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Exploring Montreal: Adventures and Surprises with Luna - Part 1


Since Luna and I had a few days off, we decided to make an impromptu visit to Montreal. Traveling within Canada is generally quite expensive, and the 4th of July weekend didn't help since many Americans travel north where their dollars go much further than back home. Luckily for me, the same is valid for the Swedish krona. Ten dollars here go much further than they do in the USA.


Journey to Montreal

We ended up finding tickets with Megabus from Toronto to Montreal. The trip takes about 7 hours with a quick 10-minute stop in Kingston about halfway. I loved the buses, and a super nice feature is the glass roof that makes it possible to take in the high-growing cities. We arrived in Montreal around 5 PM with our goal set on a hostel close to downtown. We scootered over there in the heat, still around 35-40 degrees. Luna was very happy when we found it. To our disappointment, Luna was too young to stay there, and we ended up having to look into last-minute hotel deals. We were lucky enough to find one just around the corner. We spent much more than planned on lodging but were happy we found a good alternative.


Exploring the City

With only 3 nights in this metropolis, it was hard to know where to start. After checking in and leaving our bags, we left the scooter and went to buy a 3-day pass for public transport (only $21—great deal). We stumbled upon a circus-themed Montreal with acrobatic and music performances around every corner. After all, Montreal is the hometown of Cirque du Soleil, the world-renowned contemporary circus founded in 1984 that has transformed the circus arts globally.


Culinary Delights

We found a great vegetarian buffet with vegan spring rolls, and Luna's weekend just got 10 hearts. She loves her spring rolls, but they are hard to find as most of them have eggs in them. We then stumbled upon fireworks and a fountain heading down towards the port, right next to CHUM (Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal). CHUM is one of the largest hospitals in North America and is known for its striking modern architecture. The plaza we found is called Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, which features a stunning sculpture fountain called "La Joute" by the artist Jean-Paul Riopelle.



Fun at the Fountain

First, it was just a waterfall, and then the whole plaza started spraying water in different places, and the kids ran after it in all directions. Luna embraced the "let's not care if we get wet" attitude, and before we knew it, there were a bunch of kids joining her. She got soaked, and we ended up walking home laughing and dripping all the way back, about a 15-minute walk.


Rest and Refresh

We slept well that first night even though we had some interesting encounters at the hotel earlier during the day. I'll leave the juicy info about that for another blog.





Olympic Park and the Biodome

The first real day, we steered towards the Olympic Park. An impressive complex, where the Biodome was our first stop. The Biodome is remarkable for replicating five distinct ecosystems found in the Americas: the Tropical Rainforest, the Laurentian Maple Forest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Labrador Coast, and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Their commitment to animal welfare is evident, with naturalistic habitats, enrichment activities, and expert veterinary care ensuring the well-being of the animals. They even have an all-vegetarian restaurant, which is something all zoos should consider adopting.





Botanical Garden and Insectarium

We then headed up towards the Insectarium, which was full for the slot time we came, so we visited the Botanical Garden first. It is by far the most amazing garden I have ever visited in my life—absolutely stunning. If I lived in Montreal, I would without a doubt have a year pass to that place.


Food Truck Adventure and the Old Port

After a play session at the playground in the Botanical Garden, we set our minds to the metro to go downtown to get some food and stumbled upon First Fridays at the Olympic Park, an event with a variety of food trucks. We found a food truck with a 100% vegan menu that we just had to support. After chilling in the festive energy for a while, we finally jumped on the orange line down to the old port. We passed quite a few ice cream shops before we found something that was in Luna's taste. After a stroll around the port, the Ferris wheel, and the Cirque du Soleil headquarters, we passed the fountain on our way home. We just had time to get the bikini on and get wet from the fountain before it started pouring down. We ran laughing to the metro and landed in bed right before midnight, happy after a full day of adventure.



Tip of the Day

  • Plan your trip ahead to get good deals and avoid public holidays.

  • Buy a 3-day card to get the freedom of movement going.

  • Let the city guide you. There is so much happening all the time, so allow yourself to go with the flow.

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