Wednesday

Aug. 13th, 2009 08:59 am
mbernardi: (Default)
Followed one of the walks in the Official Tourist Guide around west Old Montreal, passing eggspectations for breakfast.I again had 4 pancakes with maple syrup, and 3 cups of coffee. It took about an hour from arrival to leaving. I also stopped at Victoria Square to buy stamps and to send some postcards home. I then went on with the walking tour till I got back to the docks.

The science centre was full of kids, but I got a self portraight, bought via webcam. I then started for Mount Royal, via Victoria Square again, where I had lunch, hot dog and fries with a can of 7up. finally got to the bottom of "the Mountain" at 14:30. Updated notes in the shade under some trees.

Walked up to Chalet du Mount Royal, took photos of Downtown, where the trees didn't obscure the view. Met Dave C and Henri (organised CSA visit). Then walked up to the Cross atop Mount Royal, unfortunately due to excessive tree growth you can't see anything BUT the Cross.

Walked back down to the same entrance I arrived at, at the top of Rue Peel, leaving at 16:30. I then walked down hill, past many McGill University buildings, until I got to the Peel Metro station. Bought a bottle of fruit drink, then got a single ticket for 2.75$, changed at Berri-UQAM and got off at Champ-de-Mars, the closest to my hostel taking less than 20 minutes instead of the hours I took when walking! The Metro is different in one major way to the tube (but not the DLR) in the the trains are next to each other. ie the train traveling north east goes through the same tunnel as the one going south west.

Caught up on LJ and email, D indicated the bathroom had been repaired (but had cost overruns). Looking forward to getting home. Must start packing!

Off for food after a couple of hours on-line. Had Italienne Poutine (a traditional quebecoise meal), comprising well fried French fries, covered in mozerella cheese. The Italienne being a beef tomato sauce. added to this was a pint of Sleeman Brewery Lager adding tip this came to 20.00$ I then had an ice cream cone for 3.00$ then back to my netbook.

Bed around 22:00, but singing outside (the heat and scratching) kept me waking up every hour until nearly three, when I slept through to 7:00.

Wednesday

Aug. 13th, 2009 08:59 am
mbernardi: (Default)
Followed one of the walks in the Official Tourist Guide around west Old Montreal, passing eggspectations for breakfast.I again had 4 pancakes with maple syrup, and 3 cups of coffee. It took about an hour from arrival to leaving. I also stopped at Victoria Square to buy stamps and to send some postcards home. I then went on with the walking tour till I got back to the docks.

The science centre was full of kids, but I got a self portraight, bought via webcam. I then started for Mount Royal, via Victoria Square again, where I had lunch, hot dog and fries with a can of 7up. finally got to the bottom of "the Mountain" at 14:30. Updated notes in the shade under some trees.

Walked up to Chalet du Mount Royal, took photos of Downtown, where the trees didn't obscure the view. Met Dave C and Henri (organised CSA visit). Then walked up to the Cross atop Mount Royal, unfortunately due to excessive tree growth you can't see anything BUT the Cross.

Walked back down to the same entrance I arrived at, at the top of Rue Peel, leaving at 16:30. I then walked down hill, past many McGill University buildings, until I got to the Peel Metro station. Bought a bottle of fruit drink, then got a single ticket for 2.75$, changed at Berri-UQAM and got off at Champ-de-Mars, the closest to my hostel taking less than 20 minutes instead of the hours I took when walking! The Metro is different in one major way to the tube (but not the DLR) in the the trains are next to each other. ie the train traveling north east goes through the same tunnel as the one going south west.

Caught up on LJ and email, D indicated the bathroom had been repaired (but had cost overruns). Looking forward to getting home. Must start packing!

Off for food after a couple of hours on-line. Had Italienne Poutine (a traditional quebecoise meal), comprising well fried French fries, covered in mozerella cheese. The Italienne being a beef tomato sauce. added to this was a pint of Sleeman Brewery Lager adding tip this came to 20.00$ I then had an ice cream cone for 3.00$ then back to my netbook.

