48 Hours in Montréal 

Can anyone seriously "do" Montréal in 48 hours? Non, of course not. But don't let that stop you. 

 

Here's one couple's Mad Hatter trip on a rainy/snowy, warm/frigid cloudy/sunny February getaway weekend. 

We take the train from Toronto, arriving in Montréal beneath the station which is a lively place with bas relief art deco walls and food areas at concourse street level. 

Dropping our bags in Hôtel Le Crystal, we scoot up rue de la Montagne to the McCord Museum, an intimate ethnological and historical 

institution.

We do the touristy thing by sightseeing along rue Ste Catherine, both inside and out, then settle into beers and bistro food in the brouhaha at microbrewery Les 3 Brasseurs.

Next day it's two wake up coffees in our hotel room before heading out for a cultural day at museums. It's winter, it's Montréal. There's grit on the sidewalks and ice on the roofs. 

I'm bundled for the cold. A couple of Chinese tourists in the lobby give a thumbs up at my fur hat (rabbit) as being very Canadian.

La Coupole Restaurant in our hotel has a good reputation, but this morning Dunn's deli is our breakfast destination. Open 24 hours and nearby. I order the 'Special' as we plan our day.

We've done the calculations. The greatest bang for the buck is the former Olympic grounds where 5 attractions await our MTLpassport. The Metro (subway) is clean and quick.

Space for Life/Espace pour la Vie is the museum complex on the site of the 1976 Summer Olympics. Its mission is to foster appreciation of the planet. In quick succession we visit the planetarium (no photos in the shows), insectarium (the colours wowed us) and ecosystems of the biodôme.

Fun stuff! 

The Metro again, this time to Old Montréal where the Pointe à Callière Archaeology and History Museum has, appropriately (you'll see!), an Agatha Christie exhibit

Excellent insight into the author and her mystery novels. Lis dashes off a best seller before we depart.

 

The Museum of Fine Arts / La Musée des Beaux Arts has a Pompeii exhibit. Another must-see for us, and apparently everyone else too! 

Breakfast at St. Viateur Bagel with our bon ami Gilles. It's a neighbourhood restaurant that's swarmed on weekends with tourists.

Courtesy of Gilles, our day was one continuous mad romp through the city, from Mont Royal Cemetery through Westmount, the Plateau and Old Montréal, into shops and underground, from the swank financial area through Notre Dame Basilica and out into the cobbled salty streets.

For the train ride home we load up with sandwiches...plus something I can't resist: a box of Tim Horton's doughnuts. Bagels and cheeses are in the backpack. 

Very Canadien, eh?

Photos, text and design 

© Gary Crallé 2016

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