6-5-2016: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Posted on Sun 12 June 2016 in New England Trip • 4 min read

Today we rode the entire hop on hop off circuit and walked around the Montreal underground city.

Tim Hortons

For breakfast we decided to go to Tim Hortons. It’s the thing to do in Canada. I got a coffee. Because that’s what you do at Tim’s.

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Hop on Hop Off Bus

It was raining very hard as the weather report predicted so we didn’t want to do anything outside. (We were extremely glad that we’d done all of the outside stuff yesterday.) The hop on hop off bus was a double decker bus with an open top, but the bottom was covered. We had to walk to the bus stop though, and we got pretty wet doing so.

The tour guide was quite a character. He was very knowledgable about both Canadian and American history and he tied the two together in a way I’d never heard. The Eastern provinces of Canada have a lot of history in common with the New England states. They were all originally British colonies so when the American colonies declared independence, many American politicians expected the Canadians to join them. Benjamin Franklin spent a long time in Canada attempting to encourage the Canadiens (French Canadians) to join the Patriot cause. In an attempt to throw the British out of the Province of Quebec and win the French people for the Revolutionary Cause, the Continental Amry invaded Quebec. Montreal was taken and for a few months it was an American city. The invasion ultimately failed outside of Quebec City when a blizzard inflicted huge losses for the Americans who were dressed in summer uniforms.

Since we’d done portions of the bus circuit yesterday, our guide didn’t tell us much new, but he was very funny. There was a lady behind us who was on her phone the entire time. Her phone was whistling all the time from texts and she didn’t ever silence it. Eventually the guide came up and was like “you don’t need this tour, you could have stayed home” and she still didn’t stop. Whenever her phone would whistle, he would imitate it in the microphone.

Underground City

Once the tour was done, we went back into the tourist information center to be dry. We had heard that Montreal has an “underground city” so we tried to figure out how to get to said underground city. We ran into a few ladies that we’d met one evening on the cruise ship. We’d ran into them again in Montreal at Mass and then we saw them again at the visitor information center. It was very amusing that we ran in to them so many times. All that was to say that the pointed out that on a certain map there is a blue underlay which shows the underground city.

Essentially the underground city is just a series of basements connection to each other via tunnels. (Actually, a lot of it is actually above ground, but it is all inside which is what we wanted because we did not want to go out in the rain.) The area we went down into was one of the busiest areas of the underground city. It was like the size of all of the malls in Denver combined and it was busy! We walked around a bit and then grabbed a bite to eat in one of the biggest food courts ever. There were probably 15 vendors in the food court. The whole area was very impressive.

Our hotel isn’t part of the underground city but there was a building only a block away from our hotel that was part of the underground city. Not wanting to go out into the rain, we decided to walk all the way around to that building in the underground city. The main part of the underground city is in the shape of a U. We started at the top of the left side and went all the way around to the middle of the bottom side. It was very out of the way (especially considering we got lost a couple times).

After leaving the top part of the left side of the U, the underground city was not nearly as nice. It was mainly just a walkway that connected some building’s basements to each other. It was a bit odd because we were basically the only people walking in the passageways. We emerged from the underground city and walked the block to our hotel and called it a day. I dealt with a few things on my computer and we checked in to our flight to Atlanta. We are going to fly to Atlanta tomorrow and rent a car. Hannah is down there already with family so we are going to pick her up and visit some friends and family in Georgia.

This will conclude my coverage of our trip. It was an awesome trip full of history and I really enjoyed spending time with mom. I will be writing some more posts about my overall thoughts on the trip and the individual places we went, but I have no timeline for that.