THE LATEST THINKING
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Exploring a great Canadian city!
It's crazy, but I am actually getting a tan on our northern exploration vacation! I have more color than I do living in the south because I'm able to get out in the sun and just exist outside without a constant stream of air conditioning blasting in my face. I love it, although I'm also very tired and ready to go home.
After our hike in last week's article, we drove to our friend's apartment in Montreal, where we stayed for the next several days. It was nice to have some stability and not need to pack up our stuff after a night or two.
The first fun thing we did was hike up Mont Royal, which is a nice park and where Montreal actually gets its name. There are two ways to get up the hill, one is several hundred stairs -- one review on Trip Advisor actually stated 339, although I'd have lost count long before then -- and the other is a 2km walk up a gentle slope. The stairs are more direct, but we have an arthritic poodle and a dachshund mix who shouldn't strain themselves on too many stairs, so we opted for the windy path. This was more scenic as it went by a lake with picnic tables and a small walkway circling it.
You can see quite far from the overlook:
We also tried Montreal style bagels from the two famous bakeries, Fairmount and St-Viateur. I tried the "all dressed" which is similar to everything but with some added spices. They were pretty good, but I prefer New York style bagels. I thought Fairmount was better but it was very close between them.
Next we went to the botanical gardens. I will never say no to visiting botanical gardens. I'm pretty sure I was a gardener or something like that in a past life. The new Chinese gardens were opening the following day, but they did have some of them open and we really enjoyed what we could see. I would love to check out their tea house when it's open.
Here are a couple of pictures:
There were Japanese gardens as well that explained about the tea ritual and some other cultural aspects, similar to the Fort Worth Japanese gardens. I found it interesting that they had a First Nations garden, with some artifacts on display, including a history museum within the botanical gardens. There were also flowers galore of course. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
We then walked the dogs to Old Montreal, which, much like Old Quebec City, is downhill from the main downtown part of the city, although technically Montreal's City Hall is part of the old town. It was fun to check it out and there are many interesting things you can see from the waterfront.
I enjoyed my time in Montreal, but more adventures await!
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