Keeping up with the tradition, I woke up early the second morning we were in Montreal. My plan was to head out to the location we had visited the first day – Mount Royal. It had been snowing on and off since the day we had arrived there – such issues never bother me, though! I got ready (which is what I always do), said my prayers, and about 6am was on my way out to get my car into action – it needed quite a bit of cleaning! I was able to hit the road about 6.20 and had to drive half-hour to reach the parking lot of the destination (the lookout requires a walk of about 10 minutes from there, as mentioned in the earlier post).
Even though I was quite early at the spot, I could see a streak of light in the distance. Being a clear sky, it must have 100’s of kilometers out! I am always excited to see the first rays of sun from an elevation, and that day was no different. This in spite of the temperature being much below normal and the wind hitting my face because of the open area all around. No wonder, I was all alone thinking who else could be crazy to join me in such frigid conditions! But, as the sun was about to make its majestic appearance, few more folks joined me. The area is know for hiking, and I also saw a lady doing what looked like her morning run.I have been to locations where some people clapped in the anticipation of another blissful day. Here, a couple of couples got cozy…I would never have such a luxury (Saru is not a morning person). Anyway, I was glad I added one more place to my list of places I have explored that time of the day. Somehow, I have started to enjoy extreme temperatures – it makes me feel I am really vacationing 🙂
I was in the hotel by around 8.15 and we looked forward to exploring downtown on the only clear day we got lucky with during our time in Montreal.
*Mount Royal is one of the best (and highly rated) places I could find to view Sunrise over Montreal….don’t miss it even otherwise!
We had plans to see Sunset over Montreal the day we drove to the city from home. However, it being a working day and due to excessive snowfall all along, we reached quite late in the night. Since we had 3 full days to spend in the city, we didn’t worry about it at all.
We checked into our favorite Hampton Inn & Suites in Laval (just a 20-25 minute drive from downtown) and enjoyed the night. The next morning, our first stop was Mount Royal – a large-volcanic related hill and a place known for its fantastic views of downtown Montreal. We parked in the designated parking area, and as soon as we got out the car, we were blasted with strong winds (and it was still snowing). It made no sense to walk for 8-10 minutes to reach the Chalet for views. However, I saw some skiers making their way over to the vast open area. No way I was about to return back when I had company, so Saru stayed in the car while I geared up to join them 🙂I asked a guy around as to where the lookout (just opposite to the chalet) is. He advised me to head further up and that it is just about 500 meters. However, I kept going ahead without realizing there is a small road to the right, which takes you to the lookout in just about 5 minutes. I realized this only after I completed my adventure and was heading back to the car. However, I did enjoy the long trail I had inadvertently taken!I breathed a sigh of relief when I finally saw the chalet (structure below) after walking for about half-an-hour. I quickly went inside to explore it – it has restrooms, souvenir shop, food outlet, and a set of chairs to enjoy the outside view. Not many people were inside, but I can imagine it being a hot-spot in summers.I didn’t spend much time exploring the inside (remember, Saru was still in the car). The outside was all covered in snow, even the views of downtown!It was not quite the sights I had expected, but quite unique nonetheless. Since I had to return there for Sunrise/Sunset, I soon returned to the car and saw Saru enjoying reading one of the books she had downloaded onto her iPad with the car heating on. Owing to frigid conditions, we soon decided to call it a day in the morning itself. Well, we still had 2 more days 🙂