As our final special treat, of many that Canada has served us, we got to fly over the Rockies while watching the glorious purple sunset. We can’t wait to go back to this awe-inspiring country, we have had such an amazing trip and look forward to seeing more of it’s beauty.
After 6 nights in our plateau apartment that we had rented for the full week, we decided to end our Canada trip in style. We have been so spoilt on this trip, staying in such amazing and breathtaking hotels that we thought it would be fitting to end the trip this way as well. So, we checked out of the little apartment early, and headed straight back to our original Montreal hotel, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. It was definitely a fantastic way to spend our last night. We checked into their premium royal suite – and what can we say? IT ROCKED!!!! A few pics of the suite are here.
We spent a day in the Biodome – where there are several different climates in different divisions of the one place. They have created a tropical forest, Laurentian forest, marine ecosystem, Arctic and Antarctic climates. As a result there is a huge range of animals and plants to see. To see our photos click here.
We have had a great few days and have managed to see quite a few things… We visited the world famous Schwartz’s for some smoked meat – the second time we both ate meat in Canada. We also visited Habitat 67 (above) to see the iconic housing built for expo 67 and the most expensive housing in Montreal on the sought after waterfront. Another place we went is Notre-Dame Basilica (below). We nearly didn’t go into the Basilica and were SO glad as it was truly awesome. We even managed to stumble into the Montreal food and wine festival and had a great time there. Some more photos are here.
We saw loads of crazy massive bugs here! They were all pretty cool and we got a few pics:
We spent a beautiful day in the Montreal Botanical Gardens and were thoroughly impressed. We enjoyed ourselves here far more than at Butchart gardens in Victoria near the start of our trip – and they are ‘meant’ to be much better than these ones. There was an amazing Chinese garden which we spent hours in, a Japanese garden, a rock garden, water garden, Canadian garden, a Lilac garden and a few others. It was kinda ironic to love the Chinese garden best in Canada! It was huge though and a lovely place to be.
We also spent a lot of time amongst the Lilac’s, Soph you were so right, they are gorgeous and the fragrance is heavenly… Our photos are here.
We decided to stay in the downtown area of Montreal for the first couple of days and then moved into an apartment that we booked for a week in the Plateau. The downtown area is the main touristy part with the port and all of the cool buildings and stuff, and the Plateau is a supposedly trendy area for people to live – and it did seem quite cool with lots of restaurants and funky apartments and of course, Mount Royal which has a massive park to hang out in. On our first day we wasted no time in trying poutine! Hot chips with gravy and cheese curds – it was good.
We generally wandered around and really liked the feel of the streets and atmosphere. We went to see St Joseph’s Oratory (which was built by brother Andre) and just basically chilled as this is our last stop of this trip. Also we went to the 25th Anniversary show of Cirque du Soliel which was fantastic. Our photos are here.
We loved Quebec City! A lot of our time in Quebec was all about views of and from the Frontenac. When we read that it dominates the city, we didn’t realise just how much until we got here. You can hardly walk or look anywhere without the beautiful and imposing Frontenac taking your breath away. We did also get out and do some other stuff too though; We went to the Shrine of St Anne, a supposed site for miracle healings, and it was a very pretty cathedral, we also did a cruise on the St Lawrence river, went to the Montmonrency falls and went to a Quebecois sugar shack. The cruise was a really nice relaxing way to spend an afternoon, and we both really enjoyed it. The sugar shack was a really interesting experience where we ate traditional Quebecois food like Pea soup, potatoes in gravy, salad, all with maple syrup on them! It was surprisingly good and the real stuff is quite smoky in flavour and not just sweet. We also learned to play the spoons and did some Quebecois dancing. And we finished off with some maple taffy, poured freshly onto some snow. Yum. We also spent a lot of time wandering Quebec City’s gorgeous streets, it really has quite a European feel about it and the people there seem very passionate about everything. Overall we had a ball here and wished that we could stay longer. Our photos are here (a slightly Frontenac obsessed album!).
We stopped briefly in Ottawa just for the night on the way to Quebec City. What we saw of Ottawa we actually really liked, it was a pretty city with lots of old buildings and we saw a gorgeous sunset there.
We spent the afternoon wandering the streets and went over to the Quebec side of the river for a view back over Ottawa, and then after dinner (at which Karen got the best desert of the whole trip – a divine flourless chocolate cake YUM) we went to see the city at night. It was quite lovely and we both really enjoyed our time in Ottawa. Below are the beautiful Parliament Buildlings with the flame in front. Our photos are here.
The main reason for going to Montebello was to go to Parc Omega, about 5 minutes down the road from the lodge. It was a huge park with lots of Canadian animals, we saw Bison, Elk, White tail deer, Spotted dear, Timber Wolves, Arctic Wolves, Coyotes, Black Bears, Pigs, Goats with massive horns, Golden Fox, it was cool! Our photos are here.