Going Global at the Biosphere

Trip Start Apr 10, 2007
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Trip End Apr 15, 2007


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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Sunday, April 15, 2007

We got a pretty slow start this morning. Perhaps it was the gloom of the day. Perhaps it was our tired legs and feet--after all, we have undoubtedly walked the entire span of Centre-ville Montreal (above ground and underground) since we've been here. So a little sleeping in was in order; then breakfast and then out to enjoy the city for one final day.

As we walked towards Vieux Montreal for a little gift shopping, we took in the feel of the city once again. Lively, metropolitan, sophisticated; a city well planned and very culturally diverse. We have noticed that most people here are bilingual--French and English--and many seem to speak three or four languages. A noticeable difference from the states, where English rules and people who do not speak English are often looked down on.

Being immersed in a city, where the prominent language is not our native language, has given us a different perspective of how it must feel for non-English speaking people in the states to function on a daily basis. This is how tolerance of others is fostered. Walk a mile in another man's shoes and you get the chance to see life from a different perspective. However, we do value the necessity of learning the language of any city you visit or choose to live.

So, we walked and shopped and enjoyed the sights of the old city. A street performer entertained a group of tourists with a hodge-podge of jokes and odd tricks, New Orleans French Quarter-style. We stop in a few shops, strolled the streets, and even saw our friend, Dominique the carriage driver, as she guided her beast through the streets with a group of visitors in tow.

As we looked across the St. Laurent River to St. Helen's Island, Anita was reminded that she wanted to visit the Biosphere to get a glimplse of what that unusual dome featured. So we trekked over to the Metro station to board the orange then the yellow line, which ran underneath the river, and exited just yards from the enormous dome-like structure.

The Biosphere was erected in 1967 for the Montreal Expo/World's Fair, and serves to raise the awareness about environmental issues related to water, climate change and the ecosystem. Actually, Anita and I both expected something completely different--something more like the Biosphere in Arizona--where there are several different ecosystems contained within the sphere. But this one was more of a hands-on science exhibit for children . While there, we participated in a science project in which we determined the effects of green house gases on the atmosphere. It was very interesting. Another fun thing we did was made our own film about the way water is recycled. Check it out on the slideshow. For anyone interested in visiting the Biosphere, be sure to take the Metro there because you get a 20 percent discount on your entrance. The regular fee for adults is 9.50$, but we only paid 7.10$ each. What a bargain!

Afterwards we walked the grounds, had some fun with the outside activities and then headed back across St. Laurent River on the Metro.
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