I was running out of the awesome maple candy that we found in Niagara Falls, Canada, so I decided that it is time to make another trek up to Canada. For the Labor Day weekend John and I packed up the CR-V and took off to lovely Montreal. The drive was uneventful; although, John and I agree that New Hampshire’s State Liquor Store, Lottery Tickets, and Rest Stops kind of give us the heebie-jeebies.It’s hard to explain the ambiance, but if you have ever been to one of these rest stops I am sure you understand what I mean.
We arrived at our hotel, the lovely Auberge du Vieux-Port, in the evening. The hotel is in the Old Quarter, and really quite magnificent. If you are looking for a nice hotel that is in an AMAZING location, we highly recommend it. The hotel, which overlooks the St. Lawrence River, has a nice rooftop bar. They also give you coupons for a free cocktail when you check in…a very nice touch for folks who drove 5 hours to visit! Right around the corner from the hotel there was an energetic social scene to include many restaurants, bars, ice cream places, stores, and jugglers, face painters, other fun street entertainers. We spent the evening meandering and getting our bearings. I rapidly honed in on Maple Delights, a store which focuses on…Maple delights! Let’s just say, that we made multiple trips to this store to stock up on maple products and to enjoy their ice cream. They even have a nice museum downstairs on the history of maple sugaring. I’m fairly certain that I know what we are doing to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and my next birthday…but I digress.
Montreal has 500 km of biking trails, and quite a few nice parks where we got in some interesting people watching. We spent the majority of our 2 full days there exploring the bike trails. We estimate that we roamed 8-9 miles on Saturday and Sunday. We ambled over to two small adjacent islands in the St. Lawrence (although, we also learned that Montreal is on an island. It didn’t feel like an island!) and explored paths that took us by an amusement park, Olympic park, a Biodome, and an old cemetery that only has 2 headstones (we assume the other grave markers were wooden–there is a nice wall that explains who is buried there). The second park that we spent a good deal of time at is Mount Royal. The park at Mount Royal was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York’s Central Park.
We felt that we didn’t exercise enough on our wanderings, so we signed up to take a Ghost Tour. It wasn’t nearly as scary as the Ghost Tour I took in Edinburgh, Scotland, but we did have a very entertaining guide and learned a little bit about Montreal’s history. By that point we were tired of hoofing it, so we took an amphibious tour (think Duck Tour), and a horse-drawn carriage ride. After a point, the guides start telling the same stories, so we didn’t find it necessary to also take the double-decker bus tour!
The most exciting part of the trip (well, aside from stocking up on maple candy) was the discovery of a Christmas store that had a snowing Christmas tree! Neither John nor I had ever heard of such a thing. Of course, we ended up bringing one home with us. 🙂
Here’s some of the pictures we took while in Montreal and on the various adventures and tours: