Montreal, a beacon of culture, shines as brightly as the residual Christmas lights lining the cobblestone streets and adorning the elegant wrought iron lamposts in the Old Town. Any new city presents an opportunity to learn something inherent of the city’s foods, fashion, people, and history, these destinations ensure you make the most of your time in Montreal, and leave with lasting memories in addition to the maple syrup!
1.Montréal Biôdome: “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”John Burroughs
I found this quote to be very poignant especially after the stress of semester finals and papers mounts, as does one’s to-do list. Nature always manages to put things in perspective, and reveals the beauty ever present, that we all too often take for granted.When in Montréal, there is no more comprehensive collection of nature’s wonder, with sections dedicated to the sultry rainforests of South America, and the Woodlands characteristic of the West, and all the oceans, lakes, and streams in between, all housed in an impressive glass dome structure. Here’s my sister and I posing with bat ears….who says you have to grow up!
French speaking children frolic as they admire the capybaras, which look like humongous hamsters,
while young couples coo over the colorful lovebirds, making the people as interesting to observe as the flora and fauna.
2. Ma’am Bolduc
After leaving the breathtaking Biôdome, my family and I were craving some casual cooking with just a touch of local flavor, and for that you can’t do better than Maam Bolduc,
with its colorful decor and its menu boasting an impressive selection of the Montreal late-night staple: Poutine.
Poutine, while not calorie conscious, is absolutely delicious and oh so worth it! The combination of crisp french fries, cheese curds, and beef gravy, is a must try in Montréal. We also tried the filet mignon and foie gras burger, which was a hit with the sweet and spicy honey sauce, and the perfect to complement the poutine.
3. Lola & Emily:
- When looking for statement-making pieces, this boutique is by far my favorite. The boutique boasts a boudoir feel with elegantly distressed dressers topped with the finest Cosabella lace underpinnings, and even a bed with tomorrow’s outfit primly laid out, like the night before the first day of school. Stocking flirty dresses from clothiers like Free People and Fillipa K, and cashmere from ça va de soie, this boutique is sure to provide that something extra special, like this dress by Parker, that is perfect for making a statement in 2012!
4. Notre Dame Basillica:
Our final night in Montréal, we decided to go on an evening walk past the Notre Dame Basillica,where we saw a crowd gathered in front. We took a quick pic out front.
We had shown up too late for a tour of the beautiful Neo-gothic gem, but were just in time for the “And then there was light” Sound and Light Show, a Montreal tradition. As we entered the dimly lit church, candlelight only hinted at the beauty of the structure. After lighting a candle, I found my seat, and put on the headset I was given at the door. Vast screens were situated all around us, and then the show began!
The show was framed as a journey back in time, led by a ghost of the Basilica’s architect. As we journeyed back in time, the history of the colony of Montreal, the church itself was revealed, then as the show came to an end, the beauty of the church where we had been sitting was revealed as the screens rose, “and then there was light!” Elegant woodwork,colorfully painted ceilings and sculpted statues became illuminated before our eyes!
After wandering around to more closely admire Notre Dame, we exited into the wintery air to see what other gems we might stumble upon.
Sending you lots of love and hoping you make the most of the Holidays wherever you may be! Happy New Year!