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Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

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Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

Hi Everyone,

Well it was our last day in Montreal and very busy too.

We started the day with breakfast at Pino on Crescent street. It was okay nothing special but did the job. After breakfast, we took the subway to old port.

We wish we took the subway sooner. It is very very easy to use, very clean and felt safe. If you are reading this and in the US, talk with your concierge, get a subway map and just use it.. it was a fantastic way to get around.

In our opinion it felt faster than the subway in NYC or Boston.. so we were joking calling it the "bullet". We were really very impressed with how clean it was.

When we arrived in old port, we headed right to the Basilica Notre Dame. From the outside it looked like a big church and nothing too special. It cost 5 dollars to get in. Once inside all I can say is WOW! I have been in many beautiful churces but words and pictures cannot describe the awe you feel when you step inside this church. This has to be seen by anyone visiting Montreal even if you aren't into churches.

We walked around and took many pictures.. the pulpit area was stunning... I am finding it hard to find the words to describe it.. I think it is something you have to see to understand.

After walking around, reading all the plaques and taking pictures we finished with stepping into the little prayer room located to the right of the entrance. We each prayed then lit a candle just outside of it before exiting the church.

We were very glad we paid the 5 dollars and went inside. This was probably the most amazing thing we experienced in Montreal.

I believe the 5 dollars goes towards restoration costs so it is definitely for a good purpose.

After leaving the church, we headed to the water. We walked along the "boardwalk" so to speak. I am not sure what Montrealers call this area. We looked at the St. Laurence and the boats. There were people in the park sitting on the side of a wall dipping their feet into a man made area using the St. Laurence water. It was a very nice day. We wished we had our own boat to chill on for awhile..

We ended up buying tickets on Le Bateau Mouche which is a boat that takes you for a tour around the islands. We had some time prior to leaving so we continued our walk along the river.

We came upon a clock tower at the end of the walking area. It looked like Big Ben. You can actually climb to the top for free. It's about 200 stairs up and definitely a challenge.. :) but so worth it.. We climbed the tower and from the top you can see very far. We took many pictures of the city and the river and the boats from the top.

Now it was time to go on Le Bateau Mouche. We walked all the way back and boarded the boat. It couldn't be a better time as we really needed the hour rest after walking the clock tower etc..

We were a little disappointed after boarding because most of the boat was enclosed not open. We were able to find a nice seat along a window so just relaxed as we slowly moved along the river.

The tour was ok.. and we were able to take pictures through the windows. Hoping they come out. They also served drinks and food if you would like too. I would say, if you are someone who would prefer to be out of the sun this would be a good tour for you.

If you would like to go on a boat and be in the open air, try to find another tour. There was nothing worng with it, it was just enclosed.

After our boat tour we walked back to the subway and decided to visit Little Italy. We went to the "Marche Jean Talon" which is a huge farmers market. It realy is neat to see. We wished we were closer to driving home because we would have loved to buy some things. We walked around and also tried a crepe while we were there. We then ventured out around the neighborhood.. walked along St. Laurent and to the Parc Petite Italie.

We aren't sure if we perhaps didn't find the correct area, but there was not much there compared to other Little Italy areas we have visited in Boston, New York and New Haven. Still it was neat to see. In Montreal, we noticed that they have many winding staircases leading to the houses. We took a few pictures throughout our stay. It is very unique.

We made our way back from Little Italy to our hotel. It was about 6pm at that time. We relaxed a bit then got ready for dinner.

We were in the mood for mexican so went to Los Tios on Crescent. It was not terrible.. but not terrific...we've had better but we have certainly have had worse too. Anyway, after dinner we headed back to the hotel to call it a last day.

We had a great time in Montreal. If we ever come back we would stay exactly in the same place we are today, the Loews Vogue Hotel. Loews is in the perfect location.. it is close to the subway, close to St. Catherines and around the corner from Crescent street.

We are off to Quebec City today... there will be more reviews in that forum for our stay there.

Thanks to all the travel forum experts for your input and helping us with our trip!

Montreal, Canada
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1. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

So glad your Sunday turned out fun!

I was in Old Montreal (sort of, not the touristy area) on a beach party... we routinely had to take cover indoors because of the pouring rain. Urgh what a day! But it can't be helped!

Little Italy is not so big, you're right. It's popular for restaurants or pastry shops but otherwise it's not much to walk though. Neither our chinatown or our Little Italy can hold a candle to NYC, i'll give you that.

Jean-Talon market however is fun even if you dont buy anything. I like to go during mango season and eat practically 1lbs of free mango samples from each stall. Of course, by the time you've finished your round you dont really know who had the best. Then you just buy apples because you're sick of mangos by now.

The proceeds from the entrance fees do go to the restauration and maintenance of the church, i believe i saw it wirtten somewhere. Over here, we have a LOT of churches, it's crazy! But recently many of them have closed because they are too expensive to maintain.

Unfortunately, good mexican is hard to almost impossible to find in Montreal. I don't believe we have a large population of mexican immigrants that could be why. At least we have almost every other kind of cuisine!

Hope you had fun and (if you're not home already) have a safe trip back!

Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

I will chime in but almost just to do a follow up on Sylve684.

First I want to thank you for your trip reports, they are very interesting and having them everyday is great since we still can interact, and that entails some of your time not focused on your vacation, so thank you again.

