As promised here is the first installment on our trip. We arrived right on time and moved quickly through customs but even so it took an hour to get to our hotel, leaving us with only ten minutes to spare before the fireworks were to start. We ever so briefly oowed and ahhed at how nice our hotel was(nelligan). Threw down our bags and walked to the river following the crowds. We were rewarded with great fireworks. We returned home to unpack and crashed by midnight. Awoke to a pleasant warm day instead of the promised rain. Breakfasted in the hotel and headed out to the information place to get our museum/transit passes. They were $80/ a piece but as the transportation and attractions we wanted to see would be much more individually it was worth it for us. Once in hand we took the metro to the Olympic park and went up the tower for great views of the city. Next we went to the new planetarium. There was some confusion regarding the times for the English version if the show but we decided to just go to the French show Continuum. Well it hardly mattered as there were no words! Enjoyed it a lot. The next show was the one where it mattered and we weren't planning to go to that as we have our own live in astronomer. We grabbed a snack in the cafeteria. The biosphere followed. The penguins were our favorite. Four different climates were well represented. We then walked across the park to the gardens. We were blown away by the amazing sculptures. We had never seen such creations! Spectacular! And lots of them. We ran out of energy before we could see everything. I'd wished we'd gone their first thing. We returned home proud of ourselves for negotiating the metro, and very tired. After a nap we readied ourselves for a blow out dinner at Europa. We had a bus completely all to ourselves. Our hotel was very close to the 715 line which went most of the places we needed to go. The meal lasted over three hours and was quite the show. We counted 12 extra courses. The fish dishes were the best. We thought many were not as well spiced as we liked but it was worth the price for the experience. They kindly accommodated my vegetarianism. Just a little bland to us. Desserts were delicious. Cheese, macaroons, choc pops, fresh hot Madelines, smoothies-yum. We waddled home glad for the mile and a half walk! Very lovely first day! Montreal is a very pretty city.
We woke too early to meet our guide Nadia at central information. We walked all though downtown. Wandered through the underground malls which go on for over 20 miles. Saw the insides of several beautiful banks. The World Trade Center is not to be missed, (my next wedding will be there) St. Patrick's basilica, learned the difference between a cathedral and a basilica, Notre Dame, old town squares. Picked up our tickets for the light and sound show. All very interesting and fun. Our guide was pleasant, and informative. Very ready for a break, we lunched on the terrace of the Pointe-a-Calliere museum. Lovely view and good food. Great place for lunch! Rain came down hard forcing us to finish inside. The museum has an exhibit of tea, history of Montreal, and the Beatles. The building itself was very cool. Lovely way to spend a rainy afternoon! We had planned a boat ride next but bailed out for some of us to rest. Jacob to the gym. Only two days into the trip we have eaten way to much. Tonight we planned to eat at the hotel restaurant Verses and then walk around the old town looking for action ! So far we are all in agreement that this is a good place to visit. Tomorrow mcgill, and art.