Who needs to travel to France to experience French history or culture when it is so evident right here in Montreal?
Street names start with ‘Rue’ and there is a ‘Notre Dame’. French language echoes up from the pavement and the smell of freshly baked croisants woft in the air. Honking and tooting of car horns didn’t drown out the hoof beats of horse and carriage. Souvenir shops peddling their wares to the tourist wanting to purchase that doodad item that will either collect dust over time or sit in a drawer home to moth balls.
Buildings of yesteryear reflect in the glass of more modern architecture. The ringing of the church bells pause pedestrians to halt and look up in the direction of the melody. Buskers taunt passers by to toss them a coin for the effort of side walk entertainment.
A city where global citizens congest into one tribe and we too made up the numbers.
The bike brakes crapping out did us a favour. We were going to by-pass Montreal downtown under the premise of it being ‘just another city’. However, it’s majestic atmosphere had us forget that we were even in Canada. You must visit if you haven’t. Really.
Walking the 5 odd kms back to our stay after the reverse train ride created a new conversation. It re-surfaced an old brain fart idea from some years back about cycling an old ‘Tour de France’ cycle route. Perhaps we should freight out bike straight to France versus home to New Zealand?
Quite ironic really. Cycling across Canada was another brain fart we had some years back too.
Pfft, look where that has got us!