The problem with having a free museum pass, and having now purchased a three-day travel pass to go with it, is that your whole focus is on how many times you can use the Metro to go to as many attractions as possible to get your money’s worth. Or is that just us?
Rory is getting a bit sick of sight-seeing so we have given him the list today: he has free rein on where he wants to go. So we hop on the Metro to Old Montreal for a visit to the Science Centre. I’m not really convinced that museums designed for children actually offer any retainable information. They always seem to be noisy places and the interactive elements are just a collection of buttons and levers for hyperactive children to hit and pull as they race around, paying no attention to the information that goes with each activity.
Back on the Metro, we get off at the Lucien-L’Allier stop as we have to pick up our concert tickets. Before we left the UK I discovered that Rod Stewart was performing at the Bell Centre in Montreal while we were staying in the city. In a rash moment I ordered tickets for the three of us as I realised that the venue was very close to our hotel. Thought it would be great to see a legend like Rod without having the hassle of travelling and parking in Britain. So with my email confirmation in hand, we get off the train, find the box office and pick up our tickets early for tonight’s performance.
Next on the list of included attractions is the Planetarium. We like planetariums. They have comfy seats and you can lie back and look at the stars while a calming, soporific voice talks about black holes and asteroids. The best planetarium is at the National Space Centre in Leicester because the chairs recline to almost horizontal. The chairs in Montreal aren’t quite as plush but they still send my hubby to sleep and the explanation of how dinosaurs may have become extinct is accompanied by his gentle snoring.
Another rest back at the hotel, an early tea and we walk to the Bell Centre for the concert. Hubby and son most impressed by my ticket selection: 10 rows from the front on the stadium floor. Rod’s support act is a chap called Josh Kelly who is very good and warms us all up nicely. Then, after the stage is transformed to a very stark but chic white background, and two huge white drum kits are pushed into place, we hear the sound of the bagpipes. That’s a lot of bagpipes we’ve heard on one holiday, having had a good dose of them in Ottawa. The pipes and drums whip the crowd up then Mr Stewart struts onto the stage and does his stuff.
Great night! All the old favourites – You Wear it Well, Maggie May, First Cut is the Deepest, Hot Legs – all performed by the legend himself, looking amazingly good for his age. Most of the audience were my age or older: poor Rory was certainly the youngest there by a mile. Although the audience was mixed sex, a lot of women of a certain age were very embarrassing. Hundreds of leopard-printed old dolls were waving at their hero and blowing him kisses, with their weary husbands seemingly unaffected by the cringing display. “God I hope you’d never act like that!”, says Dougie. “Heavens No”, I reply, “….well not for Rod Stewart anyway, I never really fancied him”.