Friday, October 31, 2014

September 19th and 20th: Goodbye Toronto, Hello Montreal

As much as we were having fun in Toronto, we had to leave the next day. It was time to go to Montreal!

We were determined to eat as many tasty meat pies as we could while we had the chance, so we stopped back at the meat pie place for breakfast. They wound up getting more lammingtons while we were there, so Mark bought me one. (Lammingtons are a New Zealand dessert; it's super tasty sponge cake covered in chocolate and shredded coconut.) Between the lammington and the flat white, it was like being back in New Zealand for a minute there!   :)

After breakfast we went back to the apartment, packed up our stuff, and after finding out the hard way that the garage door opener needed a new battery, left. I somehow didn't take any decent pictures from the drive, but it wasn't really that exciting anyway; it took five or six hours to get to Montreal and we stopped at a random rest stop for lunch along the way. We made it to Montreal a bit earlier than we planned, so we called the guy who we were renting an apartment from and he was able to meet up with us earlier.

Airbnb came through again...this place was insane!! It turned out we were staying in a very exclusive building right in downtown Montreal; the owner said that a few football and hockey players live in the building because they like the privacy. You have to swipe a key to get into almost everything (including the elevator), so I can certainly see why! We spent a little while getting settled in, then went out to go find dinner.

These cool fountains were fairly close to the apartment. We wound up having dinner at a Portuguese tapas place right across from them, which was pretty good, before heading back to the apartment for the night. 

The next morning we walked down the street to grab breakfast at the Green Cafe...

...before heading out for some sightseeing. This is the Notre-Dame Basilica. They had tours through the inside, but if I remember right they were a little pricey so we decided to skip it.

We wandered through Old Montreal for a little while and eventually ended up in a park near the river.

There was a pretty sweet view of the skyline. I liked how the Notre-Dame was just tucked in with all the modern buildings.

Between the narrow streets and style of the buildings, Old Montreal really does have the feel of a European city. Though I'm guessing not many European cities have bright yellow Ford Mustang convertibles in the streets. We spent an hour or two wandering in a bunch of little shops, markets, and art galleries, and wound up buying a painting.

We also wandered past the Hôtel de Ville de Montréal: City Hall.

On our way out of Old Montreal we stopped at Olive & Gourmando and grabbed some coffee and pastries to take back to the apartment. It's supposed to be the best bakery in the city and it was mobbed! Everything was really good, though, but after stuffing our faces we figured we could use some exercise.

A good bit of walking later, we were in Parc du Mont-Royal, It's a really nice (and huge) park right in the middle of the city.

If you climb a whoooole bunch of stairs, you can get a pretty sweet view of the skyline.

There was a nice open area at the top of the stairs; lots of people were hanging out up there. We hung out for a little while, too, before making our way back to the apartment through the shopping district. We had dinner at a nearby Italian place which had good food but almost laughably slow service.

The guy who we were renting the apartment from had told us about a nearby fountain that we should go check out at night, so we took his suggestion and walked the couple blocks to Place Jean-Paul Riopelle to check out La Joute (the Joust - the name of the fountain).

After a little while it made sense why he told us to check it out...the fountain catches on fire! It was pretty cool. We hung out for a little while before heading back to the apartment for the night.

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