Dirty Harry was right. I discovered the hard way today that you can’t make 50 year old feet do 20 year old activities for very long without paying for it eventually. Especially in a city with hundred year old cobblestones.

My feet have been a bit achy and sore at the end of the day lately, but yesterday they were really talking to me. On the way home I picked up some new insoles and replaced the worn-out ones in my shoes.

Today, even with the new insoles, I found I couldn’t walk more than a hundred yards without starting to limp. Pretty much constant pain, not unbearable, but certainly distracting. Tomorrow, I make a pilgrimage to the mall to source some better walking shoes and see if that helps.

Today was also the first test of my new migraine medication. I felt an aura coming on this morning, and thankfully I had a dose with me that dissolves instantly on the tongue. Aura came and went, but no headache afterwards. BAM! Take that, inherited condition!

Enough health complaints. Today I spent the entire day in Old Montreal. For me, it was almost completely about the architecture. Around every corner there’s yet another building to gasp at. Here’s a few favourite samples I found while following a great self-guiding tour:

The crown jewel of them all, though, was Notre Dame Basilica. Here’s the sight that greeted me on first coming into the darkened sanctuary from a brightly lit street:

There’s so much detail here, so much decoration; paintings, sculpture, woodwork, all decades if not centuries old. I was interested to find the two statuettes of Ezekiel and Jeremiah that might have inspired the well-known Irving Layton poem:

“What coarse jokes must pass between you…”

I was on a mission for lunch today: Poutine. Everyone must have their favourite place, but I found one in the vicinity, appropriately called Montreal Poutine. It’s run by a few very nice young people, and their take on the traditional dish has some twists, but I opted for the straightforward version. I did offset that with a grilled cheese sandwich with chicken, three kinds of cheese, onions and caramelized pears, and a Maudite to wash it all down:

By about 5 pm, it was getting very overcast, too dark for photos. My feet were ready to give out at any minute, and it started to rain. Fortunately, I was pretty much done with the self-guided tour, so I looked for some place to have supper and rest up before heading home. I almost literally stumbled on this place:

They had a nice artichoke salad, a great grilled cheese sandwich (again, not so traditional, with ham and some kind of gruyere on the inside, and grated parmesan and a cherry tomato on top) and a European orange drink:

(I realized later I could have had a beer – it takes some getting used to a province where the liquor laws are more American than Canadian. Heck, I could have bought a six-pack from the gas station this morning if I was so inclined. But I digress.)

All in all, a good day, to which I meant to add a visit to the Museum of Archaeology and History, but all the museums are closed Mondays in the fall and winter months. Oh well, something for the next trip. I still have one full day left, and it’s going to be spent at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I loves me a bunch of art, I does.

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