This past week I traveled to Montreal for work-related purposes. When I go to a new city, I always bring my running shoes. Love doing the running tourist thing.
One day I ran through McGill University’s campus, aka the Harvard of the north, and then up to Mont Royal, the hill in the center of Montreal. Montreal is a really old city. Jacques Cartier first came to Montreal in 1535, and climbed this same hill with some natives to take a look around. In 1611, a trading post was established, making Montreal a contemporary of North American expansion with the settlers of Plymouth Rock and Jamestown.
Montreal takes its name from this hill. That is, Mont Royal = Montreal. The hill isn't that big--I just can't rise to calling it a mountain---but it has a number of nice single track trails weaving up to and around the top. Beautiful views of the city, the river, and bridges to hinterlands.
Afterwards, I ran to the Musee des Beaux Artes, aka the Museum of Fine Arts. Everything is in French in Montreal. The museum has some great modern art, as well as some terrific Inuit statues. And it was free! And open to persons in running shorts.
Another run took me into and around Old Town, Montreal. Here, I ran along the waterfront, joined by friend John. We passed the Molson factory, a site of some distinction.
On a third run, I again ran around Old Town, ending up in the Notre Dame cathedral, which was stunning, with its statues, stained glass, organ, and architecture. Very worthwhile. Probably my favorite tourist highlight.
Montreal is a most excellent town. I loved that French was the primary language. I managed, as I’m sure do all who visit. Plenty of nice places to run, eat and visit.