Before I forget our experiences in Montreal, here are some of our musings…
- While on the train, we overheard some people saying that Montreal drivers are crazy and therefore refused to hire a car rental. After three days of witnessing countless drivers cutting each other off, speeding through intersections as pedestrians attempted to cross, and the ceaseless honking of their horns, we concur!
- Montreal has a wonderful and efficient public transportation system; the subway ran frequently and stretched out to many parts around the city
- Chocolate-centric and dessert restaurants. Juliette & Chocolat was the one that we tried, and set right below our hotel was Chocolats Favoris. Not to mention plenty of French pastries and sweet breads available at restaurants, cafes and even grocery stores. And crepes! Enough said.
- Yes, French is the primary language, though English is understood
- Montreal is known as a city of festivals, and we were so lucky to have our stay coincide with the International Jazz Festival
- Montreal Underground City: much like Toronto’s “The Path,” Montreal has a series of underground tunnels and passageways that connect to shopping malls, transit stations, schools and more. We didn’t really have time to explore, so this will be something we can do next time!
- Panhandlers are numerous and a part of commuter life. We saw the guys washing the windshields at red light stops. We saw the people selling newspapers. We saw the enterprising ones try to sell other products. But mostly, panhandlers would politely ask us for spare change as we were exiting subways, restaurants and other buildings.
- Churches galore! We were impressed with the architecture and fine details of the numerous churches we found during our walks.
- Finally, we had a great time in Montreal and can’t wait to try a New England cruise that goes to and from Boston and Montreal.