When we visited Montréal last fall, we chose to stay in the historic “Old Montréal, the oldest area in the city of Montréal with a few remains dating back to New France. Here at the center of town within an easily walkable few blocks, quaint cobblestone streets, lovely early architecture and fascinating historical sites blend with trendy shops, ultramodern art galleries and exceptional restaurants and hotels to create what’s easily Montreal’s most wander-worthy district. The original site of Montreal in 1642, then known as Ville-Marie, is precisely known. This is the Pointe-à-Callière, a piece of land at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River and Little River. The founder, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, built a fort in 1643 called Société Notre-Dame de Montréal for the conversion of the Indians in New France. The company was created by the Sulpician Jean-Jacques Olier and by Jérôme Le Royer (Sieur de La Dauversière) in 1642. The Société acquired sovereignty over the island of Montreal and brought the first settlers to house, feed, educate and care for the American Indians.
Mount Royal is a large volcanic-related hill or small mountain in the city of Montreal, immediately west of downtown Montreal, Quebec (in Canada), the city to which it gave its name. The forest is a green jewel rising above downtown Montreal, and is known for its beautiful autumn foliage as well as extensive hiking and cross-country ski trails. Biking is restricted to the main gravel roads. From 1885 to 1920, the Mount Royal Funicular Railway brought sightseers to its peak. After it ceased service, Montreal’s No. 11 streetcar brought visitors to the peak. A roadway named for longtime but controversial former mayor Camillien Houde, jailed during the Second World War for his opposition to Canada’s war effort, now bisects the mountain. Ironically, Houde had been opposed to the idea of putting a road through the park. The first European to scale the mountain was Jacques Cartier, guided there in 1535 by the people of the village of Hochelega. He named it in honor of his patron, Francis I of France.
The Montreal Botanical Garden (Jardin botanique de Montréal) is a large botanical garden in Montreal, Quebec, Canada comprising 75 hectares (190 acres) of thematic gardens and greenhouses. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008 as it is considered to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world due to the extent of its collections and facilities. The garden was founded in 1931, in the height of the Great Depression, by mayor Camillien Houde, after years of campaigning by Brother Marie-Victorin. The grounds were designed by Henry Teuscher, while the Art Deco style administration building was designed by architect Lucien F. Kéroack. It serves to educate the public in general and students of horticulture in particular, as well as to conserve endangered plant species.
While were were visiting Denver, we decided to go up into the mountains to visit the old silver mining town of Georgetown. What began as a gold mining camp in 1859 evolved into a community that was widely known in the 1870s and 1880s as the Silver-Queen of the Rockies. It became a noisy, bustling town and a commercial and railroad center for the surrounding mining activities. But it was also a true community, with churches, parks, opera houses, firehouses, and white picket fences. Its residents included managers and professionals as well as miners and shopkeepers. Because of a strong and long-standing historic preservation ethic in Georgetown, many features of this earlier time, indeed the very fabric of the town, have been preserved. As a result, tours of historic Georgetown provide the visitor with an in-depth experience of life in the 19th century Rocky Mountain West.
We were in Denver last week, visiting my parents. Since it is fall, we took several trips into the mountains to see the yearly color show in the mountains. In early fall, the shimmering leaves of the aspen, the quintessential Colorado tree, turn to a positively glowing shade of gold, sending locals and visitors rushing to the mountains. The glorious colors don’t last long, however, usually from mid-September to the beginning of October. On this trip we followed the North Fork of the South Platte river out of Denver to Kenosha Pass on Route 285. The trip goes by fairly quickly, only about hour and a half to the summit of Kenosha Pass. The photo above was taken in Shawnee last week.