A Day Trip to Montreal

Jackets? Check! Chips? Check! Extra jackets? Check!!

Belle ville de MontrΓ©al

Three reasons kept me stoked about this road trip:

1.) After a week of meandering around Toronto, today was my first time to break out of the state of Ontario.
2.) It was my nephew and niece’s first backpacking trip on a Greyhound (yey for adventure!).
3.) After crossing the Pacific, I was finally going to meet up with my high-school friend, Mace!

Bugsy invades Montreal!

My first authentic Quebecois experience? A frosty kiss from a negative-two windchill as we alighted from the bus at 5 am. After hanging out for a while at warm, warm Tim Horton’s, we finally met up with Mace and set off to start a self-guided tour of Old Montreal, starting from the Notre Dame Basilica.

If we had churches like these, they would be jampacked everyday!

I came from a country dotted with churches, but nothing could have prepared me for this one. Stepping inside the basilica, you’ll be enveloped by a blueish, almost-ethereal haze, made more surreal by the faint glow of votive candles illuminating the sides of the church. The level of craftsmanship for the artworks that adorn the ceiling, the altar, even the posts and pews, simply leave you breathless. Honestly, what I was seeing was so unbelievable, that I just wanted to give up taking pictures altogether as they won’t be able to do justice. Hands down, it was the most gorgeous church I’ve ever seen, no exaggeration.

A close-up of the altar

After we were done being awed by Notre-Dame, we continued on our walking tour, passing by the City Hall and the Bonsecours Market. Traipsing through the cobblestone streets gave me the delightful tingle of an Old World feel, where concepts like tablets, anti-viruses and VoIP seem out of place.

Classic.
Believe me, it was really tempting to jump into the crystal-clear waters on such a sunny day!
They have some pretty cheerful graffiti here!

It was quite ironic then that our first stop after lunch was the avant-garde Montreal Science Centre. My nephew and niece were avid to get to the dinosaur expo and to Science 26 for some goofy geeky fun. Probably, if kids got to see exhibits of this calibre back in Manila, then we would never be of want of inventors and innovators.

Jump to the vid below to retrace our steps through the Notre Dame Basilica & the Montreal Science Centre.



More pics? The 2011-10 Montreal Day trip Picasa album

Casualty Assessment:

Notre-Dame Basilica admission: CAD 5
Montreal Science Centre gen admission: CAD 11.50 for adults (18-59), CAD 10.50 for teens (13-17) and seniors (60+), CAD 8.50 for kids (4-12)

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