Before I begin my big trip I have a few days to adjust to my new life as a tourist, I packed up my camera bag and set off to Explore Montreal.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t do that much research before arriving here, I knew I wanted to visit the botanical gardens and maybe check out the olympic village, see the old port and parks.
I head off by walking down the beautifully decorated Rue Sainte Catherine East (also know as the gay district) walking below rows and rows of pink baubles, rainbow flags and hibiscus line the street. beautifully welcoming and glorious in the sunshine, smiling, I make my way to the Beaudry station.
I decide that today I will go in search of Montreal’s famous colourful metro station. As a keen Instagrammer I had seen the beautifully tiled floor and wanted to see it in person! Over two floors, circled tiles in many shades of orange shine up at you. It’s magnificent!
The Parc Fontaine
Which for me was my favourite place because of the squirrels! SO friendly and so cheeky! (And also looked like they had been working out, look at that guy!) My new camera got christened too by a squirrel bite! Fun place! Recommend coming here with some fruit to share. The park covers 84 acres and includes wooded areas, two linked ponds with a waterfall and outdoor swimming pool which is busy in summer for swimming and winter for ice skating. There are also loads of picnic benches, sunny spots and shade. And an outdoor theatre, something for everyone! Lovely spot in all seasons.
But for me the squirrels were my favourite part 🙂
From the parc I walked along Rue Rachel E to the Botanical garden, this gave me a chase to soak up some of the residential side of the city. Walking past school buses and houses, the beautifully organised cycle paths which everyone uses! So great so see how much cycling is apart of the culture here. I finally come to a crossroad and sadly find that the olympic village is closed for works. So I cross to the epic entrance gates to the Gardens and walk in being greeted by heavenly smells of the rainbow of flowers lining the path to the gate.
They had everything! Vast vegetable gardens, a medicinal garden, a poisonous plant garden. A beautiful Alpine area with a waterfall and a huge lake with terrapins in (where I sat and had my late lunch) and chinese and japanese gardens with a magnificent lantern and light show. A beautiful couple of hours exploring then I head back to my B&B realising just how jet lagged I really was! I slept like a baby that night.
I awoke early and set off to find supplies and how to book tickets to get to Toronto/ Niagara falls. I booked with the mega bus, an absolute bargain of $30 for a top front window seat for a 6 hour journey with wi-fi!
I spent the rest of the day exploring the business district and the underground mall. I am from Bristol England, we don’t really have skyscrapers or really get frost or snow. I found it really interesting to explore the city. The mix of architecture, the old and new buildings, the underground mall. Absolutely amazed that the weather in the winter is Quebec gets so extreme that an underground shopping centre is needed! After growing up with mild English wet winters. And oh man, I got lost in there, haha but added to the adventure. I finally made my way to the old port via the Notre-Dame and head back to pack and prepare for my 6 hour bus ride to Niagara Falls in the morning.
Rue Sainte Catherine East looked great by night too!
Two days exploring Montreal City really isn’t enough time, but you can cram in a fair bit. I wish I had more time there and that had practiced my french before setting off. Have you been before? What were your highlights and what would you recommend for next time?
Next stop the bus depot to Toronto…. fancy joining me for a sight seeing ride?