Bed around 22:00, but singing outside (the heat and scratching) kept me waking up every hour until nearly three, when I slept through to 7:00.
mbernardi: (Default)
The Con-suite opened at 18:45 but I finished off with netbook before queuing for a smoked meat sandwich and a beer, stayed and chatted for an hour then went down to the basement for the filking, did some browsing (filk lyrics) using the Sugar OS, on my eeepc, even joined in some choruses (especially with Keris).

About 21:30 decided to go up to the con-suite on the 5th floor for the dead dog (le chein mort) party just to get a bite and a drink. Arrived just as the last of the Baen goodies had been given out. I got a CD-Rom vol 20, all the books had gone. (They had finally arrived 2 days late). Ruth B had got a Fledgling ARC as had Elisabeth C. Ian T was also there, I got bit more food and another beer. We propped up one of the corridor wall for the next hour or so and were joined by Larry who tried to con people into trying Stroh/Austrian Rum. AKA rocket fuel/paint striper from his hip flask. Dave C came along later with a more palatable hip flask content. I finally left at 23:15 and got back to the hostel 23:40 bed ten minutes later. didn't get back to the filk ;-(

Up on Tuesday at 6:55, tried to get a WiFi signal via Sugar and was successful, though the lack of Flash is a bit of a problem. Left 7:45 for breakfast at Tim Hortons, aging breakfast combo with coffee and bagel with cream cheese. Got the the Delta Hotel 8:15 then had a half hour wait before any action occurred. but since I didn't want to miss something I couldn't start reading.

Eventually all 46 people arrived for the journey to the Canadian Space Agency / Agence spatiale canadienne. Unfortunately the bus was too big to fit under the hotel porch, and it was raining. I got wet, but mostly due to running through a puddle, and having to wait to board the bus. We left only 5 minutes late at 9:05. The journey, which was very grey and wet took 30 minutes, and was faster than expected. The CSA is a working science centre, and isn't normally open to the public, but tours can be arranged. The group was split in two and our guide normally worked on the Webb telescope due to launch in 2014, and she had been working on it for the last 10+ years!

Canada (like the UK) doesn't have it's own launch capacity and has become expert in small satellites, and the robotic systems of the ISS. We saw models and live links with the ISS. One and a half hours went by very quickly and we had to leave at 11:35, getting back to the Delta hotel by just after 12:00 Some goodies (stickers, pamphlets etc) where available after leaving the bus. The weather had taken a turn for the better and it was now sunny!

Walked back to the convention centre via Victoria Square to have lunch at Tom Hortons, backed beans and a roll, with a donut and coffee. Then typed up notes to date.

Went toward the docks and ended up at Pointe-à-Callière where Montreal was founded in 1642. For 14$ I got to view the ruins, have a one hour guided tour and meet Stellan ,before going to the Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters exhibition, left at 17:45 just be fore it closed got an ice cream and then paid 32$ for the Amphi Tour of Old Montréal and the St Lawrence River taking one hour ten minutes (I need to use up my Canadian dollars!).

Usually it's bilingual, but everyone was Anglophone so it was all in English. Leaving from outside the Science Museum at 18:40, we had a interesting tour, out guide Charles didn't have English as his first language but was very fluent, only a few word usages indication his birth tongue.
When we got back I walked along one of the Quays and then along Rue de la Commune to the Place Jacques Cartier where I bought a maple syrup crepe and lemonade Snapple. Then watched the end of a comedy juggling act which finished with the juggling of 2 knives and what appears to be a heavy and possibly sharp axe. Give the performance 1$ (since I didn't see the beginning. Then back to the hostel for just after 21:00. Updated notes, but may go out for some more food.

Did go to Tom Hortons, just down the road for coffee and donuts. Also bought postcards at the Pointe-à-Callière gift shop and will try to send them off on Wednesday.

Up about 7:00 on Wednesday morning, lots of bites all over my body, and had to apply cream to stop me scratching. Went searching on iGoogle for addresses so I could send off postcards, filled out all addresses. Checked on email and LJ.

