Daily Archives: July 31, 2007

The epic continues: Quatre jours en Montreal — Deuxieme

 Welcome back to”Montreal at excruciating length!”

Actually, I’ll try to keep it kind of snappy, but the second day of our journey was very photogenic.

The entire day was spent in the area of the Botanical Gardens and Olympic Park:


This is the Olympic Tower designed for the 1976 Olympics, though not finished till 10 years later.  You can go up in a funicular, but at $42 Canadian for the four of us, we declined.  Instead we went here:


The Montreal Biodome, which is built in the former  Olympic “Velodrome” .  This is a wonderful place for all ages, recreating four ecosystems of the Americas: Tropical Forest, “Laurentian” Forest, St. Lawrence Marine ecosystem, and the Arctic/Antarctic.  Each part is in its own separate area; the tropical forest warm and humid, the Laurentian Forest as though you’re walking outdoors “Up North”; the penguins and fish are behind glass, however.  You walk through and the animals and birds are essentially free-ranging.  With slight commentary, here are selected sights of the Biodome:

capybara.jpg  The capybara, the world’s largest rodent.



Hyacinth macaws, the largest parrot, very brilliant.



Next, the Laurentian forest, basically a temperate hardwood forest very familiar to me.  But new was this identification guide to forest poop:


Actually, rubber replicas.  The Gothlet thought this was cool.  The Preteen and my husband?  About two ecosystems ahead by now.  Below, shed moose antler in the forest.


And, next, BeaverCam!  These poor beavers don’t get no respect, certainly no privacy.  Maybe that’s why we got a great view of a beaver butt: “Talk to the Tail”!


Then, the St. Lawrence ecosystem, with above and below water views.  This  and the last ecosystem made me feel as though I was in the Quetico, though with more seagulls here.  Very realistic recreation.  The air is cool and a little moist.


another-st-l-biodome.jpgmeaning-of-life-fish.jpg (I think these guys were in “The Meaning of Life”.)


Next, everyone’s favorite, the penguins!

There are separate Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems  (heaven forbid we mix puffins


and penguins!)


Boy, penguins are so graceful under water, but virtually impossible to photograph that way through glass, using natural light, especially these two who were chasing each other — as fast as a dropped stitch in nylon.


The floaters were easier:



The floater above and the conversationalists below are gentoo penguins.


rockhoppers.jpgRockhopper penguins.

conversing-penguins.jpgMacaroni penguins.

emperor-penguin.jpg And the mighty King penguin, second only in size to the Emperor.  Incidentally, I’ve submitted a lolpenguin to I Can Has Cheezburger?

I’ll let you know if it appears.

CONGRATULATIONS! if you’ve made it this far!

After we had wandered through exhibits and a gift shop, we wandered through the gorgeous Montreal Botanical Gardens.  These are among the world’s most renowned and are truly amazing and beautiful.  However, shortly after this:


the camera battery died, and you are spared another three dozen photos.  Suffice it to say that the Japanese and Chinese gardens in particular are not to be missed.  The Preteen, to my surprise, loved the gardens (I thought she’d be bored.)  We even saw demonstrations of Chinese bread dough art, much more impressive than it sounds, in the Chinese pavilion. Unfortunately, the buildings of the Jardin Botanique closed at 6 pm, as did the Insectarium in the same area; which the Gothlet particularly wanted to see.  So we promised to come back to the Insectarium another day, and went ‘home’ and had a fantastic Japanese dinner at Mikasa.   I finished a wonderful day with a little Mystery Stole 3 knitting.  Ah, bliss.