Montréal

I didn't see much of Montréal the day I arrived. I got to the Airbnb at 10pm, and went straight to bed, as my body thought it was 3am.

Still unadjusted to the time zone, I woke early the next day and so started to explore montréal whilst it was still quiet, and coolish (the night time low was 20 degrees).

I walked from the Airbnb to the old port. The only people around were runners, but there were plenty of seagulls and Canada geese. I walked to the clock tower at the end, before heading inland for the metro.

clocktower

Quite oddly, the metro trains have tyres and run on concrete roll ways, with side bars for steering. Aparently they also have steel wheels behind the rubber ones, which take over if a tyre fails, and which allow the trains to navigate conventional rail switches. The rubber just allows the train to climb hills, and take sharp turns.

I took the metro under the river to Parc Jean-Drapeau, where I went to have a look at the Biosphere. The Biosphere is a geodesic dome, designed by Buckminster Fuller for the 1967 world fair, and is now an environmental museum.

dome

I crossed a bridge to the park's other island to see the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which is used for the Canadian Grand Prix. At this point it started raining heavily. I am not one to let rain defeat me, so I started walking around the track anyway. In hindsight this was probably a mistake, as I quickly became saturated. I briefly got lost in the casino to shelter from the rain, before continuing round the track to reach the safety of the metro station.

track

I hid from the rain and had lunch in a shopping mall conveniently connected to the random metro station I picked to travel to.

Once the rain had stopped, I went to look at the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal, which I had passed earlier in the day, but which was now open. It was pretty impressive, and it had a decent organ.

basilica

Exhausted, I spent the rest of the day drinking Canadian beer, and eating a gargantuan portion of poutine from La Banquise, a restaurant that serves over 30 varieties of poutine. I picked one topped with bacon, ground beef, and deep fried pickles.

The next morning I boarded my train to Toronto. I have two whole days in Toronto, but one of them will be used to visit Niagara falls.

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