Monday, July 29, 2013

Belated Friday five: Montreal in 36 hours.

Five ways to enjoy Montreal in 36 hours, in no particular order:
  • Stay at a funky little Air B&B in an artsy borough on the east side.  Like Uncle Erwin, our host Stephanie was really nice and helpful.
parting tea gift from Mlle Stephanie

Unlike at Uncle Erwin's, though, Stephanie's room was centrally located to east side attractions...

like the home of the 1976 summer Olympics

... and the city is small enough that it didn't really matter much, anyway.  (Bonus: the room wasn't in a dark, damp basement and we had a real kitchen where we could cook, and two balconies where we could eat meals.)
  • Have fun exploring (both east and west) by foot and by their vast network of underground subways.  The east side is a bit artsy...
"our" street 

where the trees have no names, but talk to you

 ... the west side has a downtown historic/financial-district-ish area and a small Chinatown, Latin Quarter and Little Italy (we mostly found restaurants in these boroughs, but the intermixed row homes and quirky little shops were interesting).

street aht

overhead aht
seriously, naps in city parks might 
become our new afternoon routine
  • Skip the $30 botanic gardens (unless you have time and cash - it looked pretty amazing) but wander around the outside and stop by the "scratch and sniff" walkway.  Designed for the visually impaired but open to everyone, this free exhibit lets you see, touch, and smell various herbs, spices, and flowers as they grow.  We left with aromas of verbena, curry, sage, and mint on our fingers - and growling in our stomachs. 
 anti-"no touching!"

  •  Have lunch in legendary Parc du Mont Royal, then walk up a bazillion stairs (okay, 256) to Kondiaronk Lookout and enjoy the panoramic view.  (Don't forget to thank The Universe for stopping the rain that threatened your only day in Montreal.)

 avec vue
But the real unsolicited advice is this: figure out how to spend at least three more days in Montreal.  Patrick's pre-arranged flight from Quebec City to Portland for his best friend's wedding meant we arrived Monday afternoon and left early Wednesday morning.  So we will add Montreal to the ever-growing list of places to visit again on our way back to Portland... whenever that is... and move right along.

1 comment:

  1. one time i went fishing with this guy in West Virginia. the plan was to drift down the Shenandoah in float tubes from behind his cabin to a boat ramp down the road where i had left my truck.
    "it's only two miles. we'll be out by lunch time, even if we pause to fish the pools."
    we started at 6AM and fished these garlic scented plastic grubs which made us VERY hungry. at 4PM we emerged from the water, starving, and loaded the tubes into my truck to drive the two miles back to his car.
    "i can't understand how that took ten hours! it's only two miles!!"
    later that night when i got home i pulled up that section of the river on Google™. while it's true that there was only a two mile stretch of road, the river was a series of long 'S'-shaped bends running back and forth perpendicular to the road, thus explaining the ten-hour odyssey.