One of my favorite pastimes is visiting museums to see and learn history. When I’m not visiting museums, I’m on Wikipedia to history articles, usually finding myself deep in Wikipedia, on a whole different era and topic entirely, 20 clicks later.
In middle school, I wanted to take French so I could go on the Montreal French trip but instead I ended up sticking with Spanish. Montreal came back up again as a subject of interest when my family decided to take a short road trip north to Canada earlier in September and after doing some research and asking a friend who’d visited Montreal a couple years prior, I was set on Montreal.
Old Montreal (Vieux-Montreal) is one of the oldest cities in North America since it was settled in the 17th century as a French trading port. Some of the original buildings, built mainly in the French Colonial style, remain. It was a change from the colonial Georgian, German and Federal architecture that I’m used to. Old Montreal is an incredibly great walking city, with cobblestoned roads and looming European architecture that line the streets. I felt like I was transported back to France, complete with signs that were in French (the entirety of Quebec province is French, including road signs). While the Montreal tourism office provides walking tours free of charge, I decided to follow a walking itinerary that I found online, which I enjoyed. I found myself marveling at the architecture and history that I was surrounded by, going down alleyways, reading signs.
Montreal’s Notre Dame is completely different from the Paris Notre Dame, whether it’s the immense and ornate organ or the stained glass. One of the Basilica staff was giving a tour of the church and I learned that the one of the unique parts about the Montreal Notre Dame is that the stained glass isn’t of Biblical events but rather of the religious and social life in early Montreal.
While I wanted to end the day at Parc du Mont-Royal, which Montreal is named after, I couldn’t get out of the city towards Mont-Royal since parts of the city were cut off by the police. Parc du Mont-Royal is designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the co-designer of Central Park.
Where’s a place you’ve always wanted to visit?