Turning right onto Rue Notre Dame I entered the city, a white canvas with a vast color palette. I had never seen such a picturesque city in winters. It was veritably a delight. The snow was like the white ash that falls covering the land and everything in its path. It’s like magic falling from the sky. The airs smells pure and fresh. Everything seems quieter, almost muffled. There is a sense of serenity in the atmosphere. As I headed farther towards the main city I came across a gigantic monument as I pronounce. It was, really, it was a penguin to mark Winter Olympics but their affiliation with snow dates way back . Cut long story short, I was standing in front of Parc Olympique, a remarkable design, a huge monument depicting a penguin and a dome to signify the stadium.
My car glided over the road due the remnants of snow after the snowfall and I changed my direction towards Pierre Dupuy Avenue. As soon as the car paced steadily on the road I saw an anchored ship on my left submerged under the white fluffy blanket. The snow had nearly veiled everything that reached my sight. I was forced to bring my vehicle to a halt.
The only thing my eye could figure out at that time was the circular windows of the ship with some blurry reflections of random cubes, boxes one might say. There my gaze travelled 90 degrees to the right, and there it stood , the work of a genius. A sculpture, as it appears to a lay man was an architectural wonder. It was the notable Habitat 67 designed by Moshe Safdie. One can call it a complex structure but it is merely a composition of concrete blocks stacked above each other in a hugger-mugger which stood out surpassed the other houses. The houses were a piece of art on its own, with their beautiful undisturbed snowy roofs and chimneys.
As I stepped out of the car to greet the beauty around me, goose bumps began crawling on my skin like a troop of ants and I pulled my sweater tighter. It was the only protection I had against the chilly wind. The quick range of temperature made a shiver run down my spine and soon the cool and crisp air was meandering through the trees and caressing my skin. Comparing with the temperature of Ottawa, Montreal was much colder as it moves higher up towards the north. The only fear I had was that these mere goose bumps do not turn to frostbites in the next moment.
The frozen river, hidden ship and the colossal structure fitted perfectly on a portrait describing Montreal to its best. The harmony and balance they created with the environment was enthralling. My next stop was the old Montreal as I heard from people. My car parked at a distance from the narrow street I decided to continue my visit on foot. Strolling on the sidewalks wrapped with snow, the only color that appeared was the grey impressions of my footsteps. But soon turning from grey to brown and then completely dissolving removing my presence there. Horse-drawn carriages traverse cobblestone streets and meander past such notable sites as the Notre Dame Basilica was something to cherish. A clear distinction could be made from modern to vintage Montreal. The old, was very rich in culture. Mingling with Montrealers at sidewalk cafés while overlooking the river, or enjoy the wintertime street performers was truly a treat. This was also a popular shopping area (despite the tawdry souvenir shops), and numerous bars and clubs bring the prettiest of views to life.
While walking back towards my car I watched the sunset with its mango rays disappearing gradually behind the crimson clouds. As darkness slowly crept upon the fading light, the entire perspective of the landscape changed, trees went from fresh green to a darker tint. Enamored in all, I could let the sunset play before my eyes as a fascinating Shakespearian act, because the sky acted as the stage while the clouds, sun, its rays and birds were the characters bringing it to life. And the birds chirping, added a melodious symphony in the air just like a Mozart one.
The winter season leaves a strong impression on one, and itself becomes a tale to narrate. But what always makes me sad is that it will all melt away, normality will resume. All that will be left is the grey, dirty slush and the memories of another rare day in the snow.
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