Finally landed in Montreal after hours on plane yesterday.
Breezed through immigration. And then...had to make a decision whether I wanted to take a taxi cab or the bus. Ended up taking the 747 Express from airport to downtown and saved. The bus costs $7 v. $35-38 for a flat-rate Taxi (I think). Anyway...major traffic jam. Nothing new but still annoying. Got drop off in downtown and walked 7 blocks to hotel. It was suppose to be 5 blocks, but of course I walked the wrong way. Lol.
It's cold here in Montreal. (Thanks B for reminding me to bring the big NF jacket and wear snow boots!) Whenever I inhale, the cold air felt sharp, so had to wrap my nose and mouth with scarf, too. Burrr...
Really hungry since I ate one miserable meal at the airport and the rest of the time, I snack on nuts.
Anyway, I ate at a fancy Chinois restaurant around hotel. Didn't realize it was fancy until I walked in and saw table cloth and orchids. Not to mention that there's no chopsticks in sight and the menu is in en francais. Ate a bit and felt really tired, took everything to-go so I could eat it later and sleep off jet-lag. My hotel is not fancy, but it does have a kitchenette that I appreciate (fridge, stove, microwave, silverware, glasses, etc) It looked like a small apartment actually!
Today, I woke up at 5 a.m. local time (2 a.m. Pacific time). Went back to sleep until 9 a.m. (6 a.m.) Had a complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Can't beat free food when travelling. Merci beaucoup!
In search of Metro stations and found it. Brought all-day pass for $7. (Each ride costs $2.75, so it is really worth it.) Took Honore-Beaugrand train all the way to the end. Pop out and saw nothing too interesting, so pop back in and went to Berri-UQAM.
Metro station Berri-UQAM is located in the Quartier Latin & The Village. So it's actually more of a night spot than a day time spot. Needless to say, I didn't see much except for a few homeless people and a lot of closed pubs/nightclubs. I had no idea where I was heading to either, so I didn't feel lost. After walking for a bit, I did stop in at this place for a very good chocolate croissant and tea, so it was totally worth it. Yum. Plus, I was awake enough then to plan out the rest of my day. I can't be wondering around aimlessly in the metro. I need a game plan.
And then I retraced my steps back to the Metro. Took the Honore-Beaugrand train again and ended up in Viau. Went to the Observatory there. The Biodome, unfortunately, is closed due to remodeling. According to a very nice gentleman who bothered to tell me, they had a labour strike months ago, and then they took the opportunity to remodel the place. Anyway, it was so windy. I had to walk fast...faster than I normally walk, for you folks that know me. Anyway, the ticket costs $15. The place is quite dead. Hardly anyone's here, but I guess it's good because I got the whole place to myself when photographing the scenery. They also have this gift shop there.
I then ran back to the Metro. Considered briefly watching a film as there is a Cineplex near the Observatory, but decided that I am not interested in sitting so much after spending nearly a day on the plane to get here.
Then I took the Angrignon train back to Berri-UQAM (it's a major hub), and then transferred to the Longueuil-Universite-De-Sherbrooke train and got off at Jean-Drapeau. From Jean Drapeau, I took a bus to their Casino. The bus is full of older people, but also some young touristy people.
I went to the Casino first because they drop you off right in front of the place. I walked around and I think I got lost (again!) Instead of spending 5 mins. inside (my intention), I ended up spending 15 mins. I did win $100 from playing the quarter machine and cashed out promptly. Found my way out of the casino and took the bus back to Jean-Drapeau and walked over to the Biosphere Musee de Environnment which is also located nearby. Entrance is $9. Perfect.
Spent nearly an hour at the musee playing with the exhibits, watching a film on toxic waste, and how it gets loop back into our living environment. I think this is a perfect place to take kids to learn about conservations. Also, the musee is very interesting looking. I hope to load some pictures up later. And I get to see Montreal panoramic again. I should have skipped the observatory as this is so much cheaper and much more interesting.
Next, I took the Metro back to Berri-UQAM and waited for a bus that didn't show up. As I could not read a lot of french, I fail to note that this is an express bus and only operates during commuter hours, so waited for 40 mins before I took the Angrignon train back to my hotel.
Going to eat dinner at a particular restaurant later tonight, so more tomorrow...
It's been a busy day thus far exploring just one and 1/4 metro line(s).
on se verra demain...