Day 48 – 26th August (Mont-Tremblant to Montreal)

Breakfast was just as bad chaos-wise. Shame, as apart from that, we’ve really enjoyed our stay here, despite the slight weirdness.

The weather took a decided turn for the worse:

As we set off, the rain let up a bit, but the weather for the first hour of driving was atrocious. Torrential rain, spray and some really dodgy driving (not by me, of course). Required a lot of concentration. Fortunately, it cleared up with about an hour to go.

Entering the outskirts of Montreal was, er, fun. Horrible traffic, lots of pushing in, hooting and general bad behaviour, but Google Maps did us proud once again.

Managed to park the car about 100 yards from the front of the hotel, and checked in quickly. The receptionist was clued-up, but the guy who went to collect the car clearly wasn’t – see later.

Whilst we were waiting for our bags, we visited the concierge desk to find out about our usual go-to tactic when in a new city – a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. They couldn’t book it on their system, but directed us where to go to get tickets. He also gave us a lot of useful info about places to go in Montreal.

Had a coffee and snack in a chichi artisan café in the hotel, booked a table in one of the hotel restaurants for dinner tonight and went out for a quick walk. Managed to find the booking office for the bus tour and purchased two 48-hour tickets (we have two full days here).

On very short acquaintance, I think I’m going to like this place.

View from our room
Impressive building – don’t know what it is yet
Basilica Marie Reine du Monde partially obscured by street furniture
Inside the basilica
Roof of the basilica
Main cupola
Very fancy altar
Other side of aforementioned impressive building
Our hotel

Got back to our room, to find that our bags hadn’t yet arrived. A few phone calls solved the problem. The guy who parked the car in the underground car park had left our bags in the car, despite being told that there was ample baggage therein. They were subsequently brought up by a very affable bellman, who took the trouble to explain the room and ask if we had any questions. Not yet, but I’m sure there will be.

Discovered that, for once, this room has a fantastic shower! Tall enough, hot enough and powerful enough. Magic. Doesn’t happen as often as it should. Another one of these things that are important, you know….

Our meal in the restaurant was excellent, if expensive. The place was absolutely buzzing – a great atmosphere on a Friday night in Montreal. Again, as so many French speakers were around, it reminded me so much of having dinner in a good Parisian restaurant.

Plan tomorrow is to do the full round on the bus tour without getting off just to get more of a feel for this city – it has a lot more history than most other Canadian cities. Hopefully then we can decide where to go and what to do.

I trust it will be interesting enough for you to join us in our exploration of Montreal.

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