Montreal Day 25 & 26
Monday (Day 25): I got lucky again as it was another beautiful day here in Montreal. This morning was our walking tour of Montreal. We were pleasantly surprised as it was also a food tour, hence the tour name the Flavours of Montreal (none of us picked up on it being a food tour). Our guide took us in the metro into Old town to about 4 different places to taste home grown Montréal food. Our first stop was a little bakery for macaroons and coffee - I had apricot and lemon macaroons..mmmmm. Then it was onto an ice-creamery specialising in Maple gelato. Surprise, surprise, they didn't have any maple gelato today (fine by me), but I had chocolate (made with Maple sugar and I couldn't taste it!!). Then onto my favourite tasting....CHEESE!! They had the most delicious brie (pseudo Brie as they actually can't call it Brie as it is trademarked, like Champagne) I have ever tasted (pity I can't bring it back with me). We also tasted cheddar which as good too. Our last stop was a deli for a liver paté and duck confit tasting. The duck confit was delicious (of course it is not good for me - the deli is Marche De LaVillette, 324 rue St-Paul Ouest, just for anyone who may visit Montreal). Our guide also took us to Jacques Cartier Sq, the Bank of Canada (for the architecture) and the world trade centre - which standing outside you wouldn't think it was much, but you walk through the foyer to a lane way they incorporated inside the building (sounds weird, but looked incredible).
After this excursion, I had the exciting job of doing my laundry while most went off to the Botanical Gardens. I got a little homesick while waiting for my washing as a Crowded House song came on the radio. I then kind of crashed after this (I think I have been getting too much sun and a hell of a lot of food - it is making me weary).
I then farewelled the people from the tour who were heading off to Halifax - now I am all alooone - it feels kind of weird when you have been practically living in 45 other people's pockets for a week - but I thoroughly enjoyed my tour.
Tuesday (Day 26): Back on my own, I took off to visit St Josephs Oratory (needed pictures, but not after a little sleep). This place is HUGE. Ok folks time for your facts and history lesson. The dome is the 3rd largest in the world. Brother Andre was a Holy Cross Brother who built small chapel at the base of Mont Royal. With the growing congregation a demand for a larger church was necessary. One was built on 1917, but in 1924 the construction of the Oratory began. It was not finished until 1967 (30 years after Brother Andre's death). Brother Andre has been credited with many miracles. He was beatified in 1982, and approved for sainthood in February 2010. He will be canonized on October 17 2010 (along with Mary MacKillop). OK lesson over.
After this, my luck ran out with the weather and it rained. Had to go back to the hotel to get y umbrella, but was off again to see McGill University up close. As it was raining, didn't hang around much so went back down Av McGill College to view photographs taken from the William Notman studio between 1860 and 1935. In 1999 Andrzej Maciejewski took on the challenge of re-photographing the same locations, here the original and Andrzej photos are here side by side as a comparison. It was interesting to see what has changed and what hasn't.
From here I went back to Old town for a stroll and to take some more pix of Jacques Cartier Sq. The tree colours are just starting to turn and there was a really pretty row of trees just off the square (I hope it shows in the picture I have posted).
It was starting to get a little chilly so I decided to do what desperately needed to be done (other than my washing yesterday) was to get my hair coloured and it just so happens that there was a salon across the road from my hotel.
As I am leaving Montreal and Canada behind tomorrow, I have had to repack tonight, so I better get back to it.
Blog yers lata....