From Quebec City we moved on up the St Lawrence River valley to Montreal. Once again Gary downloaded us some walking tours and found out how to access the Montreal subway system. That is basically all we ever need – some walking tour info, a public transportation system, and away we go. The first day of touring, we went mainly through the old city area. On almost every walking tour in every city, there are churches on the itinerary. And for good reason. Churches do represent some of the most unique examples of architecture in almost every city. And usually they are open and free to enter and tour. The Basilica of Notre Dame had an admission charge so I just waited until the next day and went to the Saturday afternoon Mass. There was just one problem. The Mass was in French and I really didn’t understand a word of it. We have found that our knowledge of Portuguese, another sister romance language to French, has done nothing to help us with the language here in Quebec. But we did learn our obligatory: “je ne parle pas francais” and “parlez-vous anglais” One thing we noticed about Quebec was that there were no road and street signs in English. In every other Province we have been in from Ontario to Nova Scotia, all signage is in both English and French.
On our second day of touring Montreal, we concentrated on the downtown area. We don’t know what this building is, but we are sure the architect is a cat lover like us with these cat ears for a roof. We spent some time in the Fine Arts Museum. We enjoyed the section of Inuit art. We also explored the “underground city”. Instead of shopping malls with huge surrounding parking lots, Montreal has a downtown section of shopping that is mainly in the basements of many of the downtown buildings all of which are interconnected with around 20 miles of “tunnels” all of which access the subway system as well, This shopping area is huge. It is shopping mall after shopping mall after shopping mall all connected together. It is a very unique way to have an inner city shopping district.
Montreal pretty much marks the end of our “cities and seafood” tour. It has stretched from Florida all the way up the US east coast, into the Atlantic Provinces of Canada and now through Quebec. We have toured many large and amazing cities over the last three months, We now look forward to a less intense period of travel through Vermont, New York State and back to the Midwest to visit family and friends.