Montreal is a beautiful island city located on Canada's east coast in "La Belle" province of Quebec. It is the only city in the world outside
of France that is primarily French speaking. In fact, most visitors from the rest of Canada and the
United States think they are visiting a foreign country when they cross the border into Quebec.
The city is made up of hilly cobblestone streets, wide modern highways, eclectic neighborhoods,
and an oddly matched mixture of modern steel and centuries-old rough stone architecture. Its namesake mountain, Mont Royal, in the middle of the city, has
beautiful views of the waterfront and the city's rooftops.
I grew up in Montreal. I remember walking with my mom
to the market. Occasionally we would buy a chicken. Mom would point to one in a cage and the
butcher would chop its head off right there. (Ugh!) We would take it home and I would pluck its
feathers. (Ugh! Ugh!) The market is still there, however, on my last visit it was being renovated, so I can't say if they still sell live chickens. I can say the entire district surrounding the market has been historically preserved and named appropriately Old Montreal. Some of the buildings
date back to the 1800's. In the summer Old Montreal is packed with tourists from around the world, mingling with the locals, exploring the shops, listening to street musicians, and eating and drinking in the pubs and cafes.
Montreal is a
city to savor and explore and for me, a city of memories.