Montreal: What I saw
I've been a busy bee lately and kind of in a funk again, so I have not been writing about my trip or getting excited about Tulum or any 2018 trips that are already in the works - more on both of those in a later post. But, I need to finish my Montreal trip first, because I really did have a great time. As with any of my trips, this is a diary of what I did and could serve as recommendations but is not a guide. I like to write for my own memory and so I can go back and make recommendations to other friends and acquaintances when asked.
Without further ado...
Museum of Contemporary Art - Confession: I knew nothing about Leonard Cohen before visiting this museum. I became a fan after visiting. While I was there, the entire museum was devoted to an exhibit about Cohen, who was from Montreal. I didn't know the man lived such an interesting life and was so talented. I don't even think you would have to know who he was to appreciate the exhibit.
Museum of Fine Arts - This museum was large, well-laid out, and full of interesting art. I had not originally planned on going, but it was cold and I wanted something indoors to do, so I went on a Sunday morning. There were some really interesting exhibits but my favorite was an installation of hundreds of woolen soldiers that were a tribute and representation of soldiers who fought in WWI from all over the world.
Mont Royal - This is literally a city hike up an urban mountain, plan accordingly. People were getting their Saturday morning exercise jogging, biking, and walking the trails of this enormous city park. I loved walking the main gravel paths and taking a few shortcuts on the trails because it took awhile to get to the top. the views at the top look toward downtown Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. There is also a chalet at the top with restrooms, chairs for you to rest in because you just hiked up an urban mountain, and a little cafe with snacks and drinks. It was really cold so I ordered an espresso to warm me up on the way down. I felt visiting this was worth the time and physical effort - which is not much if you're fit but it isn't just an easy stroll either.
1976 Olympic Stadium - OLYMPICS NERD ALERT (I am one), I couldn't visit a city that once hosted a summer Olympics - the Olympics of Nadia Comaneci, to be exact - without stopping by the stadium. It was bigger than I imagined and I was happy to walk by all of the signs explaining what it has been used for since the Olympic games. It has hosted many sporting events and concerts since then. You can pay about $20 to ride the funicular to the top of the stadium for 360-degree views of Montreal. Worth it. It was fun to see the city views from a different viewpoint. I got there too late in the day to go to the Biodome or any of the other museums in the area because it was late Sunday afternoon, but I would go back to see the Biodome.
Neighborhoods I liked: Mile End, Old Montreal, Quartier Latin. I did a lot of shopping, eating, drinking, and general wandering in these areas when I was not in museums. One place I regret not visiting is the Jean Talon Market and I will go back to Montreal so I will make sure I go there first. It is in the neighborhood known as Little Italy. Old Montreal was pretty and great for being a tourist, but I have a feeling if I lived in Montreal, I'd really like Mile End of Quartier Latin.
Montreal, you were beautiful, your residents were lovely, and I'll be back!