Mysterious Carnac, on the coast, and Vannes… our last stops.
After St Malo, Rennes, the official capital of Brittany. Rennes has always competed with Nantes: both city have good universities, both are lively and relatively cheap and both are buzzing cities. But Rennes has a stronger “Bretagne” (Brittany) feeling, proud and alive.
Earlier this week, we decided to take a trip to Saint Malo, in the heart of Brittany. This relatively small city has a particularity: a seaward fortress since the Middle Ages, St Malo still has a 1.8 km wall circling the city. Designed by Vauban, Louis XIV’s military engineer, the wall offers a great view of the city and the harbor.
The best places in Paris! A collection of photographs.
France is probably most famous for its “viennoiseries” — sweet pastries. The croissant, of course, and also the pain au chocolat (sweet bread with a thin chocolate bar wrapped in the middle). Oh, and the pain aux raisins — sweet bread with raisins. There’s also the flan (custard pie with prunes), the lemon pie, the banana pie with chocolate, the chausson aux pommes (apple pie)…
Of course, we were both a bit tired after spending almost two days in Montreal airport. That probably explained why my bank card was swallowed at the first ATM I used and why we didn’t notice we were using the wrong plug for my computer.
Plenty of time to think — I’ve been stuck in Montreal airport for 24 hours in a row now. And I’ve just decided to stop being cheap and bought a Wifi access (can you believe we have to pay for Wifi in this bloody airport???).
Granted, these pictures mostly depict Chinatown… well, we all have our favorite neighborhood, right? But the country is truly diverse: traditional Chinatowns and Little Italy area can be found close by Ukrainian, Russian, South-East Asian, Latino and Indian neighborhoods, and I bet you could find a community newspaper in almost every language on earth in Canada.
It’s time to announce the winners of The Tricky Questions Contest! First of all, thanks to all of you who participated. I had to moderate the comments for a while because some smart English guy (Wapentake, yes, it’s you!) got most of the answers right only a few minutes after publishing the post.
But my most memorable “wrong place / wrong time” experience took place in 2001. Most people remember 9/11 very clearly. I remember October 7th, when the war started.
Granted, when it comes to dangerous and weird animals, Australia is probably number one (I will never forget driving at dusk in Alice Spring… bloody kangaroos!). But Canada, with its huge land mass and small population density, also has a great wildlife.
In Ontario, we have relatively small ice sculptures, but in Quebec, they were made of snow… and huge! Granted we had quite a lot of snow this year so building material was cheap.
So here is the deal. I’m going to ask you to answer five questions, each one being a little bit tricky, of course.
Yes, Canadian treats. Good. Sweet stuffs to help us survive harsh winter. Just have a look at that!
Beaver tails that are also a typical piece of Canadian-ism, although popular everywhere in North America : it’s a piece of fried dough, usually with some sweet spread on top (yes, maple syrup is of course a favorite!). Mostly eaten at festivals and during outdoor activities, it’s a winter favorite.
After another winter storm (where I, among others, sat on a bus that got stuck in the snow for an hour and shoveled about 50 cm of white snow to be able to open my door), we decided to make the most of the season and we headed to Winterlude, the annual winter festival which opened last week-end.
As you can maybe tell by the layout of my blog, I love colors and patterns, so I often take close-up of goods on display in markets: food, veggies, clothes and yes, scarves. I loved the mix of snow flakes and the fabric here.
Has anyone ever bought something from a telemarketer? Enlighten me! If someone calls to ask if you need to replace your windows, what are the chances that are gonna go: “absolutely sir, that’s exactly what I was my wife and I were talking about over diner when you called! Tell me, which numbers do you need on my credit card?”
On Saturday, I took a walk on Parliament Hill, downtown Ottawa, and decided to go up in the Peace Tower. At 300 feet (almost 100 m) tall, the tower was built to commemorate the end of WW1.
Unless you’re from Russia or China, you will probably feel that Canada is a pretty big place. And if you’re from Russia, please let’s not argue about the Northwest Passage — it’s not like we can navigate it yet, okay?
My English chum, Graham, is currently hosting a Photo hunt at One Man’s Travel Blog. The theme of the month is “One” and here is… one major threat to the city of Ottawa, the one thing that could overthrow the Parliament — one big spider!
His platform what somewhat unclear but included the “No Child Left Behind Act” (“Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?”, he wondered), no nation building (“I don’t think our troops should be used for what’s called nation building” as said in 2000), making rich people richer (“This is an impressive crowd. The haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base”, he declared).
The province of Quebec’s official language is French, and the province of New-Brunswick is officially bilingual. For the other provinces and territories, it’s a bit of a grey area… English is most widely spoken but there are French communities almost everywhere: in Ontario (the Franco-Ontariens), in Manitoba, in Alberta…