Marc and I took an expedition on our bicyclettes yesterday to explore the rest of downtown Montreal.
Biking along the St. Lawrence river had an old romantic feel to it, and it felt incredibly French. All we were missing was the picnic basket filled with gourmet cheeses and a baguette.
Going everywhere by bike was also very efficient as well. We saw three times as much as we would have had we walked on foot.
Here is Marc next to some pretty cool buildings.
There are actually lots of architecturally interesting buildings in downtown Montreal.
I loved how old architecture is mixed with modern styles.
We stopped by the Old Port, which reminded me of Toronto's Distillery District in the way that the floors were cobblestone and the buildings were older.
I had some maple taffy, which is really just maple syrup in thickened form thrown over ice and then rolled onto a stick. Like poutine, it is a very tasty tourist trap/one of the things you should try should you head to Quebec.
It starts out looking like this:
Then you roll it up...
A magician's show was just setting up as I started my taffy so we stayed for a while and watched.
Then we headed into the artists corridor to look at some art.
The place was definitely touristy, but I loved the elegant buildings and the feeling one got when walking beside stone walls and on top of cobblestone- like you're in a classy European city.
If you popped into any of the stores you would see something like this: lovely small boutiques.
Or touristy t-shirts.
I loved the cafe scene as well. I was really tempted to stop for a cuppa or a creme de glace but we had a schedule and a lot of things to do.
Before that though, can I show you a few kitschy things that I adored?
Here ya go!
And this fabulous t-shirt that was ridiculously priced.
Even though Old Port was incredibly consumerist and tourist-geared, I soaked up every minute of being there.
Soon it was time to head back on the bike trail.
There is this amazing trail that follows the river from Old Port to Atwater Market, which has lovely views of the city. In my mind, I was in a French movie and Le Denicheur was playing while I was biking down these gorgeous trails.
Please open that above link and listen by the way. It really sets the mood for the rest of this blog post and the photos.
We stopped over a bridge and saw these sets of buildings. I have no clue what they are but they look like apartments or dorm rooms. I wonder what the insides look like.
Here is a further away view so you can see the boats.
We took a few photos and then we were off again.
We made it to the Atwater Market, which is a farmer's market filled with yummy goods.
I bought a tin can of maple syrup for $6.50! What a deal considering fake maple syrup in grocery stores costs something like $4.50.
We wandered into a chocolate shop where I wanted to eat everything.
They had ice cream.
Lots of chocolate of course.
Here is a close-up of one of the truffles.
And this was the dessert I really wanted to try but it was really hot and I was thirsty and fleur de sel, which is salted caramel, would have been much too sweet.
We took the metro back downtown and walked into a student protest.
They had pots and pans and were banging away. It was quite loud.
Then a bit further down, we walked into the film festival where they were playing a silent film.
One of the things I love about Montreal is that like Toronto, there is always something happening in the city. Back when I lived in Sydney, we went to the library for entertainment.
I'm kidding obviously.
But most of the nightlife in Sydney revolved around clubs and if you didn't like clubbing, then have a nice life.
I'm not sure where this place is, but we discovered the area by biking near it then seeing it.
It was perfect. There was just the right amount of people in it so that the scene was lively but not too many so that we couldn't bike through.
Montreal is a pretty decent city to bike through.
If you have a free day, I definitely recommend exploring by bike.