Of Montreal

One of the things my friends from work have planned after Toronto {they on a business trip, I on a personal trip to see my parents} was a two day trip to what was touted as Canada's most European city -- Montreal, formerly called Ville-Marie, so called because the official language is French.

After all, when I asked Canadian friends and people who've been to Canada, they all seemed to have had fun in Montreal because everyone recommended we see it. Besides, if you follow me on Twitter, or if you've been reading this blog for some time now, or if you know me in person {aka heard me screech or swoon over French phrases}, you'd know that if I was just four hours away from a French speaking city, I'd definitely go.

So we did.

I forgive them for misspelling my name. After all, the VIA Rail train ride
was one of the most comfortable rides I ever had to board, largely because of
seamless WIFI connection. The seats are comfortable and the toilets
are clean. Economy seats, round trip are more or less CAN$ 200 but I remember ours was
a bit cheaper than $200. Bookings are done online and you can just pick up
the ticket at the station.

Hoping for Before Sunrise. Kaso wala.

C and I before dozing off.

And then when we arrived, our first stop was our hotel:
The Fairmont Hotel La Reine Elizabeth

 When we arrived, the boys were pretty beat but C and I insisted we walk
around the city.
Of course, we had a map in hand but it was pretty useless with us
because we couldn't understand a thing as everything was in French
{I was secretly delighted, of course!}.

Pink blooms lend beauty and testify to spring in the streets of Rue Sainte Catherine.

Rue Sainte Catherine of course, is Montreal's shopping district

When we paused from all the shopping walking, we looked up and the sun was
shining through maple leaves:

Montreal is a biking city and bikes are for rent. I find this truly cool.

I had to resist jumping into a bike and sing ala Sound of Music at this park.
I wanted to stay there for half the day but sayang oras and we were only
staying in the city for two days.

I forget the name of this statue {such a bad tourist, I know} but apparently
this is a popular meeting spot in downtown Montreal.

Where the company I work with was founded -- Montreal.
Incidentally, as we were rounding up the streets to go back to our hotel for a quick change,
we discovered that this building was just right in front of the hotel!

In Montreal, we ate French Italian! We wanted some French cuisine that night
but ended up with some pizza and salad and wine which to this day I can
recall as one of my best meals in Canada.

Montreal is known to have around 300 HUGE churches and where we visited,
Sainte Joseph's Basilique, the church had escalators. Take note: escalators.

At the top of the basilique are some almost hundred steps.

With our Chinese tour guide at I forget what because obviously
I wasn't listening

Then it was time to hit the Biodome of Montreal {amazing animals and plants!}

... where I had my pictorial with the yellow weeds.

Then it was time to visit another church, this time, the Notre Dame / Basilica
in Old Montreal, where Celine Dion got married. And true to form, someone
was getting married at the time of our visit, too!

As soon as we were getting out, we got trampled near the bride we ended
up sprinkled with rice, too {or grains!} and saw the group pictorial
outside and I spotted a super cute visitor. May he not come across this blog.

In the streets of Montreal.

In all its old world beauty, I am drawn forever to Canada's cultural capital that is Montreal.
"To go is not the same as to come back," as they say. One of the places I'd like to go back to is Montreal.

Hopefully in the next few years.

Love and happiness,