Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Parc du Mont-Royal

In reading about and researching Montreal, one of the first things I realized was that the Parc du Mont-Royal was a must-see, particularly for me. Before my trip, I'd wanted to get at least one outdoor run in and I quickly realized that running through Parc du Mont-Royal was the place for me. The park sits atop a vast hill (it's technically a hill though it's also described as a mountain) and the park itself was designed by the same person who designed Central Park in New York.

(Incidentally, the park's English name is Mount Royal Park but the French name sounds cooler)

On my first morning there I actually got a run in, as I went running through the streets of Old Montreal and Downtown (two of Montreal's many neighborhoods). But I still wanted to check out Mont-Royal.

On Sunday, I did.

This is the spot where I started and finished (Mrs. LB was in charge of the camera while I was off on my run). This lake freezes in the winter and is a popular ice skating rink. In the adjacent clubhouse, there are skates for rent when the lake freezes over. It's a shallow, man-made lake but it makes for a peaceful scene.

I ran through that trail, up and over the hill and through trees. There were so many trees, so much so that the fact that I'd left The Garmin in our hotel room didn't matter since picking up the GPS signal through those trees would have been impossible.

I wasn't alone in my run as dozens of Montrealers and visitors like myself were running, bicycling and walking along the paths and trails of the vast Parc du Mont-Royal. After running through so many trees and a curved path that kept curving, I wondered if I had gotten myself lost but eventually I came out the back way of some path I ran through, back through some sort-of familiar landmarks and eventually back down to the lake and Mrs. LB.

It wasn't the easiest run as the park was hilly, as you'd expect from a gigantic hill. So I labored toward the end of my run.

When I finished - and I think I got in about four miles but without The Garmin it's tough to say - Mrs. LB and I walked up to a place where you could see a view of the city. It wasn't the most-visited lookout - one I'd actually ran past, where you can see the downtown skyline - but we got to see a good view of Montreal nonetheless.

That's the Olympic Stadium and the Montreal Tower in the distance.

It was a taxing day at the park, to be honest. We probably walked about two miles to get from the lake to the lookout and on to a spot where we finally caught a taxi, and my legs were beat down after that. But the experience is just one of many in Montreal that will be unforgettable.


Angie Eats Peace said...

Looks beautiful!

Lissaloo said...

That last picture is just beautiful, that is really neat that you got to do your jogging there, what a great memory :)

Willoughby said...

The park looks gorgeous. I had an opportunity to go to Montreal with my French class when I was in high school, but I passed because it was pretty expensive. Looks like it would have been worth the money!

La Gitana said...

I remember that park well LB! My legs were screaming after hubby and I took the stairs from the bottom to the top! Did you see the stairs? they start just at the back edge of the McGill University lands abutting the park...and your right about the trees! so many trees! Thanks for the indepth look into such a beautiful city!