Yes good Mexican food is a rarity in Mtl, I know of one of two places out of the way that are actually run by Mexicans that do a good job but that's it. Hope that you will not feel for Chinese or Mexican food again in Qc, there it will be very difficult! Speaking of food I hope that you have or will make reservation at Le Parlementaire in our Assemblé Nationale for one of your lunch. Contemporay Québécois cuisine with the best products of the land at very smooth prices.

Yes Little Italy has not the charm of the ones in other towns but there are two great places that you probably missed Quincaillerie Dante and Épicerie Milano that offer all things Itlian. Also this is the old Little Italy but there is another one farther east that is absolutely charmless but is more patronized by our Italian population.

Bateau-Mouche, yes it is enclosed so the best time to take it is for the dinner cruise with the sunset etc. And the food is very good.

Glad that you managed to visit Notre-Dame basilica because I was very late yesterday to chime in and strongly suggest a visit.

Nowawaiting your TR with the rest of your adventures in "La Belle Province"!

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

Hi Sunryz710,

Welcome to the MONTREAL TRAVEL FORUM.

Another great TripReport… again thanks for sharing.

Sounds like your last day was amazing… sadly though I see that you only discovered some of the “best bits” about Montreal on your last day here (but at least you found them)…. so no doubt will be inspired to come back again in the future.

The Metro – Montreal’s amazing subway system… it was ahead of its time when it opened for Expo 67 in the 1960s and it remains head & shoulders above everything else available (because it is now just part of the “landscape” that is the city, Montrealers don’t see what all the fuss is about… but once you live in the city and move elsewhere… you miss it dearly). As you say… amazingly fast, safe, clean and reliable!

Churches - Notre Dame Basilica is indeed truly stunning… and unique in that it is both a religious building, but also a “living” history of Montreal, what she was, who were her people, and what they did. Something that in the time when she was constructed was important because back then the Catholic Church in Quebec was both Religion, Community and Education (remember most did not read & write… so the illustrations of the church told both Christ’s and the community’s story). Infact many of the churches in Montreal are head and shoulders above others I have seen elsewhere… a combination of the French Catholic influence and a European craftsmanship (and ideas)… even the Protestant Churches are gorgeous (the Anglican – Christ Church Cathedral comes to mind). If you ever return, plan on visiting some of the others… Mary Queen of the World for example, which is patterned after St Peters in Rome is truly stunning also.

Old Montreal – Historic and quaint… and for the record (because it has come up before)… the whole area is called Old Montreal… the Old Port area is part of Old Montreal (not the other way around).

The Old Port – That sort of boardwalk area that you spoke of, was once part of the piers and warehousing area… now turned into a showcase of entertainment (this is where Cirque de Soleil sets up their big tent) and also where you’ll find the Science Museum... and as you discovered, just some great places to chill out on a summer's day.

The Montreal Clock Tower (aka The Sailors Memorial Clock) is a landmark that commemorates the many Canadian Sailors who gave their lives during WWI. And the fact that it reminds you of Big Ben no coincidence… it was made in England by decendents of the same company.

Boats – Yes boating is HUGE in this part of the world (lol, as were no doubt some of the yachts you saw)… all that incredible water… one can sail away from Montreal and do the Great Loop (the inland Waterways down to Florida, or over to the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico). I for one am hoping that Mr Wine and I will do such a trip after we retire and downsize from house to condo… and also buy a boat and live on the water vs here in the city core (I've give up asphalt highways for water ones anyday).

Montreal Staircases – This style of architecture (row housing) is unique to Montreal… with most 3 story walk-ups having porches on the first floor, galleries on the second, and balconies on the third. Another thing that every ex-Montrealer misses about the city… great architecture, huge inexpensive rentals, and sitting out on a hot summers night chatting with many many neighbours (because of the design, you can easily chit chat across a short space).

Here are some great websites that you can refer to to reminisce and learn more about the city and her attractions…

Wikipedia – Old Montreal = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Montreal

Wikipedia – Old Port of Montreal = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Port_of_Montreal

Wikipedia – Notre Dame Basilica = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notre-Dame_Basilica_(Montreal)

Wikipedia – Architecture of Montreal = …wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture_of_Montreal

In fact I find that Wikipedia (although not perfect) does list a lot of great places… so a great way to see and learn something about a place you have / or are going to visit(ed).

And lastly, here is one of the best (photo pictorial) websites dedicated to Montreal… it is a true gem, and the creator is also a TA Member and stops by from time-to-time… this website truly says it all (a picture really is worth a 1000 words)…

A Love Letter to Montreal = www.lovelettertomontreal.com

Hope you have a great visit to Quebec City… I look forward to reading those TripReports as well.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Montreal, Canada
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4. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

We are awaiting your TR tomorrow Sunryz710, yes really I want to know of what you feel about Qc.

Wine4-2, if you ant to charter a decent yacht, let's say 100 + feet it will cost you around $100,000 per week, not including booze, food and tips!

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

TO RICKB,

Lol, 100+ Feet... baby wow... you have spent too many days in the sun looking at BIG yachts (recalling that you once were a regular on the FLORIDA TRAVEL FORUMS).

I was thinking more of something in the 25 to 35 Foot Range... as they say... Sits 6, Feeds 4, Sleeps 2 !! Win the lotto and I'll knock it up into the 40s... and it will have a loo.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

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6. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

Eating on crescent st? No wonder you were not impressed by the food !

Montreal, Canada
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7. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

Wine not only looking on them, working on them too up to 150 feet with a crew of 15 for 12 guests,

8. Re: Day 3 Trip Report- 7-18-10-Great ending to our stay!

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