Montreal – a bit of Europe in Canada

I’ve always known there is a French speaking park of Canada but just how similar that area is to France I didn’t know. Being in Montreal was just like being back in Europe for a long weekend. We love Montreal, it’s a vibrant and energetic city. Started the day with a healthy breakfast of Avacado, Tomato, Omlette, Bread and Hummus before catching the Metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau to start our day of sightseeing at the Biosphere which is a dedicated to the environment. What an amazing structure! It’s huge at 76 metres high and you can see it from miles away. It used to be enclosed but after a fire, all that remained was the steel frame. We didn’t go inside but outside were a lovely series of photographs of places all over Canada. A lot we have now visited and a lot we now want to see, it’s such a diverse and beautiful country, I really have fallen in love with this place.Next on our days itinerary was the Biodome.  This was built for the 1976 Olympic Games and hosted the cycling and judo events. Now it makes up part of the largest natural science complex in Canada. There are 4 separate ecosystems inside:

  • The Tropical Forest is a replica of the South American rainforest.
  • The Laurentian Forest is a replica of the North American wilderness.
  • The Saint Lawrence Marine Eco-system is an estuary habitat modelled on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.​
  • The Sub-Polar Region is a habitat that is divided into Arctic and Antarctic.

We spent hours in there just watching the different animals and birds in there different habitats. Just fascinating.
We then caught the Metro to a restaurant a friend from London had recommended to us which looked amazing. Schwartz’s is a famous sandwich shop that specialised in smoked meat. Openened in 1928 by a Romanian immigrant it was featured on the Food Network‘s ‘You gotta eat here’ and is a Montreal institution. There was a queue outside when we arrived but only after 10 minutes or so we got in, anyone getting take out was quite fast so it was moving along nicely. Sat with 4 others on a shared table. The place was packed, but our food came out really fast. Ordered a meat sandwich each and shared fries and a pickle. It was all hustle and bustle and families and couples chatting and laughing, a great city atmosphere.It was probably the biggest ‘just meat’ sandwich I have ever had, it was lean and juicy and I can understand why the place is so popular. 

Got a bit lost wandering around the city looking for the Circus Festival as we were unable to connect to the city’s free wifi but eventually found it. 

The street was alive with performances from acrobatics to tightrope walking displays and people walking about with fishbowls on their heads. The most impressive performance was ‘Red‘ which saw dancers preform on a large stage made of shipping containers with aerial acrobatics and both techno and classical music. ​​​Made our way back to Valerie’s and had a long chat with her before retirin to bed after a long, exhausting but very fun day. 

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