December 29, 2011

[Montreal] Garden, High Tea, and Mont Royal

Montreal, QC
Botanical Garden, a place where your stress gets treated by the nature.

After our breakfast (where we decided to dine in at a yum cha restaurant), we (for the first time in three days) took the local subway system and headed for our first destination of the day - Botanical Garden.

Botanical Garden is a museum that exhibits rare plants and flowers. It is composed of several large green houses and a insects museum. It is located right next to the Olympics Stadium, where the 1976 Summer Olympics was held.

Let's get back to our trip.

The Montreal Metro was nicely constructed, and the inside of the stations/platforms were clean; whereas the subway system in downtown Toronto was having a weirdly planned route map, a bit dirty, and somehow "complicated" ridership. It was a pleasure seeing such a nice subway station again (far from Taipei Metro and Vancouver's Sky Train system that is).

The Montreal Subway System

After a 9 minutes ride on the train, we arrived at the Pie-IX Station. From there, we had to walk for another 10 minutes (under the "feels-like-minus-thirty-something-degrees" weather).

Museum front yard
The museum was large; and the place was full of insanely crazy looking plants.

We got our tickets and got weird stamps on our hands (as a proof of purchase so that we could walk under the "feels-like-minus-thirty-something-degrees" weather for another 10 minutes to the insect museum then get in without paying again).

The entrance fee was 14 dollars for adults, yet since we are students we got some discounted price (com'on, students always get discounts :P). The student ticket was 10.50 dollars.

The parts of the garden that impressed me the most would be the winter themed greenhouse and the Chinese styled yard. The winter themed greenhouse was composed not only plants that survive in winter, but also many beautiful Christmas decorations. There was a giant snowman and a giant Christmas tree made with poinsettias, and a giant area filled with giantly tiny decorations (just kidding LOL).

The beautiful X'mas themed greenhouse

The Chinese styled yard greenhouse was also amazing. The greenhouse was decorated with several different types of penjings as well as very Asian looking yard scene. There were Chinese gates, brideges, and some very detailed walls.

The Chinese styled garden

Of course, there were many others cute areas such as the cactus garden, yet due to the length of this article I will not be describing using text (admit it, you are just lazy!). =D.

Montreal, QC
The beverages and the desserts, within the top class hotel restaurant.

After walking around all the greenhouses, we decided to go for high tea.

We Google mapped a bit, planned our transportation route, and head towards the Fairmont Hotel back in the downtown.

Since it was our first time visiting, we did not know that we needed to make reservations with the restaurant so that they could prepare our dishes before we arrive. Therefore, it was somehow scary when the lady at the kiosk told us that most people make reservations 24 hours beforehand.

As we were frightened looking at each other and praying for miracles, she called the restaurant and asked if there were any vacant seats. It was one of the longest 30-seconds we have ever had, because we might have just missed one of the rare opportunities to have some high class afternoon meals.

Fortunately, the restaurant had some spaces left; the only thing was that it might take them longer to prepare our dishes.

After we were seated, a waiter brought a cart next to our desk and asked us to, out of 10 or more kinds of tea, choose the one we favour the most. There were many high class and expensive tea available, including oolong, sencha, Darjeeling, etc.

The one I chose was some sort of fruit based tea; it was slightly sweetened (the only thing I did not like) but smelt very nice. The taste was smooth and light; one could easily feel the quality with every sip.

And our dish came. It was faster than we imagined; it came within 15 minutes after we chose our tea.

Dishes were stacked into three layers; the base layer served biscuit, the middle layer had sandwich, and the top layer contained sweet snacks.

Montreal, QC
Most astonishing night ever.

We left the wonderful high tea restaurant at around 17:40, heading to our last destination of the day - Mont Royal.

Cold and icy road to the view point
Taking the subway to Mont Royal Station, we transferred to bus route number 11 (because this route drives uphill and had a few stops on the mountain).

The bus drive kindly informed us the best place to stop for the most beautiful view, and here we are (were), the cold and freezing mountain.

The walkway to the view point was very empty, except for some beautiful dark-yellowish street light decorations. It was wide, and the road was covered with snow and ice.

The night scene was extremely beautiful. No wonder people kept talking about Mont Royal when Montreal was mentioned. I felt that all our hard work of walking uphill in this feels-like-minus-thirty-something-degrees weather weren't just waste of time. It was totally worth it.

Beautiful view...

Even though it was extraordinarily beautiful, the freezing weather still drove me into the building right beside.

The building was empty but huge; it seemed like it was built only for tourists coming up during winter to warm up a bit (yes, that's me lol...).

Bonus Contents:


Here ends the travel records to Montreal, because the last day we just woke up at 9 and got back to Waterloo. As a side note, Waterloo was extremely warm.

Anyhow, during this trip, we saw a lot of beautiful things. The city of Montreal was a place worth going back again, since during this trip we did not have much time to explore around the city (the severe weather condition was also a problem). If you were to go, I would suggest going once during summer and once during winter as the scene and feel (not only temperature-wise) would be very different.

This trip should count as our university graduation trip (you know, most of those Asian schools have graduation trips at the end of certain levels). I enjoyed the time spent with my friends over in Montreal, and I enjoy the time when I saw those amazing scenes.

Thank you for following this trip; the next time I post something on this blog might be after a few years as I need to start preparing for my post-graduate life.

Happy New Year, and hope you have a wonderful 2012!


  1. i haven't been to mount royal yet!! so so pretty! arent you gonna go for a post grad trip when you actually graduate though?

    1. LOL yeh mont royal was just amazingly beautiful.
      Of course! there HAS to be another grad trip when i graduate :P let us all co-op/intern ppl who can't graduate in 4 years go together XDD

  2. Replies
    1. we should do a around-the-world travel!
      back from Coquitlam (where the friendships started) -> Vegas -> NY -> Toronto -> Montreal -> London -> Barcelona -> Paris -> Austria -> Berlin -> Venice -> Moscow -> Egypt -> Tibet -> Chongqing -> Shanghai -> Seoul (can be skipped) -> Osaka -> Hokkaido -> Tokyo -> Nagasaki -> Hiroshima -> Okinawa (too many jap cities!) -> Taipei -> Kaohsiung -> Hualian -> Hawaii -> Seattle -> Vancouver


    2. LOLOLL omg that will take forever :D and a lot of money!

    3. I don't mind all those jap cities btw :P

    4. lmao lets go to all those jap cities only then lmao