06.05.2017 - 08.05.2017
Arrived in Montreal on a cool, wet Saturday (6/5) morning disembarking the ship about 9.45 am. We took a taxi to our AirBNB in the La Plateau area, dropped off our bags and went for a walk to check out the neighborhood. The street our apartment is in, Rue St Hubert, is residential. Just two and three story apartments buildings in the typical (we've learned) Montreal style. But just around the corner it changes and the streets are full of restaurants, cafes, bars and convenience stores. We had lunch (brunch) in a cosy and popular "L'Gros Luxe", did some laundry at one of many laundromats in the area and then "checked in" to our apartment. What a great apartment it is. Its a basement apartment but newly renovated and decorated in an an industrial but modern way. We love it.
A nice dinner at "Brochetterie Alexandre", a Italian influenced restaurant nearby, accompanied by a bottle of wine from the shop next door, finished up a good first day in Montreal. Interestingly, most of the restaurants in Montreal are BYO. Apparently liquor licenses here are expensive so most small restaurants don't bother and they don't charge corkage either. Unusual, but good to find in this part of the world.
On Sunday 7/5 we decided to do a food "tasting and cultural" walking tour in "The Mile End". The weather was cold and windy with occasional light rain, not the best for walking around the streets, but our guide Francoise made it very interesting and the places we visited were unique. We ate a vegan falafel (tasty), a delicious bagel from St-Viateur Bagel (the only good bagel I have ever tasted), gnocchi with "authentic Italian pasta sauce" (good), chartecurie (deli meats and cheeses) from "Boucherie Lawrence" chocolate from "Chocolats Genevieve Grandbois", "Montreal's finest chocolate" and wonderful Ice cream from "Kem Coba". Included in the tour was a visit to the historic and warm Rialto Theatre.
Full, tired and cold at the end so we spent the afternoon relaxing and watching golf on TV. Didn't feel like going out for dinner so scrambled eggs on toast and an early night.
Monday 8/5 was a cold day with a predicted maximum of 5o and when the weather report on TV said "4o feels like -1" we didn't want to leave the house. But we did. We decided to go to Old Montreal. We caught an Uber to the "Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal" and a magnificent building it is.
After that we wandered the streets of Old Montreal enjoying the wonderful old buildings and narrow streets. But it was cold, in some parts too cold so we didn't stay outside long. We had a nice lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area and then rushed back home to the warmth and comfort of our apartment. Wine and cheese for dinner tonight I think.
We have learnt that it is probably too early to visit this part of the world but if you do, be prepared for the cold. We weren't really. It's hard to have the right combination of clothes for a golf holiday, a Caribbean cruise and then this.
Anyway, tomorrow morning we leave Montreal and fly to New York City for the last leg of our trip. Hopefully it will be warmer in NYC.