Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Prince Arthur

It's a pleasant summer here in Montreal --weather not too warm. We've had a lot of rain but now the sun is out. I discovered over the weekend that there are still bargains to be had on Prince Arthur, the pedestrian mall east of St. Laurent Boulevard. A hearty lunch for four including soup, coffee and dessert and a big selection of main courses with salad and roast potatoes came to just over $40, plus another $18 for a bottle of wine bought at the depanneur (convenience store) across the street. We ate at the Caverne Grecque, but most of the restaurants along the mall have similar deals at noon. Prices are higher in the evening but still good value, and you can often listen to street musicians at night.

Unfortunately St. Laurent itself is all torn up for reconstruction, and merchants in the area are suffering. The mess is expected to last, according to latest reports, until November. The St. Laurent situation seems to be affecting traffic on Prince Arthur too, since restaurants were far from full even on a beautiful weekend day. Of course this is construction holiday in Quebec so lots of people are away, but it's a good time to visit for tourists.

Given the high air fares to Europe this summer, I expect to be using my Aeroplan points for a trip to South America next month, if I can get a flight. There are still a lot of countries there I have never visited, and costs should be lower than in Europe.