Quebec! La belle province! Montreal! Don’t worry, this won’t be written in French, or my butchered version of French, that would be too cruel for lovers of language. This week, I’m writing an urban piece, but it has a flavour of the outdoors about it. So bear with me, and we’ll take a trip…on y va!
We were lucky enough to visit Montreal last week. Mrs. PlaidCamper was presenting at a conference, someone had to carry her bags, and I secured that prestigious gig (just to be clear, Dr. PlaidCamper is more than capable of carrying her bags, but I’ll do anything to visit somewhere new…) I had never been to Quebec, never mind Montreal, and was curious to explore a new (to me) corner of Canada.
While Dr. PlaidCamper was making her contribution to global health, I started the day by making a contribution to my expanding waistline. Although I do believe a cup of great coffee and a flaky croissant is a health food if consumed without a cigarette. Obviously, Mrs. PlaidCamper is the expert on the health front, but I want to help, and this next bit is for the smokers of Montreal – stop it! There are far too many of you doing this, and you are too pleasant a bunch of people to want to self harm in this way. I think I passive smoked my way through at least a pack and a half…
When the smoke cleared – to be fair, the smoking is all outside (but it is hard to walk down a street without passing through clouds of exhaled smoke near the entrances of many buildings) – I set off for Mont Royal. I knew this to be a delightful park overlooking the city. It’s a place where urban dwellers get their outdoor fix, so I decided to head there to get my first real impression of Montreal, geographically speaking. The route I chose was delightful; mature trees shedding leaves in front of buildings far older and more architecturally interesting than I’d expected.
It is easy to find the park, looming over the city as it does. You catch glimpses at the far end of streets that rise toward the heavily forested hillside, with the huge cross and communications towers perched on top. Earlier, I had smiled to myself at the description of the hill as a mountain in some guidebooks. That seemed too grand a description. By the time I’d slogged my way to the top, via winding paths and seemingly endless wooden staircases, I was very happy to concede the title of mountain. It is steep enough, and an excellent workout if you’re so inclined, which I wasn’t, but it was an unexpected personal mini-triumph.
The air was clean, and heavily scented with leaf decay – far richer and earthier than alpine Alberta. It seemed to me a more familiar autumnal tang, reminding me of London and the parks I played in as a boy. Aroma driven nostalgia…autumn does that.
The views back down to the city and the St. Laurent river were wonderful. As autumn had hung on a little longer here, the leafy trees provided enticing and beguiling natural frames for taking photos of Montreal. I spent a while at the top, wandering wherever, and really enjoying the feeling of being in an almost wilderness – the green heart of a great metropolis. How wonderful for the people of Montreal to have this pleasant place, a beautiful space in the middle of their city. It was such a marvellous and colourful Montreal morning!
We are always grateful for the opportunities we get to travel and experience new places – it is energizing and rewarding to be able to do so. Thanks for reading. As ever, please feel free to share a story – maybe you have visited Montreal? – or make a comment, as they are always enjoyed and welcome, and keep your guy ropes secure.
13 thoughts on “My Montreal morning…merveilleux!”
Montreal looks like a beautiful place to visit, I have never been there. Love all the Fall colors and the beautiful city scenes. Thanks for sharing your fantastic experience and photos in this very lovely place.
It’s an interesting city to visit (too big for me to live in), and we’d like to go back and explore some more.
Glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you have a peaceful weekend.
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Hello PlaidCamper – thank you for this post and the beautiful photos of Autumn in Montreal – my favourite – Clean air and falling leaves. I am surprised that there are still so many smokers ……..
I’m glad you enjoyed this post! I think the photo you picked out is one of my favourites too.
It really was a surprise to see so many people smoking, and no fun to be a passive smoker…
Have a wonderful weekend!
I almost went to Montreal for a week one time, but chose to be dropped off in the NH wilds while the wife and kids went to the city. They enjoyed it, visiting cool museums and restaurants and sunshine while I was stuck for a week inside my tent waiting for the rain to stop so I could fish. Geesh. I should’ve gone to Montreal, maybe. Your colorful report suggests that, for a large urban area, it’s a wonderful place to visit. Those magnificent photos prove it. Thanks for this!
Ninety nine times out of one hundred, the tent is the right call…
Maybe you’ll head over to Montreal some day. I’ve been enjoying your European jaunts in BLAM, and I think Montreal would appeal to you (and there’s the bonus of a very short flight/drive compared to getting to France!) It feels more like a European city than a North American one.
We spent most of our time hitting the pavement, the weather being cooperative and all, so we hope to get back one day and take in a museum or two. Might be a microbrewery or three that we missed as well.
Have a great weekend!
Great sense of humour! They used to have drumming circles at Mount Royal, haven’t been there for decades but sure enjoyed the sights: full trees downtown with what looks like Mount Royal in the distance, the cross at Mount Royal, the quaint buildings. Since you got a good work-out, does that justify another croissant or bagguette?
I may have had another croissant (or two!) It’s a fine city to explore on foot, at least the area from Mont Royal down to Vieux Montreal, and if there are lots of cafes…oh well!
Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful weekend!
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Montreal! What an awesome city with great people, sights and food. My friends were there too for a recent conference (CHEST), small world plaidcamper! I haven’t been back there in some years, but thanks for the memories.
It’s a delightful city – can’t wait to visit again! Very happy this brought back some good memories for you.
I love Montreal! I’ve only been there for a day and a half, but it was so beautiful, I want to go back as soon as possible. Montreal was my language breaking point – I had used English, Finnish and French on the trip, but when returning to Toronto, I was broken and my brain confused which language should I use. So I ended up starting my sentence in Finnish when it should’ve been in English, speaking French to Toronto friends. 3 languages at once was too much for me.
I really enjoyed this walk through Montreal, pc, and your photos are truly wonderful. Whenever I go to cities, I, too, seem to always find my way to the parks, zoos, or outskirts. I bet Mrs. PC just loved your interpretation of a healthy meal…ha. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it! A vibrant city, well worth a visit, and the croissants are completely free of calories. No matter how many times I say that…
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