Montreal – Canada 2013 Part 5 | Traveling Robert

Previously on the Road Nomad we visited Toronto, Canada's largest city, enjoyed the majesty of Niagara Falls, navigated the waters ofthe Saint Lawrence rived among the 1000 islands, and explored Ottawa, Canada's Capital.

Today we visit the city of Montreal, withit's Olympic Stadium, Biodome, St Joseph Oratory in Mont Royal, the charming old town, theLatin Quarter, stumble upon a music festival, and stroll around downtown, so stay tuned.

Road Nomad is next.

Oh Montreal, what a great city.

So much to see, so little time.

Montreal is the largest city in the provinceof Quebec, the second largest in Canada, after Toronto.

Originally called Ville Marie or City of Mary, it derives its modern name from Mont Real, Mount Royal in modern French.

We arrive around noon, at out Hotel the BestWestern Plus Hotel Europa, very well located on Drummond Street between Boulevard ReneeLavesque and Rue St.


Only one of our rooms is ready and the otherone is not so we drop our bags and continue towards the Olympic Stadium and the Biodome.

We will visit these sites first because weare basically homeless, and tomorrow we will hit Old Montreal, Downtown and the many thingsin between.

The Olympic stadium was the main venue ofthe Montreal 1976 summer Olympics, which almost bankrupted the city.

The stadium was an engineering nightmare, mainly because of its malfunctioning retractable roof, and it took the city 30 years to payit off.

We drive on Sherbrook Street towards thisimportant landmark.

And we arrive.

We take this funicular to the top of the MontrealTower, the world's tallest inclined tower.

It's part of the retractable roof mechanism.

The cables attached to this tower pulled theroof up, but unfortunately that doesn't work anymore.

Even though the tower is almost 10 kilometersaway from downtown, it still offers great views of the city, as we can see.

They have panels above explaining what weare looking at.

And there's the Biodome below, which we'llvisit next.

We see Mont Royal, and the Olympic Stadiumbelow and Place Ville Marie, the tall building in the middle of downtown, the Saint JosephOratory, the Saint Lawrence River.

Nice views but meh, nothing spectacular, perhapswe're spoiled I don't know.

They also have these models of the OlympicStadium.

Right next door the have the Biodome de Montreal, originally a velodrome for the Olympic games, it is now an artificial environment wherewe can see the fauna and flora and of four different climates in the Americas.

We begin with the tropical forest ecosystem.

We are right now at the Biodome, in Montreal, Canada, and as you can see, we are in the tropical zone and as you can see it's reallyhot, really humid.

I'm sweating profusely, but now we're hopefullygoing to another latitude.

This ecosystem reminds us very much of ourown Miami climate as it is hot and muggy, extremely humid but before we jump into morecomfortable latitudes, let's explore a little bit, we see the world's largest rodent, andmonkeys! How can you go wrong with monkeys! And parrots.



and waterfalls.



and weirdfish.

Neon frogs, a condor, alligators.



They even have a bat cave.

Luckily the next section will be much morecomfortable climate wise.

And soon enough we arrive at the LaurentianMaple Forest.

We get to see all kinds of fish, and a porcupine.

There are also the beavers, very cool.

And of course the majestic Canada lynx.

There's also the marine ecosystem, very cool.

And finally: penguins.

This place is really cool, but we must goon, as we rush through the fossil exhibit.

We're hungry, so we go down to this pedestrianarea called Rue Prince Arthur, which we've heard is great for dining and here we are.

After much deliberation we decide to havelunch at this Greek place called La Caverne Grecque.

Our timing is impeccable as always, as wearrive when the place completely is dead.

The food is excellent of course, althoughnot what I would think is typical Greek food.

It is around 6pm, perhaps a little too earlyfor dinner as the area starts to get crowded when we are about to leave.

Walking around we encounter this Colombianplace and decide to have some coffee.

It is some kind of hippy art gallery and theespresso is great and very nice folks as well.

We continue roaming around Rue Prince Arthur.

The street ends at St Louis Square with allthese picturesque and colorful houses.

Right now we are going to visit the St.

JosephOratory on Mount Royal.

It is a Roman Catholic minor basilica, andCanada's largest church, who knew? There is also a pretty nice view towards thenorth from the top of the stairs.

Nearby they have also this lookout on MountRoyal where we can see the Olympic Stadium, and the eastern part of the city surroundedby all these friendly scavenging raccoons.

Aren't they lovely? We are exhausted but decide to end the nightby watching a hockey game, how Canadian of us, at the Marriott next door to our hotel, drinking Cuban rum, illegal in the US.

Oh Montreal.

Good night.

Good morning Montreal.

We have breakfast at this place next to theHotel called Chez Cora, which was great.

We walk towards the Lucien L'Allier subwaystation, just a couple of blocks away to take the train towards the Old Montreal area.

