J'adore Montreal

{Montreal from the Mountain with the St Lawrence in the distance}

Montreal is my new favourite Canadian city.

 I visited for the first time last weekend, and I loved it! I loved the wonderful juxtapositions of old and new, European and North American, French and English... It really is one of the most dynamic and multi-dimensional cities I've been to recently. 

My mom and I spent the weekend in the Montreal area for my cousin's wedding.  They had their marriage ceremony in a countryside "Auberge" (French for "Inn") surrounded by wild-flowers, trees and vineyards.  It was so wonderful to spend time disconnected from the world, but reconnecting with my family.  

After the wedding festivities, we drove back to Montreal to bask in the gorgeous weather and cosmopolitan flavour of the city.  

We walked cobbled streets; we sipped coffee in cafes; we climbed the mountain; we marvelled at the mighty St Lawrence river, which has connected Canada to the world since the 16th century; we wandered down streets with glittering shops; we sampled poutine (french fries, cheese, and gravy) and the famous Montreal bagels from the Jewish quarter.  

The city was founded in the 17th century, and the old town feels like an ancient European city. I loved the cobbled streets and stone houses, which are now trendy cafes and art galleries.  

In contrast, the main city centre felt slick, energetic and busy, just like Chicago. They even call their main street, Sherbrooke, the "Golden Square Mile" (much like Chicago's "Magnificent Mile").   

And speaking of art... Montreal is such an amazing artistic hub. I spent a day at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, soaking up the artistic goodness on offer.  It was the only big museum in Canada I hadn't visited yet, and certainly lived up to the anticipation! 

{A statue of Maisonneuve staking his claim on Montreal}

{The Old City}

{The Old City, can't you imagine an early french settler living here?}

{Old and New}

{Musée des Beaux-arts in the Golden Square Mile}

{Unadulterated joy in the Musée des Beaux-Arts}

Eastern Townships

My cousin's wedding was in a remote part of the Eastern Townships, an area to the east of Montreal. There were so many quaint towns, beautiful mountains, and wine farms. I wish we could have stopped at them all!  And there were trees, and trees, and trees for as far as the eye could see. You'd be forgiven for thinking that all of Canada was one huge forest!

{My cousin Jeff and Me, so happy...}

This photo was taken the Friday evening before the wedding by my good friend Charmaine.  

Check out her blog here

. She's got such a quirky way of looking at the world; I love reading her posts! 

{Pastoral scene in the Eastern Townships}

{Vineyards near Lac Bromont}