John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/22

Migration

On this journey we’ve seen many flocks of geese and ducks migrating North, but for some reason today even more than leaving Newfoundland it felt like we had begun a migration South. Maybe it’s partly because we woke to a warm and mostly sunny Montreal day.

0620 Our Red/Blue Window View

0620 Our Red/Blue Window View

One of my memories from Montreal last time (30 years ago) was the quiet subway, so we decided to ride that from the station close to our hotel. It was indeed quieter, but the system was a bit challenging to figure out and when we transferred to a bus the driver refused to honor the metro tickets so we paid again and then got a taxi rather than wait for yet another bus that would have charged us again and of course the total was nearly what we paid for the taxi into town and took four times longer. Oh, the subway is much quieter than NYC inside but still unpleasantly loud on the platform. But of course we had a lot of fun with each other and the people (including the bus driver) we interacted with. 🙂

After an especially challenging time setting up the U.S. Customs arrangements, filing the required Canadian flight plan, and getting Tripp organized, I radioed request a scenic route near the city. “No, l’kjfk feourioi d’atarnquo” or something that sounded like that in a harsh Kebek accent. Mustering extra warmth in my voice, I asked (knowing it was ok) if I could fly below 1300′ along the South shore of the river. Rather than answer this time he just gave me taxi instructions so I decided to try again with the more senior tower controller. That one could not have been more polite or helpful, and though the air was especially hazy we got this closer look at that beautiful 1976 Olympics stadium.

0421 Low Flying Object

0421 Low Flying Object

Every time I see the pic, at first glance I think it’s some sort of aircraft. Locals it seems mostly try to ignore it. We also got great views of the island in the river.

0426 Isle of Fun

0426 Isle of Fun

There’s a biosphere on the island too, to the left of the lovely park in the pic above.

0428 Biosphere

0428 Biosphere

The city was magnificent too of course, but the haze did make decent photos impossible.

0429 Montreal

0429 Montreal

After a humorous experience driving Tripp around the airport in Watertown, NY trying to find the customs office (not allowed to get out of the plane and nobody on radio, no signs or markings of any kind despite this being a major border entry point, so we called them by cell) we passed Syracuse.

0470 Distant Syracuse

0470 Distant Syracuse

We chose Ithaca for tonight in case of unflyworthy weather tomorrow (we like to spend rain days in especially interesting places). While last night’s mediocre hotel had a small bed made of stone, tonight’s palatial room with cozy bed and every imaginable accoutrement including free shuttle service is the same price. So we rode into town to split a light late snack of hummus with pita bread and red wine.

0669 Ithica Snack

0669 Ithaca Snack

Anne, cozied up in our Ithaca hotel, said “Can we just live here??” If weather looks good, would I be a bad person for suggesting we resume our migration tomorrow?

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2 Comments

  1. I’ll pray for rain and more photos of Ithica.

    Comment by Nancy Oster — 2011/05/22 @ 16:36

  2. Best shot of the Olympic stadium I ever saw! The Bixi system is definitely “interesting”. Mont Royal (royal mountain) not Mont Real. Great blog!

    Ed

    Comment by Ed Rudick — 2011/05/26 @ 19:00


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