Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Thursday, 9 November 2017


Montreal's Metro. An easy way to get into town.

Lots of art on this Metro station which I think is Saint-Laurent.

We started the day with a walk in the Old Town

The statue of Nelson casting its shadow over Place Jacques-Cartier. This is the oldest monument in Montreal erected by local merchants who wanted to honour Admiral Nelson. It was restored in 1981 and again in 1997.

In the background is the City Hall and the old court house.

Old Montreal is the site of the first settlement established by the French in 1642.  It still retains much of its original layout but not the buildings of that time. The stone houses and converted warehouses date back to the 1800s  when this was a thriving port. The port was eventually replaced by a modern facility upstream and this area fell into decline.

In the 1960s its historical importance was acknowledged and buildings were restored. Now the historic stone buildings have been brought back to life housing cafes, art galleries and boutiques.

We spent a long time walking through the old town  admiring the buildings. There were lots of ghost signs on the converted warehouses reminding us that this was once a thriving port. You could just about make out some English words beneath the French. In Montreal I think the law is that signs on the outside of buildings must be in French but bilingual signs are allowed inside.

In the 1980s the Old Port was given a makeover. The derelict port was converted into a recreational park stretching for 1.5 miles along the St Lawrence River.
Old buildings were replaced by new facilities. The Old Port was reopened in 1992 to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of the city.

Three years later the restored Lachine Canal was reopened for pleasure boating.

I was very excited to see the mighty St Lawrence River. So lucky to have a bright sunny day to see the river at its best.

We could see the Biosphere across the river on Saint Helen's island.

It was such a gorgeous day we were able to sit outside for lunch.

After lunch we wandered down the cobbled back streets with their many art galleries. So many reflections, it was difficult to capture the window displays.

On our way to Place d'Armes we saw a number of art deco buildings.

These horse drawn carriages take you on a tour of the old town with a commentary from the driver.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Place d'Armes.

Unlike many churches this one is full of colour.

The pulpit was designed during the renovations of the 1870s.  The sculptor Louis-Phillippe Hebert created the many saints and other ornamentation on and around the pulpit.

To mark the centenary of Notre Dame in 1929 new stained glass windows were created on the ground floor.  These windows depict scenes of Montreal's social and religious history.

We then used the Metro again to visit the Biosphere and Olympic Pool. Below ground there are numerous restaurants and shops. The underground walkways connect many above ground facilities such as hotels, banks and of course Metro stations. In fact the entire business district is interconnected by these underground walkways. With the very low temperatures of winter and high temperatures in the Summer it makes sense to be indoors.

We took the Metro to Jean Drapeau station. The station was surrounded by construction works and so we were not able to wander around as much as we hoped. I assume this is the outdoor swimming pool built for the 1976 Olympics.
The Montreal Biosphere, a museum dedicated to the environment. It is located on Saint Helen's island in the former pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair, Expo 67. The structure is fascinating. The original building was covered in  a transparent acrylic bubble. In May 1976 a fire destroyed the acrylic leaving behind the hard steel structure. The Environment Canada purchased the site in 1990 and in 2007 it changed its name to the Biosphere and became an interactive environmental museum.

Outside the Museum is a small lake. The globe made from plants seems to float on the top. 'We are. all of the same Earth' was unveiled on June 1st 2017 as part of Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

In the evening we returned to the Old Town for a meal and then watched a 'son et lumiere' show projected onto a large building showing the history of Montreal as part of the 150 years of Canada celebrations.

With the lights of the city in the background, this made a superb ending to our time in Montreal.


  1. only thing that comes to mind with 'montreal' ... a city that banned pit bulls. The definition of idiocy and prejudice. Sigh.

  2. Gorgeous pictures taken on a beautiful day! Thanks for the tour. :-)

  3. What a beautiful city! Someplace I'd like to visit.

  4. Montreal looks very nice. Doesn't the weather of towns you visit so often frame your good or not so good memories. It does not seem fair that much of Canada has English on signs as the dominant language of the province and then in smaller letters, the French word. I note, no small exit word on the station sortie sign.

  5. You had a lovely day there to explore. I want to get to Montreal one day.

  6. A wonderful city to explore, and you've captured it beautifully. I've somehow never gotten into Notre Dame during my visits.

  7. Very nice - it looks like you had a great day to explore the city.

  8. Beautiful. I especially love the second to last photo: such atmosphere of late night in a dark alley and perhaps a prowler on the loose.

    Would love to visit the Biosphere, that looked fantastic.

  9. Great photo coverage. I have actually been there and stayed in old town. THe Cathedral is so pretty. Did you know that Celine Dion ( the singer) was married there.

  10. It seems that Montreal is such a beautiful city. A friend of my son was sent there for his company with his family and now they became Canadians and don't want to come back to Belgium !

  11. What a splendid looking city - I wonder if the anglers caught anything?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. The complex reflections are intriguing. I had to pause and search for all the layers. The inside of the cathedral was a surprise with all its color. It's a pretty city.

  13. Hello, what a gorgeous tour and lovely collection of photos. The cathedral is gorgeous, I love the stained glass windows. Thanks for sharing your visit. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!


Thank-you for reading my blog. I would love to read your comments.