The drive to Montreal was good, sticking to the more scenic routes. We had a plan for a campsite as we had seen a 'tent' on our map which signifies a campsite right on a penninsular just across the river from Montreal City. As we got close to the area I commented on how seedy the area had become and how similar to a 'border town' in Africa selling cheap cigs and petrol. It soon became obvious, as we noticed the French road signs had disappeared and alll the businesses had names like Mohawk Bar and Chief stores, that we were in an AmericanIndian community and on checking the map saw that the 'tent' depicted the same...obviously no campsite there then!!! Luckily we had a plan B seen in a camping guide which turned out to be too far away from the city and not very desirable and so it was on to plan C aa trusty 'KOA' campground of America campsite which can always be relied upon... a bit like McDonalds you know exactly what you are going to get, which in this case is usually excellent.
The next day we set off, instructions in hand from the campsite to find the car park near the city centre that allows RV's and campers. Unfortunately Montreal is a sprawling mass of interstates and other roads and we took the wrong turning and ended up crossing the river and into the city. We headed towards the Old Port area and manged to talk ourselves onto a car park as they are not too keen on campervans, we think because some cheeky so & so's camp all night.
Montreal is really much like any other large city with an old section of cobblestone lanes full of cafes, restaurants, expensive galleries etc. The old port has been re-developend into a fun zone paralleling the St. Lawrence River for 3K where people cycle and inline scate. One of Montreal's famous landmarks is the Basilique Notre Dame where Celine Dion got married.
The modern downtown is similar to lots of cities but because of the extremely cold winters here most of the shops, businesses and metro stations can be accessed underground by hundreds of corridors, thus avoiding having to go outside at all in winter, you can simply get off the train underground and walk straight to your office without having to go outside.
Montreal holds many festivals and whilst we were there they were just setting up for their annual jazz festival which this year was being opened by Steve Wonder who would no doubt be doing a few numbers in memory of Micheal Jackson. The concern is held right in the middle of the city and is free!!!
We sent on a tour bus around the city sitting upstairs on the open top even though it was raining on and off all day. We managed to cover all the areas we wanted to see, having had a good tour of the city.
Having been in two cities we decided we needed a small town feel again and left Montreal for Mt Tremblant a ski resort a couple of hours north of Montreal. We learnt to ski here about 11 years ago and have only ever been in the winter before. We drove up on a lovely sunny day and it being a sunday the campsite was full of weekend campers enjoying the sun. However, next day was heavy rain all day and we got soaked to the skin just walking into town.
We hoped we would have good weather to go on the cylce path right up to the ski resort some 9k away and luckily the weather was good. We cycled right up to the ski village and went on the new ski lift to the recently opened casino. There was a birds of prey exhibition with all the birds being tethered to the keepers gloved hands and some with those little masks on over their eyes, when typically an American asked 'can I pet them' ..you couldn't make it up you could you!!!!
All the time we have been in Quebec we have read about a local 'dish' that is popular and as this was our last day in the state of Quebec we finally got round to sampling it. It looks pretty revolting, chips piled high with gravy over the top, which is o.k. but then covered in curd cheese, the sort of stringy cheese used in childrens snack pots. Actually it was quite tasty. We forgot our camera that that day so couldn't get a picture of it unfortunately