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Paul & Tracey's Travels
1st Oct 2014 - Ontario & Quebec, Canada
Road trip to Montreal and amazing city views

Today we continued east into Quebec province and to Montreal, in part using the third longest highway in the world....the 417 which runs across Canada from East coast to West coast for 4,900 miles. The longest is Highway 1 which runs all along the coast of Australia and is 9000 miles and the second longest is the Tran Siberian Highway in Russia which is nearly 7000 miles long.

The journey is only about 125 miles and on the freeway takes 2 hours, however we are taking some of the lesser roads to see a bit more of the countryside. We left the hotel at about 10am under overcast skies but within an hour the sun was out and it became nice and warm.

The road we took hugged the Ottawa River, and passed predominantly through flat farmland. The other side of the river is Quebec, and as we drove along we could see lots of nice houses built on the river bank on both sides. We stopped for lunch in a town called Hawkesbury, where a road bridge links the two provinces of Ontario and Quebec. As we got nearer Montreal, the road signs started to have French as the first language, and at our lunch stop we were greeted in French, and all the other diners were speaking French too.

As we were sitting in the diner having lunch, a metallic shiny gold Toyota pulled up in the car park, like something out of James Bond. Unfortunately it pulled away before I could get my camera......never seen anything quite like it.

We drove on joining the main freeway system to get into the heart of Montreal. Managed to find our hotel, with only one wrong turn which was a miracle. Once checked in we drove round the corner to return the hire car, then walked back to the hotel. We are on the 8th floor and have amazing views.

Montreal is the second largest city in Quebec Province. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary" it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is on the Island of Montreal, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard.

The city has a population of about 1.8 million. French is spoken quite widely in Ottawa, however in Montreal French is the official language, and you are always greeted in French when you first meet someone, or in a shop etc.

In the late afternoon/early evening we walked up to Mount Royal Park in the centre of Montreal. The walk starts in normal city streets, that then start to rise steeply like some in San Francisco. Then you can take steps, or walk up a twisting path to the top of the highest point in Montreal at nearly 800 feet. The views over the city were fantastic, especially as the sun was still out. This area is a real magnet for fitness freaks with runners and cyclists easily outnumbering casual walkers.

Tomorrow we will head out and explore the city some more.



Next: Montreal sporting venues and old town
Previous: Ottawa canals, protestors, and giant spiders


Diary Photos

Montreal skyline, Canada

Ottawa River, Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada

South Nation River, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa River, Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada

Montreal skyline, Canada

Montreal skyline, Canada

Montreal skyline, Canada

Bars opposite our hotel, Crescent Street, Montreal, Canada

Paul, Montreal, Canada

Mount Royal Park, Montreal, Canada

Mount Royal Park, Montreal, Canada

Tracey at Mount Royal Park, Montreal, Canada

Paul at Mount Royal Park, Montreal, Canada

Mount Royal Park, Montreal, Canada

Sculpture, Montreal, Canada

Sculpture, Montreal, Canada

Sculpture, Montreal, Canada

Dusk, Montreal, Canada


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