Monday, 1 November 2010

Canada Trip Day 18: Mount Royal Park, Montreal

30 June 2010 -It took us a while to walk from our hostel to Mount Royal Park. To do an ascent to the viewing balcony at the park after a long walk from our hostel was a bit of a challenge for us though one that was quite refreshing. We passed McGill University buildings on our way to the park. In a way, seeing a lively crowd in the park sparked some enthusiasm in us. There were people of all ages strolling, cycling, jogging or walking their dogs.

While Lonely Planet has mentioned of the park's viewing platform, Kondiaronk (name of a Huron chief) Belvedere just right in front of Chalet du mont Royal, as a must-visit destination, I hadn't imagine how much more amazing it was standing on it to look down at Montreal city. I had seen city views from some of the cities tallest towers yet, this one is not quite the same. Perhaps, it was not having to jostle in between crowds in narrow balconies to catch a few minutes of the view before hopping onto another spot. The expansive platform allows for personal space to truly enjoy the city view from any deserted spot.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the park and had the most amazing squirrel experience. Never in my entire life have I seen so many squirrels coming out of their hide-out, scurrying to us when we offered them biscuits.There were fishes and snails in Beaver Lake, which was nice.We visited Smith House which was built in 1858, turned into an interpretive center in 1999.

I didn't think the park would be this big. We spent many good hours at the park venturing on the west side of the park. Unfortunately, we gave Mont Royal Cross and George-Étienne Cartier Monument a miss.

Kondiaronk Lookout

Girls trying to get their camera ready at Kondiaronk Lookout

Baby sitting on the floor at Kondiaronk Lookout

View of the city from Kondiaronk Belvedere

View of the city from Kondiaronk Belvedere. Three outstanding skyscrapers; 1000 de La Gauchetière (with conical top), Tour CIBC (flat top) and 1250 Boulevard René-Lévesque

View of Montreal City from Kondiaronk Belvedere

Sun Life Building (building on the left) and Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral

Bronze markers to point out where the mountains that can be viewed from
Kondiaronk Lookout

Happy couple at
the Kondiaronk Lookout

A couple enjoying the view from
Kondiaronk Lookout

Chalet du mont Royal

Inside Chalet du mont Royal

Squirrel figurines on the wooden beams in Chalet du mont Royal

Lots of greenness in the park as we walked towards Beaver Lake

There are some white monuments in the park

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake and Beaver Lake Pavilion in the distance

Lady checking on her baby in the stroller by Beaver Lake

Man watching a boy playing with the water by Beaver Lake

Man walking along Beaver Lake while two boys were rolling down the slope at the park

Mum feeding biscuits to a squirrel

Hello Mr Squirrel

Golden orange fishes in Beaver Lake

Tall grass in Beaver Lake swaying with the wind

Reflections of clouds on the Beaver Lake

Snails in shallow waters of Beaver Lake

Educational trip at Mount Royal Park

Fountain right outside Smith House

Smith House turned into an interpretive centre

Park trails

Found another squirrel

Mum getting very excited seeing squirrels. The trip turned into a search for squirrels at one point.

Lady jogging with her dog at Mount Royal Park

Wild flowers of Mount Royal Park

Flower that looks like the Scotland Thistle. These are thistles?

Lots of squirrels coming to mum for food

Saw a squirrel dashing down a tree!

Children are also getting excited with furry little squirrels

Another passerby who also got excited by squirrels

Man happily having his photo taken with squirrels while mum's just oblivious to all that and wants to feed squirrels

Pretty looking buds

Man in a grass-cutting vehicle

Descending from Mount Royal Park

At the base of the mountain

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