[Around the World]

I suppose you could call us world travelers. I’ve now stepped foot in 10 countries beyond the United States, and Liz has visited three. It’s still fun to see places I’ve never been before, and even more fun to see them one after another.

If you’re confused, let me clear it up: We visited the Montreal Biodome today. With five distinct ecosystems, the Biodome is home to thousands of species. And we got the chance to trek through a rainforest, hike a maple forest, explore the Gulf of St. Lawrence, visit the Labrador Coast, and also wave hello to penguins and puffins in the Sub-Antarctic.

But, before we could do any of that, we had to get there. And that was a bit of a kerfuffle, if I’m being honest.

We decided to try taking the bus this time. The first leg went well. The second leg was where we got turned around. Instead of taking the bus south … we ended up riding it all the way to its north end and then all the way back down south to our destination. And our bus driver didn’t speak English. Thankfully, “Stadium Olympique” got through when “Biodome” didn’t translate.

Did I mention that the Biodome is on the grounds of the old Olympic Park? From when Montreal hosted the Games in 1976? It’s a pretty expansive park, but it was hot, so we elected not to walk around.

Inside, it was much cooler (I do love air conditioning), and we made our way through the exhibit without any problems. The humidity in the rainforest part was difficult to handle, I will admit. Clearly, I’ll not be moving to Florida and the like.

Liz made a friend in the maple forest. This part of the Biodome was pretty similar to what we see at home. There were lots of ducks, and fish, and animals I see while camping.

The place didn’t have a lot of larger animals, which is understandable. They take more space, and this isn’t actually a zoo. It did have a bobcat at the end of the maple forest, but the cat was pretty camera-shy. The only photo I got showed just the tips of his/her ears, and even then it was an awkward angle.

After the maple forest, we went underwater and stared at fish for a while. That was cool, and some of those fish get absolutely huge, but we decided to move on rather quickly to avoid disrupting the family camped out in that section.

Next up was the inside ocean, complete with an indoor sea and murals painted to mimic the horizon. That explained the fishy smell, at least. And we saw some rays coming and playing at the surface, which was neat. They’re funny-looking things.

We capped off our visit with penguin-feeding time, and spent a few minutes giggling at some of those hapless birds’ attempts to eat. It was a whole lot of failing and flailing.

So, overall, it was a concentrated visit to the zoo, but I enjoyed myself. Liz did, too. We did take the train back, though, after that misstep with the bus from earlier. (I take full responsibility. In the future, should I visit Montreal again, I will brush up on my French. That would be helpful.)

Back at home once more, we decided to kick up our feet and have a nice afternoon in. A few drinks and movies later, we went out to pick up some poutine and catch game six of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I’m happy (ecstatic, really) to report that the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup. That made my night, as you can imagine. There may have been a little whooping involved.

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