Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekend Abroad

We had a great first visit to Montreal last month (baby's first international trip : )). After sitting in traffic on 93, stopping for a surprisingly good dinner at this place, trying to decipher a very mumbly border patrol man, and driving uncertainly through several misty/drizzly miles of very dark farmland just over the border, we finally arrived at our hotel around 10pm.

This was not our hotel, but we stayed right around the corner from this cathedral in the Old Montreal neighborhood-lots of cobblestones and people speaking French. 

On Saturday morning, we ate at a delicious pastry-filled cafe just a few blocks from our hotel. Our breakfast was so hearty that we ended up going back to our room to sit quietly and digest for an hour or two while we plotted the rest of our day.

Taison on a street near the hotel (maybe there weren't as many cobblestones as I remember)

We decided to use the city's bikeshare to do some exploring. It worked out really well to grab bikes, set off in an interesting-looking direction, and then drop them off somewhere else when we wanted to stop and explore on foot. Montreal is pretty bike-friendly, much more so than Boston or Cambridge.

Grabbing a bike

Montreal street scene. The weather cleared up nicely by the time we set out on the bikes.

We spent most of the day exploring a neighborhood called Le Plateau. It worked out well that it was uphill from our hotel-made for an easy downhill ride after lots of biking, walking, and a big meal.

 Taking a break in La Fontaine Park

We had dinner at a place called Au Pied de Cochon. It's known for its foie gras dishes, but neither of us could stomach the idea of eating foie gras after we refreshed our memories on how it's made. Luckily, everything on their menu is delicious, and we had plenty of other things to choose from... this giant mount of duck, mushrooms and potatoes...

...or this cute little lemon meringue pie.

 We had seats at the bar, which was actually a great view of one section of the kitchen.
Pretty sunset over Old Montreal

After dinner we headed back to Old Montreal and walked around some more. We headed back home the next morning, but not before stopping for some of Montreal's tasty and unique bagels. (No picture because we ate them in the car, quickly.)

It was fun to be able to go to a different country for just a weekend, especially somewhere that actually felt different from home. We would definitely go again, but maybe for a long weekend since it is a bit of a drive.

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