May 23, 2011

When I was visiting Old Town on Saturday, I stopped in the visitors' center. A guide told us to ride Bus No. 11 for scenic views. Monday was Victoria Day, and museums are often closed on Mondays anyway, so I decided that was the day for the scenic trip on a city bus. I had been getting around on foot and by Metro up until then. I can't imagine that Queen Victoria is that popular in Québec Province, but they did observe her day. Buses ran on a Saturday schedule. After a short Metro trip to catch the bus, I was soon riding it toward the University of Montréal and the nearby Mount Royal Park. On the way back I stopped at the scenic overlook for panoramic views of the city.

After taking pictures I walked back over to the bus stop to look at the schedule. There was a young couple who were trying to figure out when the bus would be there. I walked up, and in the best French I could muster I explained for them to look at the Saturday schedule even though it was Monday. With some effort the guy tried to reply, and soon we figured out that English was our common tongue. I had not noticed that they were conversing in Portugese. They were from Brazil. They made me promise that I would visit Brazil some day. Usually it is Australians who make you promise that you'll visit their country.

After the scenic bus trip I visited the Anglican Cathedral. As I started in, a woman stopped me to ask if this was an Anglican church. She was relieved to find that it is, saying that her husband refuses to go inside Roman Catholic churches. They were from Brisbane, and she made me promise that I would visit the Anglican cathedral in Brisbane some day. This was a potentially expensive trip: I commited myself to visit two additional continents.

Further on up the street is St. James United Church. It began in 1803 as seven Methodists came together to start a church. The congregation grew over the course of that century, and they moved from St. James Street to the present building in the late 1880s. It was the largest Methodist church in Canada at the time. In 1925 the Methodists, three-fourths of the Presbyterians, and several small groups formed the United Church of Canada. Their most famous pastor was the Rev. Lloyd C. Douglas, author of best-selling novels like The Robe.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is normally closed on Mondays, but since it was a holiday, it was open. I don't recall how I knew that or found it out, but I'm glad I did.

Some of the art on display were projects done by local elementary school classes, including the Carrousel Entomologique, pictured below. But to get the effect, you need to watch the video.

There is an elaborate fountain that parallels the stairs outside the museum.

That evening I ate in another fine restaurant in the hotel. It was hardly cheap, but not bad for what you got. Dessert was on a buffet.

It was time to fly home the next day. Much of the exploring I did in Montréal that I didn't photograph was underground. They have the world's largest underground complex. I first found it when I was looking for the McDonald's near the hotel while I waited for my room. My iPhone told me I was there, but I walked all around and didn't see any golden arches. I stopped in an office building and asked the guard how to find it. He directed me to the escalator. When I got underground, I found an elaborate food court with shops all around as far as I could see.

To get to the Metro from the hotel, I would take the elevator down to the parking garage level. That came out near the food court for the main train station. I found that was a good place for breakfast each morning. I was there in May, but I can easily imagine how they might appreciate not having to go outside to shop, eat out, etc., during their winters. I'm glad I decided to follow my cruise with a three-day stay in Montréal.


<-Second Day in Montréal

Cruise Index

Steve Lee's Home Page