Now off for breakfast
mbernardi: (Default)
The Con-suite opened at 18:45 but I finished off with netbook before queuing for a smoked meat sandwich and a beer, stayed and chatted for an hour then went down to the basement for the filking, did some browsing (filk lyrics) using the Sugar OS, on my eeepc, even joined in some choruses (especially with Keris).

About 21:30 decided to go up to the con-suite on the 5th floor for the dead dog (le chein mort) party just to get a bite and a drink. Arrived just as the last of the Baen goodies had been given out. I got a CD-Rom vol 20, all the books had gone. (They had finally arrived 2 days late). Ruth B had got a Fledgling ARC as had Elisabeth C. Ian T was also there, I got bit more food and another beer. We propped up one of the corridor wall for the next hour or so and were joined by Larry who tried to con people into trying Stroh/Austrian Rum. AKA rocket fuel/paint striper from his hip flask. Dave C came along later with a more palatable hip flask content. I finally left at 23:15 and got back to the hostel 23:40 bed ten minutes later. didn't get back to the filk ;-(

Up on Tuesday at 6:55, tried to get a WiFi signal via Sugar and was successful, though the lack of Flash is a bit of a problem. Left 7:45 for breakfast at Tim Hortons, aging breakfast combo with coffee and bagel with cream cheese. Got the the Delta Hotel 8:15 then had a half hour wait before any action occurred. but since I didn't want to miss something I couldn't start reading.

Eventually all 46 people arrived for the journey to the Canadian Space Agency / Agence spatiale canadienne. Unfortunately the bus was too big to fit under the hotel porch, and it was raining. I got wet, but mostly due to running through a puddle, and having to wait to board the bus. We left only 5 minutes late at 9:05. The journey, which was very grey and wet took 30 minutes, and was faster than expected. The CSA is a working science centre, and isn't normally open to the public, but tours can be arranged. The group was split in two and our guide normally worked on the Webb telescope due to launch in 2014, and she had been working on it for the last 10+ years!

Canada (like the UK) doesn't have it's own launch capacity and has become expert in small satellites, and the robotic systems of the ISS. We saw models and live links with the ISS. One and a half hours went by very quickly and we had to leave at 11:35, getting back to the Delta hotel by just after 12:00 Some goodies (stickers, pamphlets etc) where available after leaving the bus. The weather had taken a turn for the better and it was now sunny!

Walked back to the convention centre via Victoria Square to have lunch at Tom Hortons, backed beans and a roll, with a donut and coffee. Then typed up notes to date.

Went toward the docks and ended up at Pointe-à-Callière where Montreal was founded in 1642. For 14$ I got to view the ruins, have a one hour guided tour and meet Stellan ,before going to the Pirates, Privateers and Freebooters exhibition, left at 17:45 just be fore it closed got an ice cream and then paid 32$ for the Amphi Tour of Old Montréal and the St Lawrence River taking one hour ten minutes (I need to use up my Canadian dollars!).

Usually it's bilingual, but everyone was Anglophone so it was all in English. Leaving from outside the Science Museum at 18:40, we had a interesting tour, out guide Charles didn't have English as his first language but was very fluent, only a few word usages indication his birth tongue.
When we got back I walked along one of the Quays and then along Rue de la Commune to the Place Jacques Cartier where I bought a maple syrup crepe and lemonade Snapple. Then watched the end of a comedy juggling act which finished with the juggling of 2 knives and what appears to be a heavy and possibly sharp axe. Give the performance 1$ (since I didn't see the beginning. Then back to the hostel for just after 21:00. Updated notes, but may go out for some more food.

Did go to Tom Hortons, just down the road for coffee and donuts. Also bought postcards at the Pointe-à-Callière gift shop and will try to send them off on Wednesday.

Up about 7:00 on Wednesday morning, lots of bites all over my body, and had to apply cream to stop me scratching. Went searching on iGoogle for addresses so I could send off postcards, filled out all addresses. Checked on email and LJ.

Now off for breakfast
mbernardi: (Default)
Just before 9:00 the lounge, to gate 7 was called, dashed through the drizzle to the Avro RJ85 Flight KLM 2754 which was half empty, my seat 6F was a windowless window seat, be since the flight time was only 40 minutes I didn't bother trying for a different one, even though over half the seats were empty.