We get off at Place D'Armes.

The station is next to the small MontrealChinatown.

We walk along Rue de la Gauchetiere, exploringa little bit.

We but some tea, and browse for some souvenirs.

This is the building where the Metro stationis located, and like in Toronto, they have all these bicycles for rent.

Moving along let's head towards the PlaceD'Armes.

Where the famous Notre Dame Basilica is located.

Very touristy with horse drawn carriages andeverything.

And this person almost lost her carriage asthe horse went lose.

Let's get back in line now.

The fleur de lis is the symbol of the provinceof Quebec, as we can see it here in the granite pavers.

The Notre Dame Basilica is a gothic revivalchurch completed in 1830.

The Pantheon like building is the head officeof the Bank of Montreal.

As in many major touristy squares, there arestreet musicians.

These one are very nice.

Lets go inside the church, but before letshave one more view of the Place D'Armes and the Aldred Building, the first art deco skyscraperin Montreal.

The interior of the basilica is beautiful, grand and colorful, with its unconventional blue and gold ceiling.

There are these wooden statues of Ezequieland Jeremiah, as well as hundreds of intricate wooden carvings, very nice.

The unconventional stained glass windows depictscenes from the religious history of Montreal, as supposed to the classic biblical scenes, so it's kind of unconventional as I sayd.


The pipe organ dates back to 1891, with fourkeybords, 92 elecropneumatic stops, 7000 pipes and a pedal board.

We continue walking along the cobblestonestreets of the old city.

We stumble upon Place Royal, the site of thefirst settlement in Montreal, by the old port and there is a train passing by.

Across the river, we se Habitat 67.

This architectural marvel was constructedas part of Expo 67, reflecting a futuristic concept of affordable housing.

Ironically is one of the most exclusive piecesof real estate in the city.

Here's looking back at Notre Dame and theAldred Building.

This park runs along the old port promenade, great place to hang out in these early days of summer.

We go back up to Rue St.

Paul, the main dragof old Montreal.

There are many shops, restaurants and pubs, and the tourists are coming out in droves.

Eventually we stumble upon Place Jacques Cartier, very touristy, lined with hotels, restaurants, cafes, and street artists.

It slopes down to the Saint Lawrence River.

At the top we see Nelsons Column dedicatedto the admiral who defeated Napoleon.

He faces away from the river due to his seasickness.

At the top we also see the Hotel the Ville, city hall, where French president Charles de Gaulle shouted in 1967 Vive le Quebec Libre, and fanning up all the flames of bilingual unrest.

Next we pass by historic Marche Bonsecours.

I don't know exactly what I was expectingto see inside, but it wasn't a shopping mall.

Next we visit the Notre Dame de BonsecoursChapel, dedicated to Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The ship hanging from the roof is an offeringto the virgin by sailors, to express gratitude for safe passage.

Even to this day descendants of those whosailed gather here every year to pay thanks.

Next we go down to the crypt, an archeologicalsite with treasures discovered as recently as 1996, while excavating the original siteof the chapel, which burned down.

I am able to take a few seconds of video butthey tell me photography is forbidden so.



Oh well.

Up we go to the 69 steps to the tower anda few more to the belvedere.

We still have to go all the way up there.

We get a very nice view of the old port fromup here, with the clock tower in sight.

The spherical structure in the distance isthe Biosphere, not to be confused with the Biodome.

The transparent acrylic panels burned in afire in 1976.

The structure nowadays houses the EnvironmentalMuseum.

It turns what I thought was the belvedereis the bell tower so.



It's a pretty nice view anyways.

We get a pretty good view anyway of Habitat66 from up here as well, so lets go back down.

Yep, we were up there just a few minutes ago.

Next we walk towards the clock tower.

Located on the clock tower quay, it also servedas a lighthouse, and it marks the entry to the Port of Montreal.

It's a 192 steps all the way up.

You can count them.

The clock face, which looks out over fourdirections, was built in London and is a replica of the Big Ben.

As I go up the stairs I can see some of theclock mechanism and the views from the top are pretty good.

Here we can see the clock tower quay and downtown, and the big cross on top of Mount Royal.

Actually I think I forgot I was taking videobecause the best shot was taken with the still photography camera.

Go figure.

Here are my travel companions who didn't feellike climbing the 192 steps, but then again who would have taken these nice pictures ofme at the top? Ok, time to go down.

Here we see once again the clock mechanismas I descend down the spiral staircase.

Next we go back near the Notre Dame de BonsecoursChapel in order to take the bus.

We are going to the Latin Quarter, travelingon St.

Denis Street.

Here they are having some kind of festival.

This is the center of Montreal francophoneculture with the UQAM, the Universite du Quebec a Montreal at the center of it all.

We walk around this lively neighborhood lookingfor somewhere to eat, and the options are plenty.

We are definitely in the French part of town;everybody is speaking French.

