Friday, November 18, 2011


I've visited Montréal a few times and it is an wonderful multinational city. For me it felt like I drove to Europe. The French influence is most predominantly there but there are other cultural influences as well.

Montréal is pronounced in French with a silent t and sounds like mohre'al. It takes it's name from the hill in the middle of the city Mont-Royal.

Arriving at Quebec (pronounced kaybek) you pass through customs at the border station.

Welcome to Quebec.

We stayed at the Marriott Spring-Hill Suites on Saint-jean-baptiste in vieux Montréal. I highly recommend this hotel.

Just around the corner there are many shops and restaurants on Rue Saint Paul, seen here is Vieux-Port Steakhouse and Le Keg is just off to the left.  We tried both and the ambiance and coziness of each was wonderful.  I would recommend the Baseball Top Sirloin at Le Keg and the Shish-taouk and Escargot at Vieux-Port.
Le Keg on UrbanspoonVieux-Port Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Some of the shops have some very unique items

As you can see by my wife's expression it was quite chilly when we took a walk down to Le Vieux-Port.

These ships docked outside the Montréal Science Center looked like they wouldn't be moving for some time.

This fog obscured the high-rises in about 30 minutes, giving a very serene feeling.

Boutiques at night.

There is beautiful architecture everywhere including the Basilique Notre-Dame - built 1829

the Hôtel de Ville de Montréal (Montréal City Hall) - built 1872-1878 in the Second Empire style

even the Bank of Montréal  head office located in Place d' Armes - built 1847

The trip was not complete without a visit to Schwartz's Deli for "the best" smoked meat!
Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Marché Atwater (Atwater Market) is a farmers market at 138 Atwater Ave which has many boutiques, some selling meat,

 some fruits and vegetables,

many varieties of bread, as well as wines, cheeses, and gourmet foods from all over the world.

Just up the road we stopped at the Green Spot and had some of their delicious Poutine.
Green Spot on Urbanspoon

Christ's Church Cathedral - built 1857 -1860 now sits above 2 levels of underground retail stores. A small part of Montreal's - largest in the world - underground city La Ville Souterraine which encompasses 12 km2, has 32 km of tunnels and more than 120 exterior access points.

heading home in a snowstorm on Autoroute 15

Heading back to the U.S.A. there is usually a long wait, and a high probability of being searched.

A-15 behind us and I-87 in front of us at the Lacolle Border Crossing or Champlain Border Crossing as it is known on the U.S.A. side. Security has been increased since we crossed and now passports are required for all travelers in and out of country.

Back in the United States of America, the road signs are still close enough to have a French influence.