Take off was about 12 minutes late, but our arrival at Amsterdam was just after 11:15 local time. My flight on to Montreal didn't leave until 15:20 so I had over an hour to kill. Some of the time I spent viewing pictures from the Rijks Museum Amsterdam, Schiphol.

As I hadn't eaten anything since 5am , apart from a BLT roll on the plane, I used my visa card to buy a small cappuccino, a bacon & egg sandwich, and fruit salad cup which came to €12.30. After eating and drinking this I returned to gate E5 to await boarding flight KLM0671 boarding 14:05

When boarding we had to go through security at the gate, including x-ray and metal detectors. here doesn't appear to be any separation of airport general access and traveler only access.

The plane left of time and a dinner of lamb terrine with mashed potatoes and red vegetable mush (probably tomato) low sodium and served first! with couscous and dried fruit. Fruit salad to finish. drinks provided.I watched Quantum of Solace, and an episode of NCIS that I hadn't seen. tried to doze a bit, and even read a couple of chapters.

Arrived at Montreal around 16:30, through passport control, then baggage claim where I met 3 other fen (2 Dutch, 1 Scots) and we shared a limo to the Delta hotel 50$, which was cheaper per person than a taxi.

It was a lot warmer than I expected, last time I checked it was similar to that in England. Anyway I managed to dig out a map and find the route to my hostel, Le Sous-Bois. It was about as far from the main convention site as the Delta (in the opposite direction). The walk took about 30 minutes, and I went to reception to discover they were no longer using the website I'd booked with! Fortunately they still had beds free, and the daily price was less than originally quoted (189.63$ instead of 271.35$ originally quoted, so ven with the lost deposit it's cheaper). They also took plastic, so I didn't have to hunt an ATM to get cash. I found my bed, cleaned my teeth and crashed by 19:15 local time (but 00:15 my time) twenty hours after getting up!

I'll be taking pictures later as words can't convey the style of the building and it's environs. [I just dropped my PC and it rebooted loosing all my typing from this point! I must remember to save more often.] Each person is allocated a bunk, but it's also a mini room (like the Japanese ones).

I got up on Wednesday morning at 8:45 and left by 9:05 to go around the corner to the Tourist Information Kiosk. Where I got free map and instruction on where the banks were. I stopped off on the way to the convention centre to extract 2004 from my account. Registration opened at 9:00 so I got my goodies and badge. Badges were print on demand and the font used for the name was both large and legible. I discovered that my location was mis-spelt and a replacement was re-printed. The pocket program isn't, being about A4 size and over 100 pages. I was able to get a grid printed on A3ish sized paper, which was much easier to navigate but should have been provided in the original bag. I also had to ask for Jo Walton's Food Guide.

I was getting hungry by now so wandered downstairs looking for food where I met Jan and Larry (from yesterday's limo ride) and was able to pay Jan my part of the fare. Then to Tim Hortons for coffee, bagel and cream cheese, and donut (as the breakfast menu had run out). I felt somewhat disadvantaged not speaking French! Over breakfast scanned the program and ticked of those i wanted to see. Apart from the GoH speeches, masquerade and Hugo awards, art show and dealers room, nothing is must see as far as I can tell.

Found a quite corner with power and typed up the story so far. Now I have to find WiFi access. (the hostel has this so I may upload first thing in future.)

Left originally looking for lunch but got sidetracked into visiting Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal entry was 5.00$ but included a guided tour. Left after 45minutes, for the riverside and the Centre de Sciences de Montreal. Where I managed to get in free by showing my +Plus Science Museum card. normally 12.00$ The first program, for which the wrist band was valid, was called Aqua and started at 16:00, this was followed by Mars 2030 at 16:30, I spent the rest of the afternoon / evening at the museum leaving at 8:30 just before it closed.

Then walked back to my hostel via McDonald's where I had a Big Mac meal. There was supposed to be WiFi but i couldn't get on it. and so back to Le Sous-Bois.
mbernardi: (Default)
Just before 9:00 the lounge, to gate 7 was called, dashed through the drizzle to the Avro RJ85 Flight KLM 2754 which was half empty, my seat 6F was a windowless window seat, be since the flight time was only 40 minutes I didn't bother trying for a different one, even though over half the seats were empty.

