When said in a French accent both Mont Royal and Montreal sound identical. To me this is a silly idea. Mont Royal is ‘mountain’ in the city of Montreal, therefore when making plans I was forced into my most British accent when trying to distinguish between the two. This wasn’t what I wanted when I was trying to make the most of being in French speaking Quebec.
However this was a minor annoyance in my gorgeous weekend to Montreal. I travelled the couple of hours from Ottawa by Greyhound coaches and I was blown away. It was so cheap and I had leather seats and wifi! I have never travelled by coach in England (except on school trips) so this may not be a big deal, but for me it was a very exciting experience (although I’m sure the novelty would soon wear off).
Spent the first day wandering down into the older part of the city. The beautiful basilica reflects memories of Paris’ Notre Dame and actually shares the name. The Basilica is on the Place des Armes, which displays an interesting patchwork of architecture making the square well worth a wander through. The Basilica’s display of Gothic Revival is opposite the Neo-Classical style of the Bank of Montreal’s pantheon. The art-deco style of the Aldred building finishes off this unusual square. The Aldred building by the way is nothing special, just offices in a groovy building.
The Old Port was my next stop and it was beautiful. The unusually (for a Canadian September) warm weather meant I was able to wander around the area to my hearts content.
Spent the rest of the evening happily ambling about and demolishing a delicious steak before hopping on the metro back to the hotel.
The following morning I went to the top of Mont Royal to see the views over the city which were spectacular. The park itself was beautiful too which all the trees transforming into their Autumnal colours. After the view had been fully appreciated, I then ventured to the old Olympic park for more views of the city. Above the swimming pool is the tallest inclined structure in the world and from here you get an alternative view of the city with Mont Royal in the background. After this I visited the Grand Prix track which was cool to see but I wouldn’t call it a must see.
I had a brilliant weekend in Montreal. I didn’t have the time to see a huge amount but nevertheless I found it a lovely place to just take in the atmosphere. The glorious weather of course helped too.