We were staying in the Latin Quarter, at Hotel Quartier des Spectacles aka Abri du Voyageur Hotel an interesting choice and I mean that in a good way. But if I went again I'd want to try something different.
We were a bit far from Old Montreal but it didn't bother us much, we're walkers, we hardly felt the distance. We strolled the streets.. or should I say street of Old Montreal (was disappointing that there wasn't more to it). We ate crepes and gelato; Maple Delights had a very nice selection. A superb French onion soup at A l'Aventure and delish spaghetti at L'Usine De Spaghetti. D was thrilled at the amount of gelato he was getting to sample and his excitement over pasta was so adorably funny.
After a few average breakfast we finally stumbled upon Universel Restaurant Cafe on our last morning there. The food delicious, portions for great, the staff so friendly, D was enamored by the host who played peek a boo with him. Wished we had found this place sooner.
We drove up to the top of Mont Royal Parc to get a view of the city.. nothing special. St. Joseph's Oratory on the other hand was a delight. When I entered the basilica it took me by surprise. I loved the modern feel to it. The oratory itself was moving, seeing all those candles, all those prayers. And the openness of the space, the view, the height.. it was just what we needed before we headed out of Montreal.
I don't know what it was? Was it that my expectations were too high? Or was it that Montreal kept reminding me of a less awesome New York City while I had anticipated Paris.
The highlight for us was the Chinese Lantern Festival in the Jardin Botanical Gardens. We attended the opening.. it was our last night there. We arrived a little early and were so glad we did.. the gardens were beautiful. But what was even better was that we got to see the lanterns in daylight before the hoards of people arrived.. and yes there were hoards. It was interesting seeing them without the lights and then with. I would definitely recommend stopping by if you are going to be in Montreal in October.
Coming soon.. Quebec City.