How is it that I live so close to this amazing city and never have gone to explore it sooner? I’m now 29 (go me) and every time I’ve been in Montreal it was for some function and I never got to really relax and enjoy the city. Well, my wonderful man suggested we go there for my birthday, and what a great idea that was. Just 2 hours away… and I felt like I was walking through the streets in France. Literally 4 blocks from our hotel was Old Montreal, with its cobble stone streets and beautiful architecture! We stayed at Hotel St. Denis. Check-in was smooth, parking was painless, the room was clean, the bed extremely comfy and always greeted with a smile. Right on the main street, we literally were steps away from some great shops and restaurants. Our itinerary was as follows:
Thursday Oct 13th 2011: Early start to our day and a leisurely drive, we arrived nice and early to take in the sites at the St. Joseph Oratory. It’s a massive towering church up on the hill, and the sheer size of this building humbles you. With an ornamental garden and a statue honouring the Saint, and path leading up to a staircase, both for those who want to walk up, and those who prefer to go up praying on their knees (let me tell you, watching people pray going up the hill.. in the slight rain too – Devotion!).
St Joseph's Oratory
Inside the Oratory, from the main entrance you walk into this hallway all lit up with candles to light to pray for different Saints (I apologize – I’m not an overly Religious person but I do have a respect for most Religions – so I am unfamiliar with correct terminology) The main one, which is pictured below, looked neat. The whole church had such a mix of old architecture and a more modern feel, almost retro. You could see it in the details of colours and the doorways looked very Art Nouveau-esque.
Candle's lit to honour saints
Wooden Relief sculptures on the wall.
After walking around for a wee bit more, we hopped back in the car and headed up Sherbrooke to the Biodome!!! I had been there quite a few years ago, and forgot how totally cool it was! I unfortunately didn’t print my telezoom lens (I didn’t feel like fiddling with camera equipment during my trip) and kind of wished I did bring it just for the Biodome. Oh well… just means we’ll have to go back just for that one of these days. In the Biodome we saw monkeys, parrots, macaws, a sloth, exotic birds, crocodiles, fish of all sorts, penguins, otters, beavers, and lynx’s… of which was my favourite image of the day. Someone must of caught it’s attention above us and I got a great pic of the Lynx readying to pounce.
I spy.... Ready to pounce!!!!
After the Biodome we took to the hotel! Hotel St. Denis. Relaxed for a while in the room, unpacked, took a relaxing hot shower and then back out exploring. I left my camera at the hotel for the rest of the night. Just kicked back and enjoyed a meal and beer at ‘Le Cage aux Sports’, and watched the world go by on the cobblestone streets.
Friday Oct 14th 2011 – Woke up another year older. The plan for today was to walk around and take in more of the sites, do some window shopping, and find a nice place for dinner. We walked what seemed like EVERYWHERE! Here are a few of my favourites from walking around during the day. It kept raining off and on, hence why some of the pics appear gloomy… well… because it was! But I had an absolute BLAST taking in the sites!
One of my favourite buildings. This was taken while enjoying a refreshing beverage on a covered patio.
Front profile of the same building. Caught a pedestrian making her way through the frame.
Ivy Growing up a castle looking building - must of been a musuem of some sort.
After walking around and after my purchase of my new favourite tea mug and tea collection from David’s Tea, we made our way back to the hotel where I gussied up and got into my dress just in time for dinner at a restaurant call ‘Spaghetti’. Great restaurant. Comfortable atmosphere, great food, and wine. I had the lamb, and it was delicious! That with a nice Pinot Noir (One of my favourites) I was feeling very happy. At this point after the hours we spent relaxing and enjoying our meal and conversation, it had really started to pour. This is a pic just outside of the restaurant.
- Oh the weather outside is frightfull, and our bellies full of wine is delightful 🙂
We ducked into a souvenir shop down this street where I was able to grab me a patriotic umbrella, and I was singing. Singing in the rain literally. It was a warm evening and the rain was warm as well. Made for a wonderful walk back around to the hotel. I stopped to snap this one.
Saturday Oct 15th 2011 – Last full day in Montreal 😦 We decided to check out Notre Dame Basilica, the Science Center, the Insectarium and the Gardens. Another favourite day, and check off one off the “Must See List in my Lifetime.” notre Dame was amazing! Wow! Breathtaking. What a vision of beauty. Going inside of this Basilica was a religious experience in of itself. Check out these pictures I took. What a cool place!The amazing Notre Dame Basilica – Check one off the ‘Must See’ list!
The amazing Notre Dame Basilica - Check one off the 'Must See' list!
And another showing a close-up of the front.
Then onto the Science Center, and from there taxi out to the Insectarium. Left there feeling a little queezie but got some cool pics, like this one.
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice... Beetlejuice!!!!!
After that we took in the sites of the beautiful garden. They have a lantern festival the month of October. We didn’t stay till the evening and the darkness in order to see them lit up, but during the day they were just as amazing. Here is a shot of some lanterns hanging from the Japanese Building.
lanterns hanging from the building
And like every day (other than the day we left) it was raining on and off. As we were walking through admiring the bonsai’s it started to sun spurt, so we seeked some shelter under one of the covered walkways. Took this sort of artistic snap while we waited.
Sun spurts in amongst the Bonsai's.
I hope you enjoyed my collection of favourite snaps from my ‘Fall in montreal’ Trip. If you have the means to go to Montreal Quebec, Canada… GO! You definitely won’t be disappointed. What with the amazing food, breathtaking sites, friendly service and festivities you will definitely have the time of your life. What are you waiting for? Go now!