Just as the feeling was starting to come back to our extremities, we ventured out into the cold again. This time to see the mighty St. Lawrence River at the Old Port of Montreal.
The Cold Port
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this so far, but it was really cold. Again, it wasn’t above 0°F the entire time we were there. Despite that, the Old Port of Montreal was setting up for a winter festival (that I think might have been Merry Montreal), a giant outdoor event that takes place every friday for a month. It wasn’t ‘happening’ the day we were in the port, but there were still plenty of people out willingly ice skating under the shadow of the Ferris Wheel.
I also decided to try and Black and White a photo of the Ferris Wheel, so here’s a more artsy representation of the Old Port of Montreal.
Neither Sarah nor I are much of ice skaters (forgive us for being from the midwest), so we declined to don skates and fall on our asses. And since the Ferris Wheel cost something like $25/person, we decided to just see the port at ground level.
And once again, Sarah was a trooper. She uses blankets in summer so this has to be close to her idea of hell. but her sense of adventure overrode her sense of cold.
She just looks so unhappy in this picture and I think it’s hilarious.
The St. Lawrence River and the Montreal Skyline
As we walked out on the pier, we had a great view of the St. Lawrence River with the Biodome off in the distance.
As well as a great view of the city, though to be honest, Montreal’s skyline isn’t that picturesque.
No buildings really stand out as being iconic from a distance. It sort of reminded me of Seoul in that way; a pretty city but not a skyline I could pick out of a line-up. However, I did discover that when you underexpose it in Black and White, it looks like a Noir film.
Anyway, back to the river.
I looked north and saw the Pont Jacques Cartier (Jacques Cartier Bridge to us Yanks) and the Sailors’ Memorial Clock Tower (on the left).
A little later, I was able to get a cool shot of the Sailors’ Memorial Clock Tower thanks to the setting sun (at 3:45 pm). Sarah now was starting to get cold so I had to snap a quick photo as we made our way to the Marché Bonsecours. If it were 15° warmer, I could have gotten a better shot, but alas.
We also passed in front of the Notre-Dame de la Bonsecours. We didn’t go up because it closed at 4pm, so photos from the outside are the best I could get and again, I had to shoot from the hip because the cold was becoming a factor.
From the outside, the Marché Bonsecours looks like a palace with the dome and broad façade.
Inside, it’s a shopping mall so I didn’t take any pictures. The shops are mostly full of tourist stuff: overpriced maple syrup bottles marketed the same way other parts of the world sell wine, ceramic mooses with Canadian flags on them, shirts that read “What aboot it, eh?”, stuff like that.
After we meandered through the shops, we sat down for a second to catch our breath at 4:30 pm. We hadn’t walked that far that day—only about 6 or 7 miles—but the cold took so much out of us. I remember reading that arctic explorers were encouraged to eat sticks of butter to keep their calorie counts up while exploring, And as I plowed through a protein bar, I understood why. If you’re going to go walking around in subzero temperatures for hours at a time, make sure you have eaten enough because it can be exhausting.
With that in mind, we left the mall, wandered down this quiet street in Old Montreal and found an Indian restaurant of which I have forgetten the name.
On our walk back, I took the night shots of the Notre-Dame Basilica found in my post about the Basilica. After which, we called a cab and went back to the AirBnB to warm our weary bones.
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