19.05.2014 20 °C
Awoke to a sunny day and breakfast was complete table service which means that we were given a menu and everything was brought to the table. It's takes a lot more time for everyone to be served so just as well we were up early and had plenty of time to get on the bus. Both Phil and I have tried to send a couple of emails but they won't go so we're not sure what is going on there.
Our local guide joined the bus and off we went on a tour of Montreal. Of all the Canadian cities we have visited, Montreal would be my least favourite. Yesterday walking around the city was nice but I think the architecture in the other cities has appealed to me more. Our guide's name was Dennis Britain and it was his birthday. I am guessing that he was well into his eighties but he was spritely enough and very knowledgeable. Unfortunately, everyone is getting a bit tired and as we didn't get out of the bus very often, a lot dozed off! Montreal is in the middle of an island, not that you would know and it has a mountain on it, or rather a large hill. It is a French speaking city and there are signs in French everywhere. Too bad if you don't speak French like us! Formula One races were held here recently and the international tennis will be held here in August. The streets were almost empty this morning as the shops don't open until 12.00 noon on Sundays.
We went to the World Trade Centre where there is a lovely statue and reflection pool, with the water flowing over the edge and hardly making a ripple. We all had to put our fingers in the water just to check that it was there.
The group, listening intently to our guide.
There are two pieces of the Berlin Wall in the centre.
We passed Notre Dame Basilica again and our guide told us that Pavarotti performed a Christmas concert in there because the acoustics were so good. It would have been amazing to hear that. We went to St Helen's Island, which is a natural island and took photos back towards the city.
First there were none ... and then ...
These buses bring school children to this area to an amusement park and when the kids are ready to go home, the buses are called to pick them up. All school buses Canada and America are yellow, because when families move to a new town, the children always know what the school bus looks like.
This dome on St Helen's Island and is called a biosphere. It houses the Museum of Nature and teaches people how to conserve water and how to save the environment.The agricultural industry is the biggest employer in Montreal, followed by IT, then the service industry, eg health, education and tourism and lastly, diamonds and fashion.
McGill Hospital Complex
After the tour we all went to a shopping centre for lunch then hopped on the bus for the drive to Quebec. It started raining at about 11.00am and is now quite heavy. Ben played a movie, Cool Runnings which is very funny, but I dozed a lot on the bus. I had a lovely minestrone soup for lunch, and a cinnamon scroll and a mocha coffee, so with a nice full tummy, warm and snuggly inside the bus and pouring rain outside, it was a perfect time to have a snooze.
We arrived in Quebec in the pouring rain. This is the Quebec bridge. They built this bridge and it fell down. They built it again and it fell down. They built it again but no one would go on it, so just the trains use it.
Quebec is just beautiful. It is so French. I am looking forward to exploring it tomorrow and having a guided tour.
Our hotel, the Hotel Chateau Laurier Quebec is nice and in a very good position overlooking the old armoury. Our room is a bit small by recent standards but still perfectly okay. We are here for two nights.
We all went out to dinner to the La Cremailliere and it was very nice. Phil took a bottle of Australian wine with him but they wouldn't allow him to drink it as they don't have BYO here. We had dinner with Louise and Doug from Canberra and Linda and Derrick from Adelaide. I had watercress soup, salmon and creme caramel and Phil had the soup, chicken and creme caramel. It was all very delicious. We drove around the streets on our way home from dinner. Quebec is just lovely. I hope it is fine tomorrow so we can stroll around the streets because it is a photographer's delight.