This is the 3rd of a series of posts dealing with my 2016 trip to Toronto, Montreal, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification. These are indicated by “NOW”.
Lots of ground to cover, because I literally covered a lot of ground today. To fully appreciate this day, I recommend looking at a map e.g. Google Maps. General notes: the hostel is Auberge Hostel. Not bothering with accents. All transportation today STM/Société de transport de Montréal.
[NOW: Accents added in for the blog edits.]
I got a lot more sleep since I didn't have to wake up right away. I reminded my body how I was fighting sleep on the bus and gave my body permission to go there at the end of the day last night. Ironically while I slept well I woke up at 5. When you consider that 5 = 2 Pacific, this was the earliest I've woken up so far.
I explored an art corridor between two buildings of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts/Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. I walked to McGill University where a young squirrel was skipping along. Heading further east I saw the giant hand sculpture Mañana (due to the name it reminds me of the song that goes Manananah do-dooo de-do-do). I walked west along rue Ste-Catherine including a rest at Square Phillip (also along the way is a store I have to be careful how I spell: Fcuk; rude but clever as it's technically not swearing but...) Then wandered to Station Guy-Concordia to get a three-day pass. I returned to the hostel for breakfast and then dashed back to Guy Concordia, taking the Green Line to Station Honoré-Beaugrand (all trains are blue regardless of line). I was twenty minutes early but had trouble finding the 186 stop due to construction. In fact miscommunications led me to a 185 bus going the wrong way. I dashed back and finally found the stop. The line was already half-packed for the bus after the one I wanted, now gone. The next one finally showed; all the windows had been carved to varying degrees by passengers. I took it to Sherbrooke-Gouin, passing Montreal-Est before returning to Montreal.
Leaving Montreal and by extension Island of Montreal/Île de Montréal I crossed the huge Pont Le Gardeur across the Rivière des Prairies to Repentigny. Along the way is the inaccessible Île Bourdon, part of the latter. Continuing, after getting a drink at Dépanneur Beauchemin, I crossed Pont Reed-Grenier (same river) to Charlemagne and then crossed over to the Lachenaie area of Terrebone. I visited Walmart to see if the Quebec selection of DVDs was different. French wording everywhere but same DVD selection; I got a 50c pop at a vending machine there, then, running late, ran and walked back to the Sherbrooke/Gouin bus stop in Montreal, getting another drink at Dépanneur Centre-AB just before the bus stop. I took the 186 bus west to 53e Ave (I actually got off one stop early at the commuter train station Pointe-aux-Trembles. On 52e Ave I had trouble finding a 40 bus stop. I noticed that a bus with a different number was parked for a bit and headed over. It was now the 40. Confirming that it was the right bus by pointing to my itinerary, I took it to boul. Albert-Hudon at rue Marie-Victorin, then around the corner took the 69 bus to boul. Henri-Bourassa at Pie-IX. I crossed Pie IX Bridge/Pont Pie-IX over the Rivière des Prairie to Laval on Île Jésus.
Heading west along boul. de la Concorde I got some DVDs at Vidéotron le Superclub on boul. d'Auteuil at Concorde. Heading west I grabbed lunch at McDonald's (I passed on the woman wanting me to try the self-serve machine demo, noting my French wasn't that good) and sat outside where someone smoked in the no-smoking outside area. Heading west and looping down into rue des Alouettes, I headed south along boul. des Laurentides where I bought more DVDs at Vidéotron le Superclub. Heading south to Station Cartier, one of the few places in Laval covered by STM, I took the Orange Line train to Station Sauvé and visited another Vidéotron le Superclub, on rue Lajeunesse. Returning to Station Sauvé I took the Orange Line train to Station Rosemont, and then crossed a viaduct, Viaduc Rosemont-Van Horne to Bernard St. I visited Librarie Drawn & Quarterly, a comic shop owned by the comic company Drawn & Quarterly. I bought a large bottle of water nearby before heading south along av du Parc, getting more DVDs at Vidéotron le Superclub. I headed south to av du Mont-Royal, where a scheduled 11 bus never showed. After a long wait an 11 bus finally showed up and I took it to the observation area of the literal Mont-Royal. The long bus wait soured me a bit though the view is nice, so I didn't take as many photos there as usual. The returning bus never showed, likely the same one that never showed the other direction, but another 11 finally came and I took it to Paul Boutique, now back on av du Mont-Royal. Then I bought some DVD at Le Boîte Noire, which is closing down, then another at Librairie L'Échange.
[NOW: aside from Boîte Noire, Vidéotron le Superclub on boul. d'Auteuil and on av du Parc are also now closed.]
I took a 97 bus to Vidéotron le Superclub, still on av du Mont-Royal and bought more DVDs. I had dinner at McDonald's, where the guy at the teller seemed confused even after I switched to English. I walked to Le Colisée du livre and then to Le Cinoche. I was going to take the 97 bus back along Mont-Royal but it was a long wait, so I walked to Station Mont-Royal instead.
I took an Orange Line train to Station Place-d’Armes and walked to Old Montreal/Vieux-Montréal, passing the namesake Place d’Armes along the way. I finally found a water fountain at a waterfront place called Pavillon Jacques-Cartier. I filled the now empty bottle I bought yesterday and walked around Old Montreal before returning to Station Place-d'Armes. I took the Orange Line train to Station Lucien-L'Allier, where four escalators and a hill took me most of the way back to the hostel.
So maybe not a fun day per se (I wish all other bus services in the area had a deal with STM or at least offered transfers so i could take them) but quite productive at least, I know buying bottled water is frowned on and normally I'd agree but getting that water on Bernard was a personal safety issue.