It’s very clear once you enter into the Canadian Provence of Quebec that French is the national language here, all the signs are now in French and it’s the language you hear everywhere, but lucky for me some English is spoken, as my French is worse then my Spanish.
I checked in to my hotel and started to explore the area near by, walking down a street…..mmmm geeee lots of men around here, walk a bit further, gee still seeing mainly men, start looking around more closely, right men walking around together, in fact you could say they are couples. I get out my map……I’m staying in Le Village…..highlighted on tourist maps as The Gay Village, well that explains it lol. It’s the largest gay village in North America, there words not mine!!
The pink balls are draped across the street for about 1km with the street closed to traffic and numerous bars, clubs and restaurants with patios on the street. Rainbow flags are all around, saw some at half mast, in honor on the Orlando shooting, it will be Gay Pride here soon, so the area is ramping up for what I imagine to be a huge party in this area.
Next morning I head out to explore Montreal’s old port and old town. Came across this awesome zip line & obstacle course….kids (both big and small) paradise, this thing was huge, and looked like great fun. I needed to ‘borrow’ someone’s kid so I could go on it lol
On first look I didn’t get why my hotel had circled the old port as a place to visit, but after a while I started to see some of the appeal, it even has a lock…..didn’t need to go to Panama City after all, lol
One of the main attractions here is the Notre Dame cathedral, I’m not a religious person, but the inside of this church was pretty impressive, and I have discovered great places to find a toilet…..churches!!
The old town is across a number of city blocks, but it does have one small section that is a cobblestone street and closed to traffic, numerous restaurants and souvenir shops litter the street, but the buildings are still quaint and impressive.
While walking around I saw a movie being filmed, it was clearly being set in New York, as they had put up a street sign for Central Park, I didn’t wait around long enough to see if any one famous, but I figured not.
Time for lunch, it’s over 30 here today, so all this walking deserves reward, poutine and beer, potatoe is a vegetable right!?
Another area of Montreal is the Latin quarter, a cute little area with terrace houses, cafes, and boutiques. One of the main streets has restaurants all along the footpath, they do seem to have heaps of outdoor dinning here, I guess got to take advantage before the cold months snow them inside.
Another area is Site Patrimonial du Mont-Royal, the area is home to many important sites, the most famous is Parc de Mont-Royal, basically a hill that is a park that overlooks Montreal. It’s a steep walk up to the top, lots of paths going in all directions and next to no signs, so managed to get lostish, until I found a man with a map. Back on track again, there is a reason all the guides say to stick to the main path…oh well, I finally make it to the top, the view didn’t disappoint. In the last pic you can see the Olympic stadium.
Also at the very top they have a Swiss style chalet, which in summer seems out of place, but would fit right in in winter when it snows. Also, rather random, but a piano, it was tuned and people would play it, it actually sounded really good. Of course some people just went up and played chopsticks, but this lady was really good and the music seems to fill the whole area.
Now with my own map in hand (they give them out at the top….bit late really) I follow the now signed path to the lake, this lake freezes over in winter and you can ice skate on it, love to do that here.
Mmmm after another day of walking, I am starving, dinner in the Latin quarter, order a mango daiquiri, waiter says want to make it a double shot….mmmmm yes please!! The missing pot was for refried beans…..had enough beans don’t even put them on my plate!
Had a few hours before I had to get the bus in the morning, so I finally went for a run, it’s been ages, post injury and also been way too hot and humid to run, did a 10km running tour of the port and old town, was great to be back running.
Saw this cool looking book shop on my way back, if you look closely they have a dummie of Michael Jackson and the baby and the balcony incident, weird!
Right am on the bus as I write this post to Quebec City…..have to love the buses here all have wifi and power sockets, au revoir for now.