It was about 1 pm and I headed out to drive into Montreal. I had studied my maps and Google Earth to make sure I knew what I was doing. Don’t want to scare the locals. HA!
I decided to go the city streets rather than the freeways. I went up Blvd. St. Jean to Hymus and turned right. I ran into another barricade which took me close to Hwy 40 and fortunately it ended at an exit. I had to move over quick to get back on Hymus. I drove on Hymus till it got came to #40 and it crossed over and became Blvd. Henri-Bourassa. About 8 miles later I turned onto Blvd. de L’Acadie. It was very tricky to keep going on this street for there is a little round about over #40 and I had to get over to the right or I might have been on my way to Quebec City. Fortunately, I managed to get over and to stay on L’Acadie just fine. I found Rue Jean Talon and turned left and followed it out.
My goal was the Jean Talon Market, recommended by a friend who lives in Gatineau. I turned right onto Ave. Henri-Julien and there was a big truck blocking the road. I managed to get around and find the underground garage entrance. I was surprised to find that it was not full of cars and grateful. I found my space and reflected on the fact that I had made it into Montreal safely. Breathe girl…I took the stairs up into the market.
I entered at the east side and there was a wonderful kitchen shop in the corner with the items labeled in French.
The top of the market
As I wandering around I noticed that the people were outside keeping watch on their stalls of produce and I pondered that winter is coming and whether this market is open all year around? I think they have to be very hearty people because it was cool a slight bite in the wind.
The only thing missing was flying fish? The Seattle Public Market (Pike Place) is known for the fish throwing. http://www.pikeplacefish.com/
Google Images has some great photos of the Jean Talon market. Have fun!
I was getting hungry and decided that I would have something to eat but it was very difficult to decide. I found a Mexican Restaurant among the buildings along probably the north side of the market. They were speaking French, Spanish and English in this restaurant. My lunch was wonderful, the best burrito ever and the waitress was very kind to me. It was the El Rey Del Taco Restaurant where I had lunch. The fancy topping is sour cream. They kindly put the hot sauces on the side for me. In addition to the restaurant they had a grocery area packed with stuff.
The Rue St. Denis is a main street in the middle of Montreal and it is one way going southeast? I had a list of the cross streets ready and the GPS Garamond sat there on the dash assisting me. It was about 3 miles into the city from the market and I found the Hotel St. Denis just fine just below Rue St. Catherine W. I was unable to use the parking area outside the hotel and parked in a no parking zone. A big van had pretty much taken up the space so it would have been impossible for me to park there with my Corolla and parallel parking is not a strong need in my part of the world. Fortunately the spot was for a theatre and it was not busy at the time.
Much to my frustration the Hotel St. Denis lost my reservation and I had to go and get my confirmation number to show them. So it took a good 20-30 minutes to get the mess straightened out. I went out to the street checking on my car, I did not want another ticket for parking. I did that in Toronto. I gathered my stuff and put that on a chair in the lobby. There were two other guests and the guy gave her a card that didn’t work – debit?
Anyway they finally decided to redo my reservation to a new one and got me a room on the 4th floor. I then got a garage card and went to park the car in the underground parking around the corner on Christian. They had specific parking stalls for the Hotel St. Denis.
I gathered my things in the lobby and headed to my room and settled in.
I had made it into Montreal. I DID IT!
The rest of the day I could take it easy and relax. My window in my room was small and taken up by an air conditioner so I could not get a really good view of the city. So you see the skyline in the photo below. At least I could see how the weather was doing. Across from the hotel is the McGill University buildings which are not that interesting. They have taken up a great deal of that area of the city. Pacini and another cafe on the other side of the hotel had closed. Fortunately, there were other cafes down the street. I would manage.
So my car was safely parked for the duration of my stay in Montreal. I would walk to where I wanted to go which was going to be just fine.
My room was comfortable and clean. I had a Keurig Coffee maker with coffee packs, and to my surprise a refrigerator. The bathroom was very odd. The sink was in the entry way and the shower and toilet were in a small room with a huge door. The bed was comfy and I had a flat screen TV.
I turned it on and was introduced to Quebec Cartoons. If anyone knows the name of this carton please contact me. It was so cute and in French! I think my grand-daughter should learn French, she is turning 1-year-old. Her mom knows at least 3 languages…
Dinner was at the Restaurant Denis down the street on Blvd. Rene-Leveresque. It was comfort food and a lot of it. The waitress didn’t think I had eaten anything but I had two of the three pieces of steak. They put gravy on my steak….HA!
I settled in at my hotel room and listened to the sounds of Montreal…trucks on the street, traffic and sirens…it got quiet as the night came up.