Nous sommes arrive a Montreal

Trip Start Jun 05, 2009
Trip End Jul 03, 2009

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Where I stayed
Quality Hotel

Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Thursday, June 25, 2009

I knew we didn't have a very long drive today so we spent the morning in Ottawa. We walked along the Rideau Canal, which runs through the centre of the city and is a world heritage site. It has trees and flower borders all along the towpath, planted with beautifully scented roses. There were lots of others using the towpath too – walkers, cyclists and in-line skaters, a lot of them clearly on their way to work. From the website I see that in the winter the canal becomes "the world’s largest skating rink". We walked about 30 mins along one side, crossed over and headed back towards the parliament building and the historic locks which are still in use. It was very hot so we couldn’t stay out too long and it was time to head on to the second largest French-speaking city in the world.

The drive to Montreal was along the Trans-Canada highway we have been following for a couple of days but, understandably, this section is a big dual carriageway, with not much to see en-route, although you get occasional glimpses of the lake. As Montreal is on an island the approach is across a spectacular bridge. As we weaved our way through spaghetti junctions it became apparent our hotel was not going to be in the most scenic spot (in fact it was tucked in between several large distribution warehouses, not far from the freight airport) but this didn’t matter as I planned to drive into the city centre later anyway. It was actually so hot (39C) that I decided to stay in until it cooled off, so I did some forward planning for the rest of the trip and had a siesta.

We headed into town at about 5 o’clock – after 3 weeks of empty roads I had forgotten that such a thing as rush-hour existed! We walked around the cathedral area and along Rue Sainte Catherine, which seems to have most of the trendy bars and shops. The centre looks and feels very European, I will definitely come back here for a weekend to have a proper look around sometime.

Back into the USA tomorrow for the final push to the coast.

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