Calling Mont Royal
a mountain is stretching the meaning a bit far as it peaks only at around 700 ft but we had a glorious feet-aching walk up it today and got a birdeye's view of the city of Montreal.
Locals are very proud of their mountain (they are offended when it is referred to as a hill) which inhabits the north of the city. It's winding trail led us past the Lac aux Castors (Beaver Lake) which was busy with pedalo's and not beavers, then the trees gave way to the rustic looking chalet (more interesting from the outside than in) and it's plaza with stunning views of Montreal's skyscrapers and Canada beyond the St Lawrence River.
Nearby is a 103ft-high illuminated cross that has been one of Montreal's most famous landmarks since 1924. Then on top of the mountain lie two vast cemeteries offering a tranquil moment in time.
We could easily be in France, although we have seen none of the snobbery or haughtiness that I read about towards non-French speakers but I can't help think how strange it must be to live in a corner of a vast country and speak the language of forefathers 3,500 miles away.
Anyway we're out to dinner in a minute to find a good steak frites place (there is plenty of choice), although the wine selections will quickly remind you that you are in Canada and not Bordeaux.