On our first full day we originally planned to visit La Ronde, the local amusement park, however unfortunately the weather looked like it was about to rain at any moment so we decided to head off to the Botanical Gardens of Montreal. From our hotel we jumped onto the Metro at Bonaventure Station and took it to Berri-Uqam station where we then jumped on the green line and took that to Pie-IX station.
Upon entering you then have a choice, head to the left or the right, we went to the left, as my main interest was the monastery, herb and fruits and veggie gardens. Unfortunately since our visit was in late October, most of the plants had been affected by frosts and freezes so many of the plants were dying or dead. Enough were still alive though to make it very educational and informative as my husband and I identified several plants that I have always wanted to see. After around an hour and a half of walking, the wind picked up, it grew colder and it began to snow very lightly. We decided enough walking outside as we were both freezing; it was time to thaw out a bit.
We headed to the insectarium where we were advised that admission is free upon paying to enter the botanical gardens. We walked through the collections of dead bugs pinned to display cases and live bugs and spiders. Honestly the size of the collection on display here is not truly impressive at least for adults, however I imagine for children this would be much more interesting than herb gardens. One thing that I thought was rather interesting was the beehive that was housed in clear glass so you could actually watch the bees at work. After watching the bees for a few moments we decided we had both heated up sufficiently to go back outside so we hurriedly walked towards one of the greenhouses and at that point began to take our time and just enjoy all the beautiful and colorful plants surrounding us. We identified plants that we had only heard about, as well as plants that we were familiar with. We relaxed to the sounds of waterfalls, the caress of the misty air on our faces and the smell of orchids and other growing things filling the air.
One important note, there are no ATMs anywhere in the park so bring extra cash, credit or debit cards. Plus a member of the gardening staff advised us that the best time to visit the herb, monastery, and fruit and veggie gardens is during mid August. Most of all be prepared to walk, as the Park is huge! There is a trolley that can take you just about anywhere in the gardens but then you would miss most of the exhibits!
For more information regarding the Montreal Botanical Gardens click on the following link: .