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  1. #1

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    Talking My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    I just spent some days in Québec (Canada). We stayed most of the time in Montréal, but we visited the city of Québec and the Laurentians too (les Laurentides).
    Overall, we had a fantastic time, and people from Québec are very nice. I won't make a regular trip report but post some thoughts about our vacation.

    My pictures : http://picasaweb.google.com/odenim/MontrAlQuBec2007

    Montréal :
    Arrival at Montréal airport was rather laid-back and it was not much crowded. I found the airport very much people-friendly than the enormous and stressing Paris CDG airport. Well, well...
    Montréal is the 2nd largest french-speaking city in the world and it was quite funny and odd at the same time to see everything written in french in north America. In the streets however we heard about 50% english and 50% french.

    People from the province of Québec have a nice accent when talking (well I guess i'm the one who had an accent there), but it was sometimes a bit hard to understand them especially in bars and restaurants with loud music in the background. But in the end, I just loved "their" french. I found it probably less formal than french of France, they use more often tu than vous. They say more often salut (hi!) than bonjour (good morning), and they use way less english words than we do. They even translate KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) into PFK (Poulet Frit du Kentucky).

    Montréal is a beautiful city with very contrasted districts. The developpement of cities looks very different there compared to Europe. There are a lot of ethnic communities and almost each have their own area. We stayed at Hotel Gouverneur, right at the entrance of Le Village, reportedly one of the largest gay district in the world. The place was cool and we enjoyed the roof terrase of the Sky Complexe.
    Places I really loved in Monréal :
    - Le Biodôme de Monréal (a kind of indoor zoo, very cool!), the inclined tower close to Le Biodôme is OK but the surrounding area needs some refurbishment IMO,
    - The Botanical Garden (WOW! a must see, especially for the chinese garden, we were told it is the most beautiful outside China; I can believe that!)
    - The Quartier Latin and Plateau Mont Royal are great places to wander, very beatiful houses and small stores.
    - The Mont Royal park is so beautiful too, looks like a real forest inside the city!
    - ...and so many other places I appreciated.

    Things I liked less there :
    - Some parts of the city look depleted and shabby, some parts of the city develops fine but some other look like completely desolate...
    - So many beggars, don't get me wrong I don't hate those people and it really saddened me to see so many, but it was just a bit annoying sometimes to be asked for money every 2 minutes.
    - Bills. Overall I think that prices are a bit lower than in Paris, but all prices never include taxes and service (in bars and restaurant). In France the price you see is what you pay. Not there in Québec. Not a big issue in the end, you just need to get used to it.
    - We visted La Ronde, the local theme park. I absolutely love Disneyland, but I realised I'm really not a theme park fan. We stayed 1 hour there.

    Québec city :
    It took about 3 hours by coach to reach Québec city, north of Montréal.
    The city is very beautiful with some wonderful monuments like the Château de Frontenac. Downtown area is absolutely lovely with nice houses, small streets. Some places really look like France, it was quite surprising!
    I think it's a must see for people who visit the province, even if 90% of population we saw were tourists, like us.

    The Laurentians (Les Laurentides) :
    The Laurentians is an outdoor destination not very far from Montréal, the nature there looks gorgeous (I guess it's even more gorgeous in fall when trees leaves turn yellow-orange-red !!!), with charming villages, hundreds of lakes, ski resorts, etc...
    Mountains are not very high there compared to the Alps where I use to go, and the Mont Tremblant is a place I'd really love to visit in winter too! The village is charming and looks a bit like Disneyland. They even have an airport with direct flights to Toronto and NYC.

    Back to Europe...
    I hope you enjoyed.
    Last edited by Olivier; 08-20-2007 at 05:33 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    loved it.. thanks for sharing.. I am canadian and miss canada so much. Havent been to montreal in about 10 years. It is a beautiful city

    than ks again

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  3. #3

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Olivier - I'm from Ottawa and I am so glad you enjoyed your trip to La Belle Province.

    I just wanted to make a few comments...

    First, the reason why all signs are translated is due to the language laws. French is the minority language/culture of Canada and is therefore protected. This is a hot political issue.

