What a day! I learned not to say Bonjour back to someone if you can’t speak French and Ashley learned her 6 years of French class didn’t sink in!
Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in all of the world, only trailing Paris. It definitely felt like it along with a distinctly European feel. Locals were quick to pick up on your out of town vibe (who knows if we were screaming tourist) and were very kind and courteous.
For breakfast we ate at the famous Fairmout Bagel shop. The shop is located in the Mile End district and is elusive of the tourist trap feel that big city destinations can claim. The bagels were very unique, unlike any bagels we have had in the states, but so delicious!! The shop itself was no frills and accepted cash only so be sure to have some handy!
After breakfast we traveled to the historic Old Montreal district and explored the cobblestone streets, French lathered boutiques, and unbelievable architecture. Our first stop was the Norte Dame Basilica(also cash only). The Basilica was built in the late 19th century and is home to some breathtaking architecture. Admission is $6 CAD.
After the Basilica, we ventured deeper into the district for lunch and conveniently enough found “Montreal Poutine”. Montreal is known for Poutine, which is French fries covered in cheese curds and a type of gravy. We found an abundance at this neat spot! I opted for the Smoked Meat sandwich, also a well known Montreal dish, while Ash got the Poutine which I was sure to sample. Highly recommend making a stop, and they accepted credit cards!
Our last stop was the Olympic Park, home of the 1976 Olympics. Here we explored the Biodome. This facility was similar to a Zoo except it featured 4 unique ecosystems with different species mingling in each, unlike a zoo with separate enclosures. So cool!
The day ended at “The Rusty Anchor” on Lake Champlain and don’t let the name fool you, the view rocked!
We had a ball of a time exploring and made sure to check out local eateries and we each experienced a portion of the city that was right up our alley. With only a day I wish we had more time but we will be back!