Monday, June 24, 2013

A Weekend in Montreal

A couple weekends ago we got an unexpected surprise.

Ryan had been invited to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal with Mercedes Benz. This was an event he's long wanted to go see, and with a free hotel room and a beautiful city to explore, I tagged along.

It was a short trip, only one night, but I had a wonderful time walking around the city.

I accomplished more than I could have hoped for in such a short time. I saw the major districts, dined on fresh bread and cheese, toured a historic garden, walked the old port, and snapped photos until my heart was content. It was as though I had spent the day walking the streets of Paris. I even got to practice a bit of french! Une petite peu.

It's a gorgeous city.

The first night we arrived, after a wonderful nap, I walked around until I came across the Griffintown District. This is an up-and-coming area of Montreal which was formerly populated mainly by Irish immigrants. It had been recommended in a recent issue of Chatelaine and I was so excited to have stumbled upon it! After window shopping for a while (everything was closed by this time), I made my way to the recommended place to dine and couldn't have been happier with what I found. The Griffintown Cafe was a welcoming place to rest after a couple hours of walking in the drizzling rain. It was full, but I found a seat at the bar and enjoyed my wine, a plate of cheese and a fun jazz band. After a cappuccino and some delicious tiramisu, I caught a cab to a theater near our hotel and met Ryan for a late showing of The Great Gatsby.

The antique shops in Griffintown were so gorgeous. It was probably a good thing I could only window shop!

The view from our hotel. We stayed at Le Westin in Old Montreal.

The next morning, after a late breakfast with Ryan, I set out to explore whatever I could fit into that day. I began in Old Montreal and saw Notre Dame. Next I toured the Chateaux Ramezay kitchen garden, and then made my way down to the Old Port. I wandered around and then made my way up to the shopping areas and finally caught a cab to Outremont. 

The architecture in Old Montreal feels very European. It's beautiful. There are gardens everywhere and it made for easy touring.

The Ritz.

The buildings were just gorgeous.

This is Marche Bonsecours. For more than a century this was the main public market in Montreal.

I came across a newly opened donut shop and picked up half a dozen of the most beautiful gourmet donuts! We enjoyed one (and a half!) with a coffee on the trip home. They were so delicious.

The Old Port was very interesting to walk around.

I just loved the old buildings with their beautiful gardens.

The city was filled with gorgeous statues.

I found this cheese shop in the basement of a store in Outremont. It's another district more up on the mountain. I also picked up a baguette and some french macarons at another pastry shop.

This is the park in Outremont. I believe it was designed by the same person who did Central Park in New York.

As you drive up the mountain, the hillside is full of beautiful old homes that belonged to the more affluent residents of the city.

I came across some charming little shops including this bicycle shop (above) and this used book store (below).

Tomorrow I will show you the historic garden at the Chateaux Ramezay Museum. It was beautiful and one of my most favourite sites I saw.

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