Sunday, June 12, 2016

TailoredTravels: Montreal

Two months ago, I was lucky enough to convince my family to go to Montreal for spring break.  I know Montreal and spring break are a weird combination. But it was already cold in New Jersey and we weren't going to go anyway far enough for it to be warm for spring break; so why not just embrace the cold and explore somewhere new? France being one of the highest places on my travel wishlist, Montreal seemed like the perfect way to get a similar feel until I can go to France and experience the real thing. Here are some of my favorite pictures from my trip to Montreal and I hope you enjoy!

Old Montreal:
    The first day we got to Montreal was by far the coldest, and because of that we didn't want to stray too far from our hotel; instead we decided to explore the area around our hotel. We stayed at Le Saint Sulpice, which was located right in Old Montreal. Old Montreal was the perfect location because it's home to all the historic architecture that attracted us to Montreal in the first place and had tons of things to do and places to eat.

Montreal Nature Museum:
    The second day of our trip we went to the Montreal Nature Museum; while we mainly went because we thought it would be something my seven year old sister would be interested in, the entire family ended up having a good time. The museum is broken into four parts: Montreal Biodome, Montreal Insectarium, Montreal Botanical Garden, and Montreal Planetarium. We went to the biodome and planetarium; since we decided April would be a little too cold for a botanical garden in Canada and I just think bugs are just gross. Out of the two we went to I definitely preferred the biodome, which was actually housed in the Montreal Olympic Stadium! The biodome showcases four ecosystems in the Americas (a tropical rainforest, a laurentian forest, a marine ecosystem, and a polar area) and dedicates one area to raise awareness to the effects that pollution can have on animals. The planetarium was nice too; however, I think having seen higher end planetariums in other places, this planetarium was nothing really special to me.
Montreal Biodome
Montreal Planetarium

Notre-Dame Basilica:
    The day we went to Notre-Dame Basilica was by far my favorite. Despite staying on the same block as the church, we didn't actually go inside or really admire it until our third day. We went to the church after walking around, and getting lost in, the Underground city. The Underground City (which isn't even completely underground) is basically a ton of malls connected by different passageways. I would have taken pictures, but you don't need me to show you what a mall looks like. Anyway, back to Notre-Dame Basilica. It is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. I spent so much time inside taking pictures (which all turned out horrible and I don't want to talk about it because it's still a fresh wound) that my mom jokes that she thought I had found God and was not going to leave. Outside was equally beautiful, unfortunately the weather was not on my side that day and the rain made it hard to get nice shots. 

Old Montreal:
    Before we left in the early afternoon my family and I spent our last few hours walking around Old Montreal. We started at Notre-Dame Basilica to get a few last minute pictures, later wandering around Place Jacques-Cartier.