Yesterday, we started our tour with Scenic Tours with a short tour of Montreal. I need to modify some of my comments from the previous day as we found some quite interesting areas a little way out of the CBD and some very nice parks. At the top of Mount Royal is an extensive cemetery interspersed with parkland, bicycle tracks and walkways. It seems odd that people would go to such a place for a picnic, or an afternoon in the park, but it is one of the most popular outdoor places in Montreal. Our tour also included a visit to The Basilica of Notre Dame with its grand design and nicely decorated interior.
I found a camera store because I needed to buy a filter to protect my camera lens and asked about good photographic opportunities around town. The owner suggested an area known as the Latin Quarter. So, after our morning tour concluded, we caught a taxi up Rue St Denis to a little park with a central fountain and which appeared to be inhabited by dozens of homeless men. Around the park, and radiating out from it were a number of quaint streets with what we understand were typical Montreal houses. These were multi- storey houses with an external stairway. It seems that this stairway is rather impractical considering the cold weather, but it saves a lot of space inside.
Outside a number of homes, people had set up stalls and were selling their junk. I guess that it wasn’t really junk – more like bric a brac. It really does seem that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Many of these multi coloured houses had bicycles chained to the front fence so obviously lots of people here commute by bike.
Back along the main road, we stopped for a coffee at a rather quaint cafe. It was quite interesting to do a little ‘people watching’ as we enjoyed the sunny day. There were a lot of well dressed young couples with babies in prams, so we concluded that this was an inner urban area that is regenerating. The large number of nice restaurants and cafes in the area seemed to support this idea.
A short taxi ride got us back to our hotel in time for dinner and the need to pack in readiness for our trip onwards to Quebec tomorrow.