at Lake Louise and after that we went to see the castle by Lake Louise. It was fun to visit, especially walking on the frozen lake, which became a hockey field for the local canadians:






The next day, pafter snowboarding at sunshine village|/perso/snow/post_2017-02-20_Mountain-Collective-Tour_-Banff_s-Sunshine-Valley_-Canada.html], we went to see the Banff castle and downtown:










The castle had a few stores/art galleries worth visiting:




Then we visited a few of those in Banff:


this looked yummy, but it was full
this looked yummy, but it was full





And after all the fun, it was time to go back to Calgary and get a flight back:





More pages: July 2004 July 2006 June 2011 August 2011 January 2016 August 2016 February 2017