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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trip to Canada

The last entry was written at a very slow computer at a hotel in Montreal, and I didn't have the patience to write more that day. We went to two different museums in Montreal, both historical ones, but one focused mainly on archaeology and the other more on later history. We saw exhibits on the history of Montreal, the French explorers, the Inuits and a large exhibit with women's clothing. Wednesday evening we had dinner at a place called L'Orignal = The Moose. The province of Quebec is dominated by the French language and it was fascinating to see all the signs in that language in North America. I have never studied French and never will, but with the general knowledge of languages I have, I could understand around 25 % of what people said and half of the written texts.

Thursday we drove on to Quebec City, on the St Lawrence River. We stayed in a small hotel in the old parts of the town, and it was very idyllic. The town was founded up on a high hill in 1608 and a fair amount of the old buildings have been preserved. We arrived in the evening and the view from the boardwalk over the river was magnificent, with all the lights on the bridges and on the other side in the town Levis.

There were a lot of tourists in Quebec City, and we joined the crowds in the shopping streets. We also visited two museums, the exhibits included French-speaking America, Gold in the Americas, First Nations (the native peoples) and Canadian culture. Very interesting, and well done exhibits. Friday evening we attended a wonderful Leroy Anderson concert at the large theater. In fact, that was the main reason for going there. It was a very nice concert, with a few special things. A female step-dancer performed during some pieces. During Sleigh Ride, they lit a small Christmas tree. For Waltzing Cat, the conductor asked the audience to help out, making the sound of a cat. At the end of Sandpaper Ballet, one percussionist covered his mouth with a mask and brought out an electric sandpaper machine instead. The Typewriter percussionist did a great job on a real typewriter. Afterwards we were invited to the conductor's private home, along with some soloists, for snacks and soup.

Saturday we drove to Sherbrooke in southern Quebec province. We met Mark Anderson and two of his daughters there. His daughter Keira attends the university there, and he was visiting this weekend. He brought us of a tour of the rather small but beautiful campus. He studied here in the 1970s. We also had coffee before we had to continue our trip. We crossed the border later in the afternoon, and arrived in Franconia, New Hampshire later in the evening. We are staying at a motel here, which has nice facilities. Sharon and I have been floating around in the large swimmingpool and sat in the hot tub until the staff closed it at 10 p.m.

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