Montreal - Vieux Montreal, Vieux Port
Today we went to the old section of Montreal, where the city was originally founded. On the way there, we walked through Chinatown and saw three cathedrals. The first two, Le Cathedrale Marie Reine-du-Monde and St. Patrick's, were fairly mundane and non-touristy. They also didn't seem to be very old. The third, however, was Notre-Dame, which was built around 1829. It was recently redone, and its interior included huge amounts of carved wood, one of the biggest organs in North America, and a wedding chapel. Celine Dion, among others, was married in the cathedral's wedding chapel. It had a distinctive feel which definitely set it apart from the European cathedrals that I have seen. For one, it wasn't nearly as old. Also, the fact that it had a lot of wood made it seem newer and more unique. After Notre-Dame, we went down to Vieux Montreal, which is the old section of town. There, we saw lots of shops and restaurants, and much more old architecture. Many of the roads were paved with brick. Next, we went down to the waterfront of the Saint Lawrence river, where we saw many fancy yachts and tour boats. We passed the Canadian science center and went to the Musee Pointe-a-Calliere, which is a museum located on the site of the first settlement in Montreal. It was a very neat museum, and it features a walk through the actual foundations of the old customs house and town square. It was the first museum I had been to which actually focused more on archaeology than art or artifacts. That was pretty much all for today. Tonight, we ate at a nice Italian restaurant and did some shopping on Rue Ste. Catherine. We also found an entrance to the metro, which will come in handy tomorrow when we go to Olympic Park.