Montreal (pronounce Moh-re-al in French) is the capital of Quebec province and is just as old as Quebec city but I got the feeling it's a more functional city (rather than a tourist city). Anyway lots to see & do, so I spent 2 days doing a huge amount of walking. I met up with Bea, a lovely English girl I met in Quebec and together we left no stone unturned in Montreal (ok slight exaggeration but I swear on Fri 5 May we were seriously about to die cos our feet were sooo sore from walking!)
The french (as in language) again didn't prove a barrier as most people in Montreal can speak some english and everyone in the service industry speaks fluent english - which also unfortunately meant that I didnt really get to practice any French cos as soon as you hestitate they interject and advise you that they speak & understand english. Anyways, all in all a cool experience, photos below...
Just a few shots of the modern buildings in Montreal - I especially like the coloured glass building which I think is the conference centre.
And now a few shots of Vieux (Old) Montreal. It seems such a contrast to have a big modern city, but walk a few blocks and you get to a part of town that has building that are hundreds of years old!
This is the Hotel de Ville (town hall) yet another impressive building. It was on the balcony of this historic buiding that the visiting French President Charles de Gaulle made his infamous "Vive le Quebec Libre" speech in 1967. (OK I never obviously dont remember the speech but I might as well share the knowledge...)
Vieux Montreal has this cool lighting tour at night, this is l'hotel de ville again.
The silver domed building in the background is Marche Bonsecours, which today has boutique stores but, built in the 1840s it used to be Montreal's main market.
Bea and I went to the iSci museum where one of the exhibitions was about Ice Age Mammals. So the reason I couldn't resist getting a photo of me & Bucky the Beaver was because beavers this size actually existed in the Yukon and Eastern America during the last ice age! Freaky!
View of Parc du Mont-Royal, which is how Montreal got its name - Mount Royal is monte Reale in italian (altho I'm not entirely sure of the Italian connection, seeing as tho it was a French colony). It was originally landscaped by the dude that did New York City’s Central Park.
Have I mentioned that the end of my trip seemed to coincide with school trip season? Well just to add some spice to the mix, instead of being overrun with school trips in the peaceful Parc Mont Royal, I was (almost) run over by the local school kids participating in some cross country race through the park. This was taken from a distance, whilst I congratulated myself on a lucky escape from the kids!
The park occupies part of the mountain that lies in the middle of Montreal island and includes the highest spot in the city at 234m. This is the view from the Chateau.
This is "La Croix", erected on the mountain in 1924 very close to the site of the first cross that was erected on the mountain in 1643 by the founder of Montreal, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve. It's lit up at night and can be seen from downtown Montreal.
The biosphere (designed by Buckminster Fuller) which was used as a pavillion for Expo '67. Proudly presented by yours truly ;)
Cool photo looking up from inside the biosphere.
This is Habitat '67, accommodation designed by Moshe Safdie for the World Expo.
Boardwalk by the St Lawrence river, looking towards downtown Montreal.
Bea and I enjoying a well earned rest after a looooong day. We're enjoying Tim Hortons coffee and donuts - a truly Canadian experience and a fine way to end the 5 weeks I spent in Canada!