A July 2005 trip
to Montreal by cytiev
Quote: Montreal, the second-largest French-speaking city after Paris, is truly an exceptional place. It's modern and focused on development on one side and historical on the other. Montreal is the place to see and experience a harmony of cultures with ethnic flavor.
After offering a brief prayer for the success of our journey, we explored more of Montreal’s commercial district and made our way to the front of McGill University. Downtown Montreal is like a European city mixed with modern buildings. French signs may confuse first-time visitors, but getting lost in this dynamic city is not a problem at all. Montreal is still a part of Canada, and the friendly and well-dressed locals speak English.
On the second day of our journey, we took the bus no. 106 to the Angrignon subway station, found the green line, and changed to the orange line, which goes to the place called Old Montreal. Cobblestone streets and old buildings add to the charm of Old Montreal.
Outside at the Place d’ Armes, we did not miss the opportunity of having our picture taken in this historic district of Montreal. Place d’ Armes has an excellent overview of all the periods of Montreal’s history. Just by looking around 360 degrees we saw the city’s oldest building, the huge church, the headquarters of Canada’s first bank and first skyscraper, and the New York Building. Souvenir shops abound in Place d’ Armes, and we had our fill of the souvenirs that would remind us how enjoyable it was to be in Old Montreal.
Back in the streets of Chinatown, we explored Vietnamese food markets and a strip more like a pedestrian mall where little shops abound selling Oriental lucky charms and peculiar souvenirs. Towards the main thoroughfare of Old Montreal, we followed our line of sight to the old buildings just a few blocks away. The façade turned out to be the City Hall, a wonderful architectural structure full of history. Farther along, we saw Marche’ Bonsecours, which served as Montreal’s city hall until 1878. It was restored and houses some excellent designer boutiques and craft shops owned by locals.
On our third and last day in Montreal, we went back to Place Ville Marie and the Underground City and satisfied our curious palates as we sampled a Palestinian fare of kebabs and rice with a Mediterranean salad, which we ordered to-go for our train journey back to the English-speaking, Toronto. There is a lot more to see and experience till our next journey to Montreal.