Jul 10, 2012

Frentures- Day 10!

Sanity Returns (Old Montreal)

We all slept well, and woke up refreshed and ready for a new day. We had no hurry in our bones as we got ready for a new Montreal day.  Today was to be spent close to home in Old Montreal- a mere 10 minute walk from our apartment.

We came up the steps to Vauquelin Square and entered the old part of the city. As we descended the slope from the square, we found one of the iconic horse-drawn carriages waiting. So of course, we hopped on! Avery was lucky enough to score the seat up front with the driver. We found out what the horse's name was (Nagano), but not the driver's!

A tour of the old town was the perfect thing to set us up for the rest of our day. We learned about landmarks, places of interest and even good places to eat from the driver.

that led us to choose crepes for dinner!

they were okay:0)

From there we went to the Pointe-a-Calliere museum. We wanted to see the excavations under the museum of the old city. We learned that Montreal kept flooding, so at some point the city just decided to raise the level of the whole city and thus push back the river. Not only are the usual layers of building over building on the site, but an entire buried street! They had some cool information on the first nations connection to the area, pre-European invasion.

The museum was hosting an exhibit on Samurais as well. They had many intricate costumes on display that were hundreds of years old, as well as interesting information on the lifestyle of the samurai and the society they were a part of. Very interesting stuff. And an observation platform at the top:

old montreal looking that way...

the last of the grain elevators. no longer functional they started dismantling them when condos were going into the top floors of the old buildings in the 80s. when you spend a million for a view, i guess you don't want it to be that!

seriously the most awesome building ever. why aren't all places built like this?

The museum building is funny though. The first and third levels are connected, and the second is closed off. The basement is the common link to getting out of there, so we spent a good hour lost from Mark and the exit. Don't worry though. It all worked out!

From there we went to the Notre-Dame Basilica and caught a guided tour. Mark stayed for that and I wandered about with Avery. Again, I had to explain catholic practices to her, like "Why are all these closets here?" and "What are all these candles for?"  I explained confessionals and the prayers candles as best I could. She asked to light one for "Save the Children", an organization they learned about in school. And so we did.

This is the place that Celine Dion and Mario Lemieux got married (not at the same time, obviously.)

Then there is another, smaller, more modern chapel at the back. 'Regular' people can get married here- if they will last the two year wait list! In fact, it was created with weddings in mind and is indeed quite beautiful, if also totally over the top!

maybe a bit less over the top. bronze instead of gold, you know.

That was enough touring for awhile. We stopped for a beaver tail and a shady park bench.

we went with chocolate, peanut butter and reeses pieces toppings!

took money out of the first bank of Montreal. big bank- only one bank machine.

back in the day, anyone could start a bank. and if you did, you printed your own currency. this bank was started by the brother of the beer molson fellow. why not, eh?

interesting sights any way you looked

cool architecture. many building had a different architect for each floor, adding to the visual diversity along the streets

for a while they allowed modern buildings in the area. this is a bank built in the 70s. the black box is the vault. you can't drill into it because it is filled with electrified water. trippy

cool alley ways for stern poses. i pretended i was in a too cool for you rock band

avery enjoyed peeking in the fashion store windows

vines go this way...

and that way

So another day was done. The sun was setting as we headed home...

 of course, if you find a leaf in a fountain, one must see if it will stick to oneself!

All in all, a lovely day! Night!

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