Category Archives: The outdoors

It’s still summer in Montreal, despite what the thermometer is saying

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So, as you can see I’ve been busy enjoying summer in Montreal and I’ve sort of neglected this blog.

I can’t promise that I’ll be back here on a regular basis because I like to keep this fun and spontaneous. For now, here are some photos of summer events and happenings that I took part in during the summer.

I had fun and it went by way too fast!

Here is a small playlist featuring the songs that got the most airplay on my iPod this summer

And here’s what I was up to:

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Beaches, blue skies and boat rides: exploring Turkey’s Lycian Coast

Turkey’s Lycian coast is one of the country’s most beautiful regions. Set along the coast of the Meditteranean sea, it’s a pleasure to explore the beautiful beaches, charming seaside towns and breathtaking valleys.
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Our first stop was in Antalya, a big city often compared to Nice (France). Set in a lovely mountainous environment, it is a great place to put your bags down for a few days before you set out to explore the rest of the region. The old town, known as Kaleiçi is simply beautiful.
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We spent two nights in Antalya, then set off to Olympos, The ride through the beautiful Taurus mountains was exhilarating, with spectacular views all along the way. After a two hour trip (with a bus and a shared taxi) we arrived at the secluded village.

The ruins of Olympos

The ruins of Olympos

Olympos is a road lined with pansions, restaurants and bars. Known for its treehouse accomodations and impressive ruins (dating back to the 2nd century), it attracts a young crowd, especially during the busy summer months. Had we been traveling in the months of June or July, I would have considered staying elsewhere (there are tons of great options on the coast), but since we were there early in the season, Olympos seemed like a good place to stay for a few days of R&R.

Lots of comfy cushions to lounge on for hours at the Saban Pansion

Lots of comfy cushions to lounge on for hours at the Saban Pansion

I was right. We had a blast and loved staying at Saban Pansion. The sibling hosts Meral, Ali and Mustapha took great care of us, preparing delicious meals every night and going out of their way to help us plan day trips and airport transfers.

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The beach at Olympos

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Relaxing on a boat, not a bad way to spend a day

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A Lycian tomb in the water near Kalekoy

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The beautiful village of Kalekoy

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A stop along the coast during a long drive to reach our boat

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Lunch on the boat

The chimaera are eternal fires that have been burning constantly for thousands of years.

The chimaera are eternal flames that have been burning constantly for thousands of years due to gas emissions that seep out of the mountain.

Montreal Jazz festival: dancing in the streets with the Lemon Bucket Orkestra

A month ago while listening to the radio, I heard a beautiful song. Once it was over, the host mentioned the name of the band: Lemon Bucket Orkestra. I quickly bought their album and was hooked, so when I saw that they were playing at the Montreal Jazz Festival this year, I was really happy!

They are from Toronto and their music is a hybrid of many influences, from traditional Ukrainian folk to Balkan dance to punk rock.

Here’s a quick listen:

And here are some photos of their set last Sunday. If you are in town, they will be playing again today and tomorrow between 1PM and 3PM (they move around the festival grounds so look for the big group of people with instruments, a belly dancer and a happy crowd formed around them).

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Untapped Cities: new things to discover in Montreal

As many of you know, I’ve been writing as a City Correspondent for the website Untapped Cities. Since August 2012 I have wandered around Montreal, discovering new aspects of the city where I’ve been living for the past 8 years.

Here’s what I’ve been writing for the past few months, along with a link to check out the articles:

During World War II, an internment camp kept as many as 400 detainees imprisoned on Ile-Sainte-Hélène. Today, the building houses the Stewart Museum but few people have heard about the area’s past which has long been kept secret and undocumented.

Camp s43 Parc Jean-Drapeau Musée stewart Montreal

Montreal’s famous nightlife gained it’s reputation many decades ago, when people from nearby states boarded trains every weekend to escape the Prohibition. In the 1930’s Montreal’s main thoroughfares were lined with opulently decorated vaudeville theaters, cabarets and movie halls. Many have since been destroyed to make way for other buildings, but here are 5 that are still standing.

Cabaret Lion d'or Montreal

In Downtown Montreal, the Belgo building’s unassuming facade tells little about what hides behind it’s front doors. Within one city block, 27 art galleries share five floors with dance studios and artist workshops. Open to everyone, it’s great place to spend an afternoon 

Belgo galeries d'art contemporain_Montreal_Lea Plourde-Archer_Untapped Cities

Montreal’s got a great museum scene but people tend to stick to the same few classics. Here are 7 off-the-radar museums that deserve to be discovered.

Ecomusee du fiermonde Lea Plourde-Archer Untapped Cities Montreal

Travel guidebooks often refer to Montreal as Little Paris. Whether that nickname is deserved remains debatable. However, it’s clear that Montreal is a great place to eat like a Parisian, without having to buy a plane ticket. Here are 13 places to eat like a Parisian without leaving the island.

Maison-du-macaron_Montreal_A Storytelling Home

Untapped Montreal: what I’ve been writing about in the last few months

Here’s a new update on the cool things I’ve been writing about for Untapped Cities, as city correspondent for Montreal:

Benito Mussolini Madonna della difesa Montreal

Something most Montrealers don’t know: there’s a church in Montreal’s Little Italy that still features a fresco representing Benito Mussolini:

http://untappedcities.com/2013/10/21/why-is-benito-mussolini-featured-church-fresco-montreal/

Candi bar restroom

A fun list compiling 8 of the quirkiest bar and restaurant restrooms in Montreal

http://untappedcities.com/2013/10/14/montreal-8-quirky-restaurant-bar-restrooms-urinette-nightclub-bathroom-urinette-nightclub-bathroom/

Megaphone Montréal

Local multimedia firm Moment Factory created an installation in downtown which mixes public speaking with modern technologies and the social media aesthetic.

http://untappedcities.com/2013/09/20/megaphone-an-art-installation-in-montreal-that-revives-public-speaking/

Dominique Blain Diorama_Underground city Montreal_Untapped Cities_Lea Plourde-Archer

A guide to discovering Montreal’s fascinating Underground city.

http://untappedcities.com/2013/09/03/guide-to-montreal-underground-city/

Charlevoix montreal metro Mario Merola_Untapped Cities_Lea Plourde-Archer

This piece also touches on Montreal’s underground, focusing on my 10 favorite art installations in the Montreal metro system. This has been by far my most popular article ever.

http://untappedcities.com/2013/08/21/top-10-art-installations-montreal-metro-system/