We finally decide on this place called LesTrois Brasseurs, or The Three Brewers.

It's a restaurant and brewery, and have theobligatory poutine.

They even have a Breathalyzer on site.

Pretty unique.

We continue walking on Rue Saint CatherineEast, crossing Boulevard Saint Laurent which is also called The Main, and lo and beholdthey are having another festival, but this one is not just any festival, it is the Fancofoliesde Montreal.

No wonder they have this big bicycle parkinglot.

You can hear the music from blocks away.

The Francofolies is the biggest music festivalin the French speaking world since 1989, with over 1000 performers and hundreds of thousandsattendees, and we found it by chance.

We didn't really do out research on this oneand it is a real treat to attend one of its many free concerts.

I don't even know the name of the person singingbut the energy is great and the crowd seems to be having a good time.

Another thing to take a note of for the nexttime we visit Montreal, all these festivals.

We continue walking on Rue St Catherine towardsour hotel.

All of a sudden to our right, the St JamesUnited Church.

Originally the largest Methodist church inCanada.

And we are back by downtown.

The tall building: Place Ville Marie, Montreal'smost famous skyscraper.

At the time of its construction in 1967 itwas the worlds largest and most complex office building and the starting point of the mythicaland complicated underground city.

We continue walking on Rene Lévesque Streetpassing by the Basilica Marie Reine du Monde, a small-scale replica of the Vatican's St.

Peter Cathedral.

Passing by Dorchester Square we return toRue Saint Catherine where they are having some kind of protest.

Don't really know what this is all about.

They got the guns but we got the numbers.

Hm, interesting.

We take a short break at the hotel and eventhough we are exhausted we decide to walk around a little more.

It was our original idea to go back to theFrancofolies festival and our minds and spirits say one thing but out bodies refuse to comply.

I guess we are not 20 anymore.

We content ourselves with walking along DorchesterSquare.

The Boer war memorial is the only equestrianstatue in the city of Montreal.

As we continue walking on McGill College Avenuetowards the McGill College we encounter the Illuminated Crowd sculpture, going from illuminationto hope, involvement, hilarity, irritation, fear, illness, violence, murder and death;a range of emotions showing the fragile nature of humanity.

I'd rather be with the illuminated ones.

We continue, the Mont Royal cross is visiblefrom here as well, as we arrive at the McGill University, named after prominent Montrealmerchant James McGill from Glasgow, Scotland.

It is one of the oldest universities in Canada, although officially bilingual it's predominantly Anglophone.

After many years of unrest still only about18 percent of the student population is Francophone.

We continue walking around the streets atdusk, running on fumes really, we are exhausted, but it is our last night in Montreal and wewant to absorb as much as we can.

Here's the Illuminated Crowd now, no pun intended, properly illuminated.

We discover an entrance to the almost desertedunderground city and explore it a little bit and almost get lost in it.

We emerge at the Place Ville Marie.

The fountain at the foot of the impressiveskyscraper.

Exhausted we go back to the hotel.

The next morning we wake up early and takingadvantage of out 24 hour L'Ocassionell transport pass we take the Metro once again.

We emerge at this residential neighborhoodcalled Mile End in Le Plateau Mont-Royal, to have breakfast at this famous bagel placecalled St.


Let's just say that I wasn't all that impressedbut perhaps my expectations were too high.

I mean it wasn't bad, it was a good bagel, I'm just not a bagel person anyways.

The experience of exploring this not so touristyneighborhood is great though.

I love it.

Our last point of interest is this viewpointatop Mount Royal, which involves a little over a quarter mile walk from the parkinglot through this luscious forest.

It offers commanding views of the city.

Well time to say good-bye to Montreal as wehead northeast into the heart of French Canada, Quebec City.

Half way through we take the scenic routealong Chemin du Roy, however I had a camera malfunction and all we have are these fewviews of the town of Sainte Anne de la Perade.

After a little over three hours we arriveat Quebec City but that will be the subject of our next video.

If you haven't already done so, subscribeto the channel so you don't miss any of it.

You can follow me on twitter and Facebookat road nomad or visit the blog at Roadnomad.

com I've had many comments on the YouTube pagethis month.

Tyson commented on the Toronto video I reallyenjoy your videos and I now want to visit Toronto again but you haven't had real poutine, or real bagels until you come to Montreal :).

Well Tyson, as you can see we just did.

Sidney said on the Las Vegas and Grand Canyonvideo.

You are a fantastic Tour Guide!!! I know you are from the Miami Area and that'swhere I hope to live very soon but it seems like everywhere you go you know all historyand attractions and so on.

I will definitely call and ask you for youradvice if I decide to take a trip somewhere.

And Ryan says on the California road tripI could listen to you talk all day.

Well thank you all for your comments and keepthem coming.

I am Robert Morales your host.

As always thank you so much for watching andsee you on the road.


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