Monday, 2 August 2010

Canada East Tour Day Two – Montreal Olympic Park / Quebec City

After breakfast, we headed to La Basilica Notre Dame - a very spectacular church structure, a neogothic building dating from 1829, this is where Celion Dion got married in 1994. I liked Montreal Metropolis where Notre Dame is located. Thrice the size of Toronto’s Metropolis, I learned that many businesses held their offices and headquarters here before when Montreal was still the nation’s capital. But when there was uprising and political attacks were imminent, these businesses moved to another location (mostly in Toronto) and most of them transferred when the Capital became Ottawa. I also learned that the location of the province of Quebec which is surrounded by rivers was a threat to nation’s security that’s why the government chose another location.

Next stop - Montreal Olympic Park. This park was built for the 1976 Summer Olympics when Montreal was the host. There was this unique leaning tower on top of the stadium - 175-metre (574 ft) tower – the tallest inclined structure in the world, an attraction which could’ve been a hit when it was finished prior to the opening of the games but it was only after 1987 that the tower was finished. The Olympic Stadium with the Tower now finished looked liked a UFO from afar. Maybe it was really designed like that because Montreal Olympic Park was also called futuristic Olympic park. The view of Montreal from the observatory was spectacular. My kids enjoyed the ride going to the top via a funicular-type elevator.

Move over Montreal, make a way for Quebec City. I got excited on our way to Quebec City because I keep on hearing from the tour guide that the old Quebec City is the Europe in Canada. When we arrived, I was not disappointed. I saw a castle and the court yard reminded me of the many movies I saw that were taken in France. The old Quebec City has the quaint charm that is irresistible. The roads were made of cobblestones and the village overlooking the river is lovely. Like the streets of France, it is lined with patio restaurants, a violinist playing in the corner, artists painting, actors and jugglers performing and lots of tourists roaming around. The tiny shops with interesting merchandise and souvenir items abound and the atmosphere is eclectic. Even the French language added to the authenticity of being in France. I really like it here. I found myself saying bon jour and merci, hahaha.

Still smells like the same LUSH stores in Manila

Chateau Frontenac

What I didn’t like in this part of the trip was pushing Lex stroller on the rough and sloping roads but it was rewarded by his behaved manner when we were roaming around. I guess he too was mesmerized by the place. Good thing, on the wayback, there was an elevator/cable car we used to have another view of the city. BTW, I saw a store that sells Russian/Beaver Hats. Aloysius and I enjoyed trying them on only to find out that they cost a lot. Our day concluded with dinner at McDonald’s and upon checking in at Clarion Hotel for the night.

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