There is a quiet beauty found on the streets of Montreal. It doesn’t shout to be heard like the flashing lights and huge billboards of Manhattan because frankly, it doesn’t need any of it. The old town charms of Montreal are perfect for a casual day trip or a short getaway.
I decided to take a quick trip up to Montreal earlier this week for no other reason than a severe case of the Monday blues. This is what happens when you let an 18-year old loose in a beautiful, French speaking Canadian city with no itinerary or previous planning.
Walking down Saint Paul street in Old Montreal is like being transported to a beautiful Parisian street in an instant. I would have been perfectly happy spending an entire day walking up and down these cobblestone streets decorated with hanging pots of wildflowers.
Next stop was a late lunch of Quiche Lorraine and Swiss Fondue at Crêperie Chez Suzette. I was seated by an open window with a great view of the street and the coffee came in a bowl. A BOWL.
The St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and the Washington National Cathedral in D.C. have got nothing on the Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montreal. The pictures found on Google images simply don’t do it justice, you’ve got to see it for yourself.
Saint Joseph’s Oratory was a few miles from the other attractions but I decided to stop by anyways. After a few minutes of being stuck in traffic and getting lost, I arrived at the foot of the massive flight of stairs. They have parking for $5 at the entrance of the basilica and to my relief, they had escalators and elevators located inside the building.
Montreal is by far the friendliest city I have ever visited. Although the majority of people there prefer to speak French, most of them speak at least a bit of English as well and there are English translations everywhere. The locals will help you out without a hint of frustration even if you’re a struggling tourist with a lost look plastered across your face, and boy was I glad to have them around.