After a weekend trip to Montreal, Canada, I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite cities. What’s not to love about the city’s architecture? The various forms and shapes no doubt offer some aesthetically pleasing views for a candid tourist like myself. Add on the beautiful blue backdrop (aka the sky) and any photo you take is golden.
I absolutely love the design of the Montreal Tower inside Parc Olympique. The wide base gradually becomes narrower as the Tower soars into the sky. With the use of curves, this structure has a bold yet elegant look. Although the Tower was built back in 1976 alongside the stadium for the Summer Olympics, I find it very modern. In the afternoon, as I roamed through downtown Montreal, I came across Place Des Arts. This pyramid-like building cannot compete with the Tower but nonetheless offers a nice change from the usual city skyscrapers.
On my way to Notre-Dame Basilica, I walked into a local gift shop (my favorite thing to do when in a small town). Okay, I know Montreal is a big city and all but strolling through the streets, I sensed more of a laid-back atmosphere than the stereotypical fast-paced, loud and energetic city scene. If anything, Montreal reminded me of Lyon, France out of the few cities/countries I’ve been to outside the US. I felt very relaxed, not rushed, and eager to explore everything from landmarks and churches to restaurants and cafes (more on cafes later in the post). The place just outside Notre Dame has beautiful European buildings. When I was there, a band even set up their instruments under a tree and performed a few songs to the delight of all the tourists in this popular area. This, by the way, reminded me of street music in Paris.
For lunch, I already had an idea of what I was going to order. Before the trip to Montreal, I had made sure to ask a Canadian friend of mine about local foods to try because we can all agree that food is important. So taking her suggestion, I ordered the famous poutine, which is fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Then, taking the waiter’s suggestion, I also ordered nachos. The food was perfect and the view from my table on the balcony was even more so. The rest of that day was basically walking, walking, and more walking (exciting right?). Good thing I wore sneakers! As I walked along Vieux Port, I saw a board filled with Lego pieces. The only logical thing to do was, of course, run toward it. So I ran. Here’s what happened next… (see picture to the right) Not gonna lie, I was next to a five-year-old and her parents picking up Lego pieces from a bowl. No shame though. I enjoyed being a little girl again. There’s a part of childhood in everyone, eh?
Day 2 in Montreal started in the best way possible. I decided to “go local” and have breakfast at a Parisian-style cafe called Duc de Lorraine. This cafe is located in a quiet neighborhood near St. Joseph’s Oratory (which I conveniently visited right after). I sat outside to soak in some sun, feel the gentle breeze, breathe in fresh air, and watch the locals go about their mornings. As I waited for my cafe latte and Cote des Neiges pastry, it was the most peaceful I felt in a long time. Being a girl who loves big cities like New York and Los Angeles, it can be hard to realize that we all crave peacefulness and quietness once in a while. Thanks, cafe, for the reminder.
After breakfast (and unintentionally not giving tip to the waiter at first- I mean, no one showed me a tutorial on how to use those portable credit card machines), I climbed my way to the top of St. Joseph’s Oratory. When was the last time I entered a church as big as this one? I can’t quite remember. Maybe never. Anyway, the view from outside the church wasn’t bad either. I was on the top of a hill, admiring Montreal, the sky and the clouds. It was truly breathtaking. Wish I could’ve stayed in Montreal longer but off to Quebec City. Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend, xoxoxo KT