C’est tres chaud au Montreal. HOT-HOT-HOT!
The great way to explore Montreal is with the Bixi rental. Bike stands throughout the city, you rent from one location, then simply drop off the bikes at your destination at another stand. Brilliant, along with the multitude of bike paths throughout the city thoroughfares. In two days, we saw more of Montreal than most tourists see in a week, and learned just how hilly this city is in parts.
Our first day we rode to the summit of Mont-Royal Park on a steamy, hazy day. On our journey we passed through Chinatown, the city centre, McGill University (VERY steep hills) on our way to the summit of the park, overlooking the city towards the St. Lawrence River. We then visited St. Joseph’s Oratory, walking up the 300 steps to the basilica, one pilgrim kneeling her way up while saying the rosary each step. Bless her patience on a 90-degree day! 2.5 hours biking, about 8 miles walking including our evening out.
Yesterday we biked to still-standing by sad looking Olympic Park remains then returned the bikes for a 4-hour exploration of the incredible Botanical Gardens. Indescribable heat, indescribable beauty.
We saw all types of people who live and visit this city, invisible to those who only follow the tourist routes: the pinstripes, the dock workers, the 10-am beer drinkers, the haggard, the joyous, the crackheads, the explorers, the day campers, the bikers, the goth, the hidden, the am shower-takers-in-the-fountain-wearing-bra-and-shorts, the squeegie beggars, the fashionistas, the hikers, the photographers, the lost, the innocents wallowing in a pool off the deck, the phone talkers, the ipod listeners, the man in the wheelchair scooter–just how and why was he just watching us in the abandoned grassy area, the taxi drivers, the sweaty paper delivery man, the drug dealers and users, the hippies, the found.
We hiked, we biked, we climbed steps, we breathed in deeply in air conditioning, we ate hungrily after our sweats, we explored, we drank beers et du vin apporter to the restaurants, we shopped, we opened our eyes to the forgotten corners of the alleyways and quais. An incredibly cosmopolitan city with many areas of outdoor cafes and clubs (I think we saw ALL of them in 3 days), we could barely skim the depth of it. A return trip is needed for that. And the purchase of some man-capris, which abound here. C