on November 10, 2011
I have to say prior to my visit to Montreal I didn't realise that it was named after a mountain (or a very large hill, (764feet) if you've just travelled through the Rockies like we had) that is in the middle of the city. The first European who scaled Mont Royal was Jacques Cartier in 1535 and named the mountain after King Francois I, King of France. History aside, our reason for visiting Mont Royal was because it is in the centre of Mount Royal Park, one of the largest greenspaces in Montreal. I think we cheated a little because we drove up the slope, but we saw plenty of cyclists attempting to cycle up the mountain. So I suppose if you are super fit or like a good fitness challenge that's one thing you can do in the are. Personally I wouldn't have got up the first incline, so that was a non-starter.There are lots of things to do in the Park, but we had very limited time, so we headed to Beaver Lake for a picnic lunch. The lake is a small (by Canadian standards) man-made lake and was a pleasant place to sit and eat our packed lunch. I noticed while we were there that the park has a ski-slope, for when the urge takes you. There are cross-country skiing tracks as well, which obviously used during the winter. We found the park to be very pleasant and you could spend a good deal of time there. The slightly increased elevation also seemed to make the air feel cooler, which was a godsend for us, as we found Montreal to be sweltering when we visited.Despite all of the other things to do in the park, the real reason for making the trip up to the top, (whether you cycle, drive or walk up the millions of steps) is the spectacular view across Montreal. It really is breathtaking and well worth the hike/cycle/drive up to the top. In fact if you can do nothing else in Montreal then make the trip up here, it's free and far more spectacular than the view from the top of the Olympic Tower.Overall a beatiful asset for Montreal offering a free park to exercise, hike, relax and enjoy the views over Montreal!
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