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Monday, June 19, 2017

Montreal, Quebec - What a Great City!

What a great city--Montreal is celebrating its 375th birthday!  It is a city under construction with multiple highway construction projects. We stayed at a great little bed and breakfast outside the city so we had the chance to experience Montreal traffic every day as we entered and exited the city. 

While Montreal is the second largest largest city in Canada, it is one of top five largest French speaking cities in the world. We never had a problem though as most people were bilingual. We did fine with our very basic French and their rudimentary to excellent English.  I laugh because the infamous joke about what you call a person who can speak three languages? Trilingual.  Two languages? Bilingual.  One language? American.  This seemed so appropriate.

Montreal is built on a 30 mile long island along the convergence of the St Laurence and Ottawa rivers. The city is named after Mount Royal the triple peaked hill in the heart of the city, a whopping 764 feet above sea level. The flag of Montreal has a fascinating history with respect to the different components that make it up. Click here if you'd like to learn more.

Montreal is a foodie's city, so many great places to eat and trust us, we tried! One thing Montreal is famous for is smoked meat, bagels, poutine, etc. Regarding poutine though, it didn't click. We love french fries, gravy and cheese curds, all separately but together - meh. Their definition of smoked meat is very different from ours, think pastrami vs a Texas style brisket--a great taste but different smoking / cooking styles. 

Montreal is a melting pot filled with really friendly people, cultures and so many things to do.  We'll be back. Our two days touring the city zipped right by!

A double decker bus tour of the city is a great way to get an 
overview of the city and learn things you might never hear 
otherwise. Bob used to be skeptical and think they were 
hokey--he's had a change of heart.

Montreal has many outdoor markets, the Jean-Talon 
Market is one of the most famous. 

Great charcuterie shop in the Jean-Talon. We especially
loved their strolghino. If you visit, bring us back some please!

The bagels were fantastic at the St. Viatoeur bagel shop, well 
worth the stop. Recommend getting whatever is fresh from the 
oven. This was sesame for us, a great choice! The top bagel places 
are open 24x7. 

The Montreal Botanical Gardens is well worth a visit! 
We especially enjoyed Japanese Gardens and the Insectarium. 

St. Joseph's Basilica is stunning and is the highest point 
in Montreal. It is well worth a visit and is among the top 10 
things to see in Montreal.

Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral is amazing; it is a half-sized 
version of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. Wow!

Celebrating its 375th birthday, there are all kinds 
of events across the city. This band was singing on the steps 
of Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral and well worth the stop! 
A fun city, you never know what you will see around the 
next corner.  See all those hanging orange balls!

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