Montreal City tour

Hello My dear Ghumakkar friends,

Its been sooooo long that I was away from Ghumakkar.My apologies for that.There are two reasons which I can give to justify my absence.First I was trying to settle in a new Country and second in the settling process I did not visit any place which I can mention in a post here…Quite a good reason.Isn’t it?Well that was the past and present is that after one long year we decided for a trip.

So we decided to take a tour to Montreal and Quebec City in the long weekend of Canada Day.Honestly speaking we did not have any plan to go.But one day when we were just looking for something we saw an ad by VIA rail Escape Fare.Escape Fare is a term used by the VIA Rail here for discounted ticket price or you can say SALE of train fare.Luckily we got a very good deal and that too in the business class of VIA rail.Although there are numbers of Tour companies here offering a very good travel package from Toronto to Montreal , Quebec , Ottawa and Kingston Island but all by a bus tour.So we never made plan of going by Bus.After booking our VIA rail train we even booked a hotel.It was all our preparation prior to visit.

On Saturday we had started our journey.Our train departure time was 0645 from Toronto (Union station ).Business class coaches were quite good , spacious and clean . We were given warm welcome and assistance by VIA Rail friendly staff.The difference in Business class and Economy class here is only food.In Business class food is included where as in Economy class we have to buy food.As a usual routine we got our tea , biscuits and later breakfast in train.In the end they had served complimentary wine.It was a 05 hour journey and we reached Montreal at 1200 noon.As we were entering in the Montreal City we can feel just by looking at the road , houses and other infrastructure  that it is a completely different city not similar to Toronto.

Via Rail

Via Rail


Inside of Via Rail

Inside of Via Rail

When we were booking our Hotel we thought of two factors; one is cost/location i.e. distance from railway station as our return train was also early morning train.Secondly as were not able to decide on Hotels as per reviews posted in Google we decided to go for a chain and brand Hotels which are tried and tested.Thus we finally booked our room in Sheraton Hotel Montreal.Our decision of choosing a Hotel Near Central station and close to city centre helped us a lot as we have not used any public transport / Cab service in Montreal.So we walked from station to Hotel.It was a 06 minutes walk.

Sheraton Hotel Room

Sheraton Hotel Room

After taking a lunch we decided not to waste even our half day so we got ready to explore Montreal City.We went to the Concierge and they had suggested to opt for Hop on – Hop off  tour by Grayline.Tickets for all these tours can by booked at Hotel itself.We paid at the Concierge and got our tickets booked for all 3 days.Starting point of Tour was also in the close vicinity of Hotel and took  just 05 minutes walk to reach there. It was a usual sightseeing double decker bus with upper deck open.They had two options of tour ; one was Day/Evening tour that operates between 1000 – 0600 pm and other tour was night tour that operates between 0600 – 1100 pm.Both tour has different route to follow and one can get down at any of the stops and can take the next bus.These Buses runs at an interval of 30 minutes.There was also a combo ticket of Day/Night which was just a CAD $4 extra in the price of Day tour.Thus We opted for combo  day/night tour.

Sightseeing double decker bus

Sightseeing double decker bus

Day tour includes 14 points and we did not felt the need of getting down and to explore more.It was a nice tour and guide was also good in explaining all details about City , History and other details.Tour took us to all points like Dorchester Square , Famous Fairmont Hotel , Old Montreal , Place Jacques Cartier , Square Victoria , China Town , Village , Fine Arts Museum, McGill University , St.Joseph’s Oratory , Mount Royal Park etc etc.

old Montreal

old Montreal

Old Structure

Old Structure

Old Structure

Old Structure

Old Structure

Old Structure

Old Residence structure

Old Residence structure

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

Montreal is a UNESCO city of design and administers program in which 1% of the budget of public building constructions must go to creating works of art for the space.This is a fabulous idea and each building will have some artistic work.Also there is a policy in Montreal in which for every old building its exterior can not be changed.Thus all Historical constructions and buildings are nicely preserved and maintained.We were also shown different new buildings in downtown.In all it was a very good tour without getting tired.

 New Building with contribution towards Art

New Building with contribution towards Art

St.James Oratory

St.James Oratory

Montreal Olympic stadium View from Mount Royal Park

Montreal Olympic stadium View from Mount Royal Park

We clicked many pictures and reached back to our starting point at 0600pm.It took us complete two hour to cover this tour without getting down.We went back to hotel.Our camera battery was completely drained.We charged our Camera , had our Dinner and again got ready for our Night Tour.As it was a summer time and generally sunset time here is 0830 pm we decided to take a night tour when it is completely dark.So we reached our Tour starting point at 0915 to catch 0930 Tour.Unfortunately because of heavy traffic and number of road closures because of Jazz Festival our tour bus came very late.Thus our 0930 tour started at 1000pm.We were very happy that Bus got delayed as we can see a better Montreal  by Night.

Luckily on the same day “Montreal International Fireworks Competition 2014 ” started so we were lucky enough that our bus got delayed and we got to see beautiful fireworks.Night tour follows  different route and in that route we got to see Beautiful Montreal Casino , Shows and Festival district , beautiful streets like Rue Saint Denis ,  Rue Saint Laurent etc..

Montreal by Night

Montreal by Night

Night tour was the best part of our 3 days trip and it is recommended for everyone to take this night Tour if you are visiting Montreal.We completed our tour by 1200 midnight…

Hope all of you liked my journey upto this point…See you soon with remaining Journey blog at Montreal , Beautiful Quebec City Tour and Montmorency falls…Till then….Take care…Happy Reading!!!

8 Comments

  • Welcome back, Abhee K!

    It is really a nice policy not allowing changes in exterior of old building. I suppose its about exterior architecture only.

    It is always preferable, if time permits, to see a place from all point and angle. I remember, when I went to see Tajmahal, I also saw it under the moonlight from near the river Jamuna at its back side. So you did it right by taking the night tour also.

    Nice write up and photography. Hope to read your stories now more often.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Abheeruchi says:

      Thanks Anupam ji for liking my post.

      Yes , it is a policy for exterior architecture only so that they can preserve heritage buildings.

      I am trying my best to write more stories.

      Regards,

  • Ashok Sharma says:

    nice post,good pics.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Glad to see your post Abhee. I think it is fair to be away for few months when one is trying to settle down in a new country. Better late than never.

    From the colors of the seat, was it by any chance called the ‘City Sightseeing Tours’. They have these big red buses and they are everywhere (Europe, Americas etc). There are may HoHo providers and it is a great concept. Someone gave us this tip that one should get on to a HoHo and then never get down, do one complete trip and then they know on where to step out and spend more time. Unfortunately the HoHo service in Delhi has not been very popular.

    Preserving facades is following in many cities. So good to hear that. Montreal seems like a great weekend destination from Toronto. Thanks again for sharing and remain connected. Wishes.

    • Abheeruchi says:

      Thanks NJ.Also thanks for considering my reasons of being away from Ghumakkar.

      Yes NJ , it is Montreal City sightseeing bus similar to other cities.That is really a good advice.Infact we saw people taking two rounds in the bus first round would be full trip and in second round they get down wherever they wish and then catch the next bus.I never knew that in Delhi Ho Ho service started.

      From Montreal we went to Quebec which is preserved in much better way than Montreal.I will soon post about Quebec City tour too.

      Regards,
      Abhee

  • silentsoul says:

    good beginning.. waiting for next part

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