Montreal Day 4

Originally published: 10/24/2004; 5:39:01 PM

Back to “Day 3, Montreal”.

Jeff on Mont Royal

10/24/2004. Today was our last day together in Montreal. We woke up and had yet another fine breakfast at our auberge. Jim and the rest of the staff at this B&B are extremely friendly and helpful. We’ll definitely be back some day.

We took a morning stroll up to Notre Dame to do some souvenir shopping for the kids and to try to change some traveller’s checks. The banks were closed and the change offices were charging too much so we hit the ATM. It was kind of weird putting in my normal ATM card and seeing the machine spit out Canadian dollars.

We snagged a cab, said goodbye to our hosts, and made our way to the Delta Centreville–my home for the next four days of the Documentum conference. What a difference between the two hotels! On one hand, a building in the heart of old Montreal built a century or two ago run by a family not unlike mine. On the other, a huge, boring hotel identical to any other you’ve ever seen and more expensive, for that matter. I’ll take small, independent, family owned-and-operated every time.

Christy and I climbed Mount Royal today. Parc Mont-Royal is a huge 494-acre park right in the middle of the city. It was designed by the same guy (Frederick Olmsted) who did Central Park and others in Chicago and Boston. It is much bigger than I had anticipated. We strolled up the mountain on a broad path which we shared with many others out enjoying their Sunday.

At the top was a large chalet with an expansive patio overlooking the city below. Many people were hanging around, chatting, petting their dogs and whatnot. Not far from the chalet was a large duck pond called Beaver Lake which freezes over in the winter to provide an outdoor ice skating rink.

Christy on Mont Royal

After checking out the huge metal cross, we scampered down the side of the mountain by taking a more direct, rustic trail to save time. We snagged lunch at Ben’s deli–smoked meat again! This time, we added swiss cheese and I had a bowl of French Onion soup. The soup was great. The sandwiches were good too but not as good as Schwartz’s.

We grabbed Christy’s bags and went to the central train station to pick up the airport shuttle. Unfortunately, Christy’s shuttle was going to be 30 minutes late due to mechanical trouble so we said our goodbyes and she grabbed a cab.

Montreal is a wonderful city. We saw a lot and had a great time. But there are sights left to see for next time…