    Second, the inclined tower across from the Biodome is at Olympic Stadium ("The Big O") - home to the 1976 Summer Olympics. Montreal and its taxpayers went millions into debt over the games and it was a source of (again) political tension. The Stadium has had many problems over the years, including roof pieces falling off - making the situation even worse. Consequently the area has become run-down as no one wants to build in that area. It is now nicknames "The Big Owe" - as in owing money.

    Lastly, La Ronde was recently bought by Six Flags and has improved greatly in quality. You should see what it was like before. None of the rides were refurbished. And it was downright scary - drug dealers, prostitutes and definitely not safe after dark. It will never be Disneyland but I'm grateful to Six Flags for rescuing this gem of a park.
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  4. #4

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    As a native Montrealer, I just wanted to say how nostalgic your post made me feel. I miss Montreal...

    --nick--
    Amnesia used to be my favourite word, but I forgot it.

  5. #5

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Quote Originally Posted by hoppypooh View Post
    Olivier - I'm from Ottawa and I am so glad you enjoyed your trip to La Belle Province.

    I just wanted to make a few comments...

    First, the reason why all signs are translated is due to the language laws. French is the minority language/culture of Canada and is therefore protected. This is a hot political issue.

    Second, the inclined tower across from the Biodome is at Olympic Stadium ("The Big O") - home to the 1976 Summer Olympics. Montreal and its taxpayers went millions into debt over the games and it was a source of (again) political tension. The Stadium has had many problems over the years, including roof pieces falling off - making the situation even worse. Consequently the area has become run-down as no one wants to build in that area. It is now nicknames "The Big Owe" - as in owing money.

    Lastly, La Ronde was recently bought by Six Flags and has improved greatly in quality. You should see what it was like before. None of the rides were refurbished. And it was downright scary - drug dealers, prostitutes and definitely not safe after dark. It will never be Disneyland but I'm grateful to Six Flags for rescuing this gem of a park.
    Hi hoppypooh,
    Be sure that those things I was talking about were not major drawbacks to me and absolutely didn't ruin my vacation. I really want to go back now!
    Regarding La Ronde, I actually found the rollercoasters very impressive, as I never saw that kind of rollercoaster before (like the one where people are standing up OMG! - I forgot the name). It's just I'm not a rollercoaster fan.
    But I found the park very crowded, so I guess it has its own fans.

  6. #6

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Olivier, merci, merci, merci, for your report. I am leaving in 3 weeks for my first trip to the area. You're trip report was perfect timing for me to see recent photos.

    We plan on seeing many of the same places as you in Montreal. The gardens, Mont Royal, Biodome. Mont Tremblant looks like a charming ski resort, very French looking, reminiscent of French alp towns I've visited. Did you get a chance to go to any of the museums?

    We are flying into Montreal for a 4 day visit, then renting a car and driving to Quebec to stay a week just outside Quebec in St. Anne Beaupre ski town. We plan on driving all around the St. Lawrence River/Quebec area. I can't wait.

    I enjoyed seeing your photos thanks for sharing! Merci beaucoup.
    ~~Jodi~~
    Next WDW trip coming up 10-5-10 to 10-15-10, Wilderness Lodge Villas.




  7. #7

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Thanks DizDee, I realise I forgot to tell about many things. We stay only 8 days but visited so many things. We visited the Pointe-à-Callière museum, it's located in the old Montréal and it's about history of the city. The museum is beautiful and exhibition was just great!
    The museum of fine arts looked very interesting too but we skipped it because of lack of time... next time.

  8. #8

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Great pictures! Thank you so much.


  9. #9

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Thanks for sharing Olivier. We love Montreal!! We're actually thinking about going their this weekend for a quick getaway.

  10. #10

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Amazing photos Olivier.

    Mont Tremblant-aka skyride looks like fun!

    Thanks for sharing your photo album.

  11. #11

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    Re: My trip to Montréal (Québec, Canada)

    Thanks for the pics. Montreal looks purdy cool.
    I'm back MiceChat

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