We were up and away from Trois Rivieres at 5:30 in a calculated effort to beat the morning rush traffic into Montreal.
- We arrived at our hotel at 7:15 and parked the car for the next two days.
- Hotel check-in time was not until 3pm so we set out on foot to see some sights
- Within 10 minutes, we had our subway passes and headed toward the Westmount neighborhood, stoping a couple of times to see the artfully decorated subway stations at Place des Arts and McGill
- Our first short walk was to see the church Saint Leon de Westmont, widely considered Guido Nincheri’s masterpiece of stained glass. Sadly, it was closed today (Monday) … oh, I’ll be back!
- Next, we stopped at Mount Royal to see the basilica Oratory of St. Joseph. Relatively new (1960’s), the glass and decor are very contemporary. However, the crypt under the basilica has some lovely traditional glass.
- We continued to the Outremont neighborhood to visit Sainte Madeleine d’Outrement church. It was also closed today but the care takers were setting up for a mid-week bizzarre and they let us in. We had it all to ourselves. Beautiful windows. Quiet and serene, we whispered even though we were the only ones there.
- We carried onward to the Little Italy neighborhood to visit Notre Dame de la Defense. A funeral procession was just arriving so we had to scurry in ahead of them, get the shots and get out. Before WWII, Guido Nincheri was commissioned to design and decorate this church from the ground up. Against his wishes, the Italian community insisted he include an image of Mussolini on a horse in the mural over the alter. Following the war, the Canadian government arrested and sentenced Nincheri to four months in jail for treason. After his release, he left Canada and settled in Rhode Island.
- Lunch at Pizza Napoletana, a truly happening spot with great food. The wine list is “Bring Your Own” so Monica had to scoot across the street to buy a bottle and bring it back the restaurant. Different and fun!
- We strolled through the large and colorful Jean-Talon market, sampling the pasteries… approved!
- Back to the hotel to check in and a rest before dinner. Auberge le Pomerol… a small, cute hotel and right above a subway station.
- Monica’s nephew, Brent Taylor, picked us up at 6:30 and toured us through the largely Hasidic Jewish neighborhood of Outremont. Brent’s wife, Helene, met us at one of their favorite restaurants, Rumi, a blend of North African and Persian food. What a fantastic meal and so great to catch up with family. Thank you Helene and Brent for a wonderful evening!
Here are the day’s photos: Montreal Arriving