[Stairs Upon Stairs]

We began Thursday with a jaunt to Marche Jean-Talon, an outdoor market. This place has everything from pastries to real Canadian maple syrup to fresh produce. And on every street surrounding the market was construction.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a market larger than a single row of vendors, not counting the craft and state fairs. This had food, and food I’d never tried before, so I had to purchase and try at least a few things.

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We saw items of all sizes, and none varied in size quite so much as the aubergine — known more commonly as eggplant.

Liz and I used my hand for a reference, but there were many sizes in between those pictured above. Did you know that eggplants are named so because the original plant produced white, egg-shaped fruits? Research holes are so fun to fall down.

Courtesy of Liz Case

Liz purchased a smoked meat sandwich, and let me try a bite. While good, I’m still voting for poutine over smoked meat. I’m also not a huge fan of pickles. But Liz enjoys them well enough.

After the market, we hopped back on the train and headed toward downtown. However, we took a detour and ended up strolling along Avenue Laurier, which was a beautiful walk. We ducked into a few different shops along the way.

After we tired of that, we headed back to our initial travel destination of the day: Mount Royal. To get there, we had to hop aboard a bus that took us to the top of the park, where we could see the city of Montreal spread out before us. It’s a stunning view, even obscured as it is by trees and nature growing in front of the viewing platforms.

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After hitting the top of Mount Royal, we had to head down. Since what goes up, really, must come down. But there was no bus to take us down again, so we took the path. It was a long walk, but the breeze was nice despite the heat. And at least it was downhill. Although there were literally hundreds of stairs to descend in order to re-enter the city proper. That was not my idea of fun. But, as Liz kept reminding me, I hadn’t had to climb up those same stairs.

Courtesy of Liz Case

We made it! Alive and well, and only slightly exhausted. I think I’ve gotten my exercise for the entirety of 2017, thanks.

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We exited Mount Royal and took a good hour walking along Avenue des Pins and Rue Sherbrooke, admiring the architecture around McGill University. We also came to the conclusion that affording apartments or townhomes in the area would not be an option for either of us should we choose to move to Montreal.

We did find the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which is the plan for tomorrow. The glass sculpture outside reminds me of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, funnily enough.

Our evening wrapped up with a burger, a drink, and the Penguins/Predators game at a nearby bar. The burger was excellent, the drink sweet, and the Pens won, 6-0.

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