August 13, 2012

[Kingston/Montreal] Fort Henry and Montreal

Fort Henry, Kingston, ON
The fort that was never attacked in its lifetime

We woke up, had our breakfast (I went to Tim Horton's nearby so there was really nothing to show off on photos here), and checked out at our hotel. We then went to Fort Henry, the fort built to defend Kingston city from America during the War of 1812. Kingston was a strategic location; if it's occupied, the Americans can easily send re-enforcements through the lake.

Exterior of the fort
Fort Henry was built originally to defend land attack even though it is located on a hill facing the lake. The reason was that the side facing the water had a high cliff; it is easier to target units from higher points, not to mention sending troops up to the cliff (soldiers would have been taken down before they reach the top). It would be unwise to initiate naval assault.

The fort was huge. We attended the guided tours that showed us around each component and provided some insight and stories about it. We were surprised that, the fort is still being used for training purposes. Considering its age, we thought it should have been used only for tourism. In the fort, there was a cannon firing session. During the session, you can pay some fee and launch a cannon yourself with guidance from the solider. It was originally part of our plan, but the session schedule conflicted with our train to Montreal, so we had to skip it.

The training ground
Tunnel to cannons
A cannon
Where soldiers rested
Fire powders
Where soldiers took shower
Another Cannon

Montreal, QC
Back to the city where all the amazing scenes are amalgamated.

Hyatt, our hotel for the next two nights
We took a fairly long train ride and finally got to the city of Montreal. It was a bit nostalgic, and I was surprised that I remember many of the directions to landmarks since last December (I came to Montreal in December; you can see those posts in this blog as well).

Of course, I did get lost a few times, but Google Maps always managed to bring me back on track (thank you Google Maps).

The first thing we did was check-in and dinner. We were super tired and hungry after the long ride, and since there was another long walk from the train terminal to hotel, our energy metres were on extremely dangerous level.

We stayed at Hyatt Legacy Montreal, a very nice hotel with very small rooms and unsatisfactory complementary services. We arrived at the hotel and were told that since the employees were on strike, the room service will be cancelled and housekeeping will be done once every two days. We then were surprised to be notified that wireless internet was not included, but they would give it to us for free because of the strike. It was outrageously ridiculous. I meant, what kind of top-tier hotel does not provide complementary wireless internet? Even mid-range hotels provide them for free now! And the hotel should have at least notify their customers that there was a strike ongoing and offer them options to cancel reservations or discounted rates.

Anyhow, since the room was already booked and my credit card has been charged, we could not do anything about the situation.

The streets were beautiful around the hotel; there seemed to be a festival of some sort happening around the area. We found a restaurant near the hotel and had our dinner there.

Montreal in summer was significantly different from the city  in winter. It was warm everywhere and slightly chilling at night; the atmosphere also changed with or without snow. We went to the top of Mont Royal, and I have to say that the night view in winter looks much more beautiful than the view in summer.

Mont Royal night view

A slideshow of today's footprints:

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