Before leaving Montreal, there were a few more sites we wanted to see. We started by visiting the Atwood Market. Since I wasn’t a huge fan of Byward market, I was a little hesitant to go to this one, but it was exactly what I imagine when I think of a market. There were fine meats, flowers galore, and fresh produce. I found a couple souvenirs there.
Then, we drove up the hill to St. Joseph Oratory. This church did not quite have the same impact as Notre Dame, but it was nice to see. We then drove to Plateau one more time because I missed a little neighborhood while we were walking. Michael dropped me off since there was no parking. Because of the one-way streets, he had a hard time getting back to me. This freaked me out a little since I couldn’t see him, but we were reunited.
After this, we had a stop outside of town at Chambly to visit the Brewery, Unibroue. There wasn’t a tasting room, we just wanted to see where the beer was made.
About three hours later, we arrived in Quebec. It was a little confusing getting around, but we figured it out.
Our apartment is pretty cool. It is on the third floor (which is the top) so it is an interestingly shaped place. Michael’s favorite part is the turret.
For dinner, we went to a place recommended by the Vagabrothers called Chez Biceps BBQ. I was excited to have some foie gras. This dining experience ended up being one of the coolest ones I’ve ever had. We knew it was going to be good when the waiter replied after our order, “this is going to be crazy.” The food was outstanding, but what made this such an awesome experience was how we were treated. I felt the Liberated Traveler had grown in fame and I was being treated to a special service. I think the waiter thought Michael was cool. He asked if we wanted to have a shot, and he grabbed the chef to meet us. The four of us then took some sort of Polish Vodka shot. The chef was talking with us and shaking our hands. Other waiters were coming over to talk to us. It was like we were famous. I don’t know what we did, but it was one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me.
We finished the night by visiting Old Town, which we hope to see more of today.
Montreal is such a cool city. There is such a variety of things to do. We started the day with a walk to Plateau and Mile End. We were in search of murals, colorful homes, poutine, bagels, and smoked meat sandwiches.
Murals: the city has done an impressive job of encouraging mural street art. It can be found all over, but is especially prevalent in Plateau and Mile End.
Colorful Homes: the Plateau area is home to colorful homes with steep stairs and little gardens. It is an instagrammer’s dream.
Poutine: La Banquise is supposed to be the place for pouting, and I would agree. Other than the waitress spilling water on me twice, it was a great experience. The gravy and type of fries are what really make this place good.
Bagels: St. Viater is the place to get Montreal style bagels. Getting them in the Mile End neighborhood is unique because you get to see more of the Jewish neighborhood.
Smoked Meat Sandwich: Schwartz’s is the classic place to find this type of sandwich. It is basically a corned beef sandwich.
We needed a short nap after our hike around the city. This helped, but we decided to stop for coffee before the light show at Notre Dame. We found a little coffee shop called Tommy.
We bought tickets the day before for the Aura light show at Notre Dame. As I mentioned yesterday, this is one of my favorite churchs, but the light show made it even better. I found it to be an emotional experience that reminded me of what great achievements can be made through creativity. As if that wasn’t enough, we lingered to take photos, and the guy was nice enough to turn the lights on for us. It was just Michael and I in there. What an amazing feeling.
After having one of best moments so far on this trip, we decided to take a stroll in the night. Montreal has this awesome program called Cite Memoire. There are light shows projected all over the city with audio stories. We came across an interactive one in the alley that was mesmerizing. Feeling a bit hungry again, we stopped for pizza along the port. This was an amazing evening.
Before we left Ottawa, we stopped at Gatineau Park. It is absolutely huge. We did a little hiking, then got back in the car.
Being in French Canada does have a different feel. We have not had any trouble communicating, but we do try to remember to say bonjour when entering a place.
We were pretty excited to enter Montreal. It immediately had a different feel than Ottawa. The suburbs seemed really nice, and the area seemed to be more alive.
Our apartment in Old Town was about $104 a night. It is huge and very classy. I’m thankful to be in the heart of Old Town.
We started our evening walk with a visit to Notre Dame. It is probably the most beautiful church inside that I have ever seen. It is unique to see how the walls are filled with color. We liked it so much, we are going back tomorrow for the light show.
Since the weather was so perfect, we went to a bar on a rooftop terrace of a hotel. Terraces are pretty popular in Montreal, and they are fun place to grab a drink.
After our drink, we walked around Old Town a bit to reach our dinner destination. We ate at an out-of-this-world restaurant. The escargot was phenomenal, and Michael was in heaven with the pickles and bacon bits. It was a beautiful night.
Planning a Trip
Preparing for a trip is almost as fun as actually going on the trip. I spend months reading about the places I’m visiting, watching videos, and researching online to determine how I want to spend my time. Below, you will find a rough view of how I start to put together a trip. I always plan the rooms ahead of time, but from there the calendar is pretty open. If there is something in particular I want to do, I will make a reservation, but I try not to tie myself down too much.
Well, we are on our way. I’ll try to post each day about our adventures. We’ll see how well this calendar actually holds up.
Canada 2018 Itinerary
- June 16-Day One of Vacation, Stay in Toronto (9 hour drive)
- June 17-Leave Toronto for Ottawa (4.5 Hour Drive)
- June 18-Second Day in Ottawa
- June 19-Leave Ottawa for Montreal (2 hour drive)
- June 20-Second Day in Montreal
- June 21-Leave Montreal for Quebec City (4 hour drive)-Stop at Unibroue and Trois Rivieries
- June 22-Second Day in Quebec City
- June 23-Leave Quebec City for Portland (5.5 hour drive)
- June 24-Second Day in Portland
- June 25-Leave Portland for Vermont (4 hour drive)
- June 26-Second Day in Vermont
- June 27-Leave for Finger lakes (6 hour drive)-Stop at Ommegang
- June 28-Second Day in Finger Lakes
- June 29-Leave for Pittsburgh (5.5 hour drive)
- June 30-Head Home (8 Hour Drive)
Canada 2018 Ideas
- Toronto (1 night)
- Casa Loma
- Starving Artist-Waffles
- The Art of Banksy Exhibition
- Queen Street West-Graffiti Alley
- Queen West Antique Center
- Skyyard at the Drake Hotel
- Type Books
- Ottawa (2 nights)
- ByWard Market-Farm to Table
- Notre Dame Basilica
- Parliament Hill
- The Grand Pizza (VB)
- Beaver tail
- Check out Up and Coming Towns (Look for victoire store)
- Brew Donkey Craft Beer Tours (VB)
- Wellington Gastro Pub-pair music with food (VB)
- Spa Outside of Ottawa Nordik (VB)
- Rideau Canal-Rent Bikes
- Gatineau Park
- Montreal (2 nights)
- Quebec City (2 nights)
- Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac (Get Old Fashioned Fairmount)
- Old Town
- jacques cartier national park
- Le Bouche (Quebecois Restaurant with bearded guys)
- L’Affaire Est Ketchup (cook on electric stoves and heavy metal music)
- Chez Biceps BBQ (Bacon in Bourbon)
- Battuto Italian restaurant
- He boislocal beer crawl
- Snack bar poutine
- Montmorency Falls
- Picnic on The Plains of Abraham
- Quartier Petit Champlain
- Île d’Orléans-Countryside
- SCANNER BISTRO-Heavy Metal Bar
- BATEAU DE NUIT-Heavy Metal Bar
- Portland, Maine (2 Nights)
- Allagash Brewery
- International Cryptozoology Museum
- Vermont (2 nights)
- Finger Lakes New York (2 nights)
- Pittsburgh (1 Night)