Monday, July 5, 2010

Mont Royal, Montreal, QC

One of the most iconic images of Montreal is the cross that sits atop Mt. Royal, rising above the heart of the city.  It is lit up in white at night, purple at the death of a pope.  There are probably other colour codes that occur, but I'm just not aware of them.  Even unlit during the day, its stark outline can still be discerned from the throbbing city below.

If you visit Montreal and have any degree of fitness, a walk up the mountain is de rigeur (and also a bit rigorous).  Usually, one doesn't end up right beneath the cross iself, but on this visit, my daughter and I cheated slightly and bussed up as high as we could, then continued the rest of the way on foot, bringing us to a place immediately below the famed cross, around the back of the mountain as it were, where most pedestrians don't wander.  When I say "mountain" here, it's really more of a big hill.  But then, I'm from BC so I know what real mountains are.

Needing sustenance after that hot climb on the bus, we had a lovely picnic of ham and brie on a crusty loaf, washed down with a British Boddington beer that we'd brought along. 
Lunch over, we wandered into the pavillion that's also on the summit of Mt.Royal.  It's typically referred to as "The Chalet."  When I lived in Montreal years ago, they used to sell hot dogs there in the summer, and sweet, burn-your-tongue hot chocolate during the winter.  It seems pretty under-used these days, but maybe things pick up in the summer.  It's also available to rent for "do's", such as banquets and weddings. 

I could imagine myself waltzing about here in a swishy dress at somebody's wedding.

Exiting from the The Chalet this is the vista before us

A bird's eye view of the city in the distance.

Looking back from this plaza we see what The Chalet looks like from the outside

The reason to come up to the top of Mt. Royal is to admire the view of the city as the folks in the scene below are doing

And this is the view

Lunch eaten, restrooms enjoyed, view appreciated, photos snapped, it's now time to descend back to the city.  There are wide unpaved roads that wind down the mountain, usually well-peopled with strollers, joggers, lovers, families, dogs on leashes, squirrels, policemen on horses, bicyclers, pigeons, in no particular order. 

As my daughter has been walking, jogging, and/or biking up the mountain on a daily basis for several years now, she knows all the best shortcuts and off-the-beaten-track byways. 

This is the path we took back to the city streets, hardly even knowing we were in the heart of a metropolis.

Peaceful and lushly green, with nary chicken nor potato in sight (if you're confused by this observation, refer to the posts below).


  1. i see that you are doing everything to entice me to make that dream journey become real - me and poor Owen suffocating in my suitcase (perhaps i really forgot to make those holes, judging from his new profile pic :-) - joke aside, this is a wonderful Montreal tour, i am sure i would also love this city...

  2. Yes, Roxana, the enticement is in full sway, like the movement of your floating bridge!

    At least having rid himself of any extraneous weight, such as organs, blood and flesh, Owen will be lighter to carry in your suitcase. He kept his incomparable brain and power of speech, though, so maybe you could earn extra money for your trip busking in the Montreal metro (subway system) using Owen's talking skull as a prop. Just a thought. :-)

  3. Peaceful and lushly green, that's for sure and nary a
    bear in sight, altho what is that black shadow behind the tree on the right?

    WV: bearomi - a gypsy

  4. Shirl,
    You're right--I see it! It is indeed a roving gypsy bear! Hiding behind the tree as they are wont to do! Luckily we were wearing bells around our ankles so we must have frightened it off as we approached.

  5. What a beautiful journey to offer. Surely impressive to see a big city able to keep such life and sights.
    Makes one wonder what Athens is doing, indeed. And yes, would probably move from yesterday on, if possible. Interesting as well to learn about the different colours, even though a bit strange a mean to measure time and life. Please have you all a great Wednesday.

  6. You have taken me for a nice afternoon slide and now I am ready to reach in to your blog photo for a sip of that Boddingtons! MMMMmmmm! and a nibble of the crusty bread as I take a mental snapshot. Over the weekend, Mr. Slug and I were in Los Angeles taking a slide through Chinatown...I love traveling, and your photos took me right back to our rental car even though I must face reality and the pile of work on my desk in the morning. Bravo! Cheers from Mrs. Slug

  7. Ahem !

    Ahem ahem !

    I was wondering why my skeletal ear openings were ringing and whistling... now I know !!!

    So after suffocating in a suitcase I've been relegated to becoming just another talking skull on the subway circuit busking brigade ???

    It ain't easy to get any respect in life, but I can see it's even harder in the afterlife...

    Love to both you loonies, I have put my human suit back on and run to work... as much as I'd love to dally here, and there, all day...

  8. Oh, and thanks for the tour of the hill, what was that Beatles song ? The Fool On the Hill ? Your daughter however, it looks like the Boddingtons went to her head. Or to yours ?

  9. Hello Robert,
    I haven't been able to leave comments on your site lately because the comment box won't appear for me--but I'm still checking in!

    I'm glad you enjoyed our little tour here and that you were happy to get away from the flying chickens and potatoes of previous days to linger awhile in the greenery of Mt.Royal. Montreal is very good about having neighbourhood parks for respite from the big city grit and cement. You've posted some pretty spectacular photos of Athens which makeit seem a quite wonderful place to live (the Parthenon right there! amazing). I guess all cities have their drawbacks--it's the nature of the beast.

    A wonderful Wednesday, followed by a terrific Thursday, and a fantastic Friday to you!

  10. Greetings, Babbler!
    Thanks for sliding on over, although I must say it is proving a bit of a challenge to clear your trail off my computer screen. Isn't that Boddington's good? Tastes like real British pub ale, supposedly. But be careful not to imbibe too much. I understand some people put out saucers of beer in their gardens to entice slugs away from their plants, resulting in what one could only imagine as a happy demise for the critters. I wouldn't want to be responsible for such a fate for yourself. Cheers to you!

  11. Think of it Owen, if you put a sign up with your blog address while Roxana is busking with you in the metro it could result in your "humble" blog going viral! It's a chance of a lifetime...or an after-lifetime, I guess, in your case...which would be Roxana's suitcase.

  12. Owen,
    I did see things in a different light after that Boddingtons, combined with the heavy atmosphere of the impending rainstorm. All together, it was quite a heady brew. What was that Cream song? Strange Brew?

    Not to be confused with the Canadian version