This morning we went on a hike in the Naxos countryside through a few small villages. Our destination was the Kouros, but really the journey was the best part. We walked along a rather small road, which should almost be put in quotes but they do drive on it. There was a small aqueduct running alongside the road that appears to convey water from mountain runoff and springs to farms below.
While we spent a good portion of our Montreal visit in Old Montreal, we did spend some time wandering around other parts of the city. (Also, see previous Parc du Mont-Royal post.) The Montreal Plateau could probably be considered the original suburbs and has beautiful townhouses and various ethnic areas. Downtown (Centre-Ville) has a lovely mix of old and new buildings and some nice parks that give much needed green space.
I spent much of my short visit to Montreal just wandering around Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal). I love old buildings, and Old Montreal certainly has plenty of them. It has lots of charm, cobblestone streets, cafes, and shops. It sits right on the St. Lawrence River, and there is a wonderful linear park that separates the river and its quais (wharfs) from the main part of Old Montreal. It is just a lovely place to visit and walk around.
After spending some time enjoying the tam-tams, I went further into Parc du Mont-Royal to do a little hiking and to visit the overlooks that I had read have amazing views of the city. The park is on part of a mountain, so the overlooks have wonderful views of the city below on the plain. The Camillien-Houde lookout gives views of the northern half of Montreal Island, and the Kondiaronk lookout gives views from the northeast and southwest including downtown Montreal. I wished I had had more time to hike as much of the park is a dense forest. It is a wonderful park and oasis, akin to New York’s Central Park.
While I spent much of my time walking around Burlington, Vermont, in the downtown area, I also spent a good deal of time walking around some of the residential neighborhoods. Burlington has some historic, large, gorgeous houses, and many of them are painted in various, traditional colorful schemes. However, Burlington also has plenty of not quite as old, not quite as nice houses painted in not quite so traditional colors. Some of them are painted in almost blindingly bright color schemes, and I loved them. They are not traditional at all, but in my opinion, they are completely fun. I don’t even like some of the color schemes, but I love that someone cares enough about the house and what it looks like to paint it something other than all white.
The day that I spent much of my time photographing these houses, I walked into the Fletcher Free Library. While I was admiring the architecture of the old section of the building, Lorrie, one of the library workers asked me if I was enjoying the architecture. We had a lovely conversation about the library, Burlington, and Burlington’s houses. It turns out she knows the owner of many of the colorful houses that I was admiring. You have to love small towns, because of course I would run into someone who knows the owner of many of the houses. According to her, Stu lives in the brick house with purple trim that is situated between the two purple-painted wooden houses, and he has the purple Camino. These were some of the houses that I was admiring the most, especially since they featured the color coordinated purple car in-between them. Also, his brick house has a duck family walking on the ceiling of the entry porch because of course it does. He and his wife own and rent many of the bright houses, and he paints them that way just because he likes it and doesn’t care what others think. Stu, I am an admirer of your work. I don’t like all the color schemes, but I love that you painted them that way.
Post has been edited to correct the spelling of Lorrie’s name. Thank you Stu for the correction, and thank you for your comment!
I was in Burlington, Vermont for a week for a conference. Luckily, I had a few hours off here and there, so I was able to spend some time walking around the town. Burlington is a wonderful city in which to walk around. It has some wonderful old buildings, which I love, and as it sits right on Lake Champlain, it has some really nice views of the lake. If you visit, you have to spend time just walking on the Church Street pedestrian mall and perhaps eat at the many restaurants on it or go in some of the shops. Of course, there are plenty of other great restaurants and shops downtown besides the ones on Church Street. Also, stroll along Waterfront Park and admire Lake Champlain.
While visiting Burlington, I walked to Winooski, which is just to its north, and wandered around. Winooski is a cute little town that is situated next to Winooski Falls, a rocky area of the Winooski River. They have built a really nice river walk area on one side of the river, so you can walk past the falls and also down to the dam. The town square is also walkable and has a bunch of really good restaurants. [Normally I don’t recommend specific commercial places, but I had dinner at Our House, and I highly recommend it. They have all these really good variations of mac and cheese, and it is just so delicious.] The only bad thing about the town is how fast the traffic goes around the town center, which can make crossing the street difficult.
I came to Vermont for a conference, but I arrived a day early to do a little sightseeing. One place we visited was the Green Mountain Audubon Center outside Huntington. It is a really lovely place to wander around for several hours. It has a hemlock swamp, a gorgeous river running through it, forests full of ferns, and lots of pretty flowers. We also saw a few nice birds, and I saw some really cool looking insects, which I cannot identify.
Our trip around Iceland ended with a three night stay in Reykjavik. Reykjavik is the largest city by far in Iceland, but it is still a small town. It is a small town with charm though. Old and brightly colored houses mix with modern buildings. There are cute little churches that contrast with the famous and daring architecture of Hallgrímskirkja. The Harpa dominates the Old Harbor area while the lovely Tjörnin and all its waterfowl dominate the center of the city. The streets are narrow, walkable, and seemed designed to slow traffic, especially in places where the one lane street curves for no discernible reason. There are many parks and open spaces which give the city a relaxed feel. It is just a lovely town to visit.
Day 5 in Iceland, after hiking up a glacier, we decided we needed more hiking, so we hiked to Svartifoss, yet another waterfall in Iceland. Svartifoss is particularly neat because it flows over basalt columns. Also there are of course more waterfalls on the way to Svartifoss, including Hundefoss.