First thing in the morning we walked down to the St. Lawrence River port area. And I literally mean we walked down. Montreal is surprising hilly. Me and my non-existent French didn't realize the city was actually named for a (small mountain) in the city.
It was a hot day, and the terraces and decks were crowded with people eating brunch and people-watching. We winded our way through the narrow side streets and even narrower sidewalks looking for a coffee shop.
Instead we sat on bar stools at the window of a small cafe, watching a commercial shoot. We had no idea what they were shooting, and neither did our waitress. Paul guesses a hair-care product. I think it was make-up.
The only place we absolutely wanted to visit in Montreal was the Notre Dame Basilica. I had read that the architect actually converted to Catholicism after creating the church in the 1800's.
I'd rarely seen a Catholic church so colorful. The ceiling was a green-blue with gold stars. The columns had multi-hued designs. And the woodwork at the front of the church was amazing. I didn't get any good photos inside the church, but take a quick look at rotating pictures on the official website. Pay particular attention to the nearly-spiral staircase on the left.
Of course, we also found time for some snacks throughout the weekend. In addition to crepes, we had two additional foodstuffs we wanted to try: bagels and poutine.
Montreal claims its bagels are superior to New York's, but I wouldn't quite go that fair. Montreal's are smaller, denser and sweeter- more like a donut. Definitely tasty, but not what I would call a traditional bagel.
During our short trip, Paul managed to squeeze in two orders of poutine- french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. Not bad, but I'd take a Nutella-filled crepe over that any day.
Late in the afternoon we walked along the river . . .
. . . and happened to come across Montreal's clock tower.
A sign on the door said you could climb on up. There were only 192 steps. So we did.
The steps started out very wide-- room enough for three people or so to climb side by side. About halfway up the stairs narrowed, but there was still plenty of room for two. The last 50 steps, however, was the smallest , narrowest spiral staircase I'd ever seen.
There was barely room for six people at the lookout at the top. But the views were magnificent.