Aug 3, 2012 Travel
(Need to catch up? Part 1 is here.)
The next day, Saturday, after loading up on Advil for our sore legs, we started with breakfast in the Gold Level lounge, enjoying this amazing view of downtown Montreal.
Then we set off for Notre-Dame Basilica in the old part of the city, a short-ish walk from the hotel. It was really spectacular.
The woodwork especially blew me away.
It was pure luck that we got there when we did. We had exactly enough time to enjoy it – about two hours – before they closed it off for a couple of weddings. A smaller wedding was already talking place in the back of the church. I spied the flower girl waiting for her big moment while I was waiting to get to the ladies room. They’d closed the hallway off to wait for the bride to pass.
Our guide was very funny, especially when talking about how Celine Dion had completely ruined his birthday one year by choosing that day to get married at Notre-Dame. While the tour isn’t so much a tour as sitting in one place while hearing a history of Montreal and the church, I highly recommend it – it was very interesting (and free). Sit as close to the presenter as you can though, since no microphone is used. And check to make sure that it won’t be closed for weddings, especially if you’re visiting on a weekend.
After the cathedral we walked to Le Jardin Nelson for lunch, which had been recommended by our concierge. We started out with a selection of Montreal cheeses, which were fantastic, and then both got crepes, which were amazing.
We then explored the waterfront and, since I’m the best wife ever, bought tickets for Sunday for the Star Wars: Identities exhibit at the Science Center. (Same-day tickets were available, but not for several hours, so if you want to go plan ahead – the exhibit is very popular. You can buy tickets online, but make sure if you do it from your hotel that you have a place to print them out.)
After another dessert stop near our hotel we took a break, then headed out again for dinner at Quattro, a very nice Italian restaurant in Old Montreal. I will say that while the food was amazing, our level of service dropped off considerably after a large table was seated next to us. They seemed to be regulars, or at least known to the owner, and kind-of sucked up the attention of the employees (and much of my own attention, as I listened to one of our neighbors brag about how many people he’s slept with – fun!). But still, I would recommend Quattro. Just make sure to say something if you feel yourself getting ignored.
After a full day of eating but only about half as much walking, we fell into bed feeling rather bloated, but excited to rest up for another day of exploring Montreal.
72 Hours In Montreal Sans Kids: Part 3 – coming soon
Want to see all of my pictures from the trip, with captions? Watch the slideshow!
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