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Tourist in Montreal

A couple weeks ago I was in Montreal for PyCon 2014. It was an amazing conference, but I was also glad to have some time to explore the beautiful city that is Montreal.

On Thursday (2nd day of tutorials) I didn’t have anything scheduled conference-wise, so I met up with my friend and long time Ubuntu contributor John Chiazzese (IdleOne). We’ve worked together online on Ubuntu for several years, and even both lived in the same area at the same time at one point, but we never managed to meet. My love of zoos landed us at the Montreal Biodome, housed in a former Olympic building.

The Biodome takes you through 4 different environments where they have mini-ecosystems for each and animals that populate the zones. The lynx were a big draw for me:

The river otter was also quite adorable and looking for attention. I also quite enjoyed the monkeys! And the penguins!

One of the evenings after the conference I joined a few of my colleagues to see And Then There Was Light sound and like show at the Notre Dame Basilica, not far from the convention center.

As a fan of historical religious buildings, I was eager for my chance to walk around the basilica as a tourist. The “sound and light show” portion of the show was a bit cheesy, giving folks a history of the French colonists and the basilica itself, but we had fun. Afterwards, we had 15 minutes to walk around and take photos, hooray!

Once they had pulled up the curtains used during the show, the interior did not disappoint. The alter in particular was spectacular:

I was also exposed to a lot of great food in Montreal, only a fraction of which I could eat. I had unfortunately fallen ill just before my trip and was on a strict bland diet – no red meat, no alcohol, no fatty foods. In a city full of steakhouses, wine and cheese this was a special kind of torture, but it did allow me to explore the menus beyond what I might typically order (and I did cheat a bit with the cheese). I ate a lot of chicken, fish and vegetables.

I was fortunate to have decent walking weather during most of the trip, but as the event wound down I found the chilly weather coming back, I even hear that there were some flurries the day after I left. Montreal is great, but was nice to be on my way back to California when the snow returned!

More photos from my tourist adventures in Montreal here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157643982902633/

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