Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 45.5081° N, 73.5550° W
02.07.2013 - 03.07.2013
After a 2 1/2 hours drive from Ottawa, we have reached our next destination. Known as Ville-Marie or The City of Mary back in the days, Montreal is the largest city in the province of Quebec and the the second-largest city, after Toronto in Canada. Ville-Marie is now the name of one of the boroughs in Downtown Montreal.
The Montreal Biodome
By the time we got here, the rain had gotten worse than when we were on the road, so we decided to stay indoors, so we stopped at the Biodome de Montreal first after having lunch in the car, from what we've packed; sandwiches, pizza, etc. At the Biodome, there was a lot of animals to see; from penguins to fishes to frogs, etc. There was a lot of flora and fauna, which varied from the wet tropical forests, the Gulf of St Lawrence, Newfoundland and Labrador, etc.
View of part of Montreal from the Tower
By the time we were done, the weather was somewhat better and the rain had stopped so we went to the Olympic Stadium, which is right next to the Biodome. We visited the Montreal Tower, which gave us a wonderful view of the region.
We then drove to Downtown Montreal to check-in at our hotel, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth on Boulevard René Levesque. We got a good deal for 119$/night, which is extremely great for this hotel even if it doesn't include breakfast, as it is usually a lot more expensive than that.
Underground mall, Ville-Marie (connected to our hotel)
After relaxing for a few hours, we went downstairs to the lobby, only to find that connected to the hotel, there's an escalator that leads to the subway and an underground mall; Place Ville-Marie. So we got some light snacks from Starbucks then walked around the mall. There was a lot of stores and the prices weren't too bad. We didn't do much shopping, we mostly walked around, then went outside to explore around the city. We had dinner at Basha at around 7 pm and then walked around on the St Catherine West, where there was a lot of stores.
Montreal Bagels, the best!
The next day, we visited the Notre Dame Basilica an old church, Mont Royal, a hill on the west of Downtown Montreal. The hill is located between the Laurentians and the Appalachians and the view is superb. Finally, we went to the Botanical Gardens, before stopping for some bagels; simply the best.
Musical Swings in Downtown Montreal
While walking around in Montreal, we found the Swings of Montreal, which I found really cool. The 21 Swings is a project, where the swings make music, and if there's other people as well, all blend in together to make the same sound.
Before heading back to the hotel, we went to McGill, and we visited it from the outside and then we went to buy tickets for a one day Québec City tour, which will leave tomorrow morning from the bus station, about 5 minutes walk from our hotel.