Take off was about 12 minutes late, but our arrival at Amsterdam was just after 11:15 local time. My flight on to Montreal didn't leave until 15:20 so I had over an hour to kill. Some of the time I spent viewing pictures from the Rijks Museum Amsterdam, Schiphol.

As I hadn't eaten anything since 5am , apart from a BLT roll on the plane, I used my visa card to buy a small cappuccino, a bacon & egg sandwich, and fruit salad cup which came to €12.30. After eating and drinking this I returned to gate E5 to await boarding flight KLM0671 boarding 14:05

When boarding we had to go through security at the gate, including x-ray and metal detectors. here doesn't appear to be any separation of airport general access and traveler only access.

The plane left of time and a dinner of lamb terrine with mashed potatoes and red vegetable mush (probably tomato) low sodium and served first! with couscous and dried fruit. Fruit salad to finish. drinks provided.I watched Quantum of Solace, and an episode of NCIS that I hadn't seen. tried to doze a bit, and even read a couple of chapters.

Arrived at Montreal around 16:30, through passport control, then baggage claim where I met 3 other fen (2 Dutch, 1 Scots) and we shared a limo to the Delta hotel 50$, which was cheaper per person than a taxi.

It was a lot warmer than I expected, last time I checked it was similar to that in England. Anyway I managed to dig out a map and find the route to my hostel, Le Sous-Bois. It was about as far from the main convention site as the Delta (in the opposite direction). The walk took about 30 minutes, and I went to reception to discover they were no longer using the website I'd booked with! Fortunately they still had beds free, and the daily price was less than originally quoted (189.63$ instead of 271.35$ originally quoted, so ven with the lost deposit it's cheaper). They also took plastic, so I didn't have to hunt an ATM to get cash. I found my bed, cleaned my teeth and crashed by 19:15 local time (but 00:15 my time) twenty hours after getting up!

I'll be taking pictures later as words can't convey the style of the building and it's environs. [I just dropped my PC and it rebooted loosing all my typing from this point! I must remember to save more often.] Each person is allocated a bunk, but it's also a mini room (like the Japanese ones).

I got up on Wednesday morning at 8:45 and left by 9:05 to go around the corner to the Tourist Information Kiosk. Where I got free map and instruction on where the banks were. I stopped off on the way to the convention centre to extract 2004 from my account. Registration opened at 9:00 so I got my goodies and badge. Badges were print on demand and the font used for the name was both large and legible. I discovered that my location was mis-spelt and a replacement was re-printed. The pocket program isn't, being about A4 size and over 100 pages. I was able to get a grid printed on A3ish sized paper, which was much easier to navigate but should have been provided in the original bag. I also had to ask for Jo Walton's Food Guide.

I was getting hungry by now so wandered downstairs looking for food where I met Jan and Larry (from yesterday's limo ride) and was able to pay Jan my part of the fare. Then to Tim Hortons for coffee, bagel and cream cheese, and donut (as the breakfast menu had run out). I felt somewhat disadvantaged not speaking French! Over breakfast scanned the program and ticked of those i wanted to see. Apart from the GoH speeches, masquerade and Hugo awards, art show and dealers room, nothing is must see as far as I can tell.

Found a quite corner with power and typed up the story so far. Now I have to find WiFi access. (the hostel has this so I may upload first thing in future.)

Left originally looking for lunch but got sidetracked into visiting Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal entry was 5.00$ but included a guided tour. Left after 45minutes, for the riverside and the Centre de Sciences de Montreal. Where I managed to get in free by showing my +Plus Science Museum card. normally 12.00$ The first program, for which the wrist band was valid, was called Aqua and started at 16:00, this was followed by Mars 2030 at 16:30, I spent the rest of the afternoon / evening at the museum leaving at 8:30 just before it closed.

Then walked back to my hostel via McDonald's where I had a Big Mac meal. There was supposed to be WiFi but i couldn't get on it. and so back to Le Sous-Bois.

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