Cruising Down the St. Lawrence
boarding the MS Maasdam, we spent three days in Montreal. All my changes were there, beginning in
Mtl’s Dorval airport where we landed and I worked in the weather office the
summer after my freshman year at McGill.
first day was a long one, starting at 5:20am in order to be on time for an
early Delta flight from the OC airport with a stop in Cincinnati. The good news was that the shuttle stop was
only a few blocks from our hotel. The
bad: Half of the shuttle buses were not in service. Two other couples that had booked on the Maasdam were on our
We selected La
Presidence Deluxe Apartments to stay in based on tripadvisor.com
reviews and were more than satisfied. Our corner suite on the 6th floor offered
180-degree views of the city below and the mountain above. Our rooms were clean
and spacious and came with a microwave, coffee maker, and refrigerator. Our bed
was firm and comfortable. Other pluses: plenty of towels; a helpful staff; access
to swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and great smoked meat sandwiches at the Deli down
Located next to the metro, one can
easily get anywhere in the city. But the action on St. Denis is less than a
five-minute walk away. (Tip: go up a block on St. Denis to Park St-Louis, then
head through park along a restaurant pedestrian mall to St. Laurent.) It's also
a five-minute walk to La Fontaine Park and only ten minutes to McGill
University or to Old Town.
Our first day
in Montreal, we
walked to McGill University where we found Jochaim Lambek, my freshman
mathematics professor, at work in his office.
Next we walked to Montreal’s Art Museum. The two painting reproduced here are housed in the new
a few minutes to kill we visited Ogilvie’s Department store, home to the $400
party dress. Then it was to lunch with
Stephen Roessler and his actress daughter Lina at the Ritz Carleton, where
Steve says he’d often thought about dining as he walked each day to The High
On our second
day in Montreal, we
took first the metro, and then a bus up to the top of the mountain after which
we walked slowly down emerging on Mountain St.
Dorothy was much taken with the cemetery atop the mountain just above
Our next stop was on Guy Street across from
the redbrick home where, me mom told me, I was conceived on the second floor.
boarded the ship on Day 3, we walked from our hilltop hotel down into the old city
where Dorothy made a new friend.
Here is our Holland-America ship the MS Maasdam as
photographed at the quay in Sydney NS.
after 5pm we sailed
under the Jaques Cartier Bridge.
And on past
the farms that
line the south bank of the river.
By the next
we reached Ville de Quebec, the temperature had dropped and 40 mph winds were
blowing with gusts up to 60. The police
roped off the area in front of the Chateau Frontenac so that no one would be
blown over the precipice.
If you find
and miserable in Ville de Quebec, do what the natives do and drop in at the
Casse Crepe Breton for a bowl of hot chocolate and a crepe.
time, the winds
had intensified and our Captain called for not one but two tugboats to move us
safely away from the pier.
(A word of praise for the Holland-American
Captain who came on the PA frequently to let us know how things were going.)
Our next day
spent entirely on the river, now so wide one could not see the banks on either
side. We did what all good cruisers do: Eat.
winds had almost but
not quite died down by the time we reached Charlottetown PEI. We passed on a tour of PEI’s innumerable potato
was pleasant once
more by the time we reached Sydney, Nova Scotia, a town best known as the site
of Canada’s largest toxic waste dump.
We went to Glace Bay mainly because that is where the first bus out of
town was headed. The trip took us
through the Maritime’s newest and most expensive public university, past
shopping malls –home to many US chain stores, but no industry that we could see
and no farms(!). Glace Bay had a
pleasant river walk and cooked lobsters for $6 each fresh off the boat.
miserable, typical day in Halifax. Our first purchase was a pair of gloves. We climbed to the citadel on the hilltop
above the city and then scurried back to the warmth provided by the ship.
t’was a sunny day
when we anchored in Bar Harbor. We
rented bicycles ashore and drove to and through the nearby Acadia national park
where we saw a bushy-tailed deer but little else.
ended in Boston. After parking our baggage at the
South Street Bus Terminal, we spent the day on a CityView Trolley tour, had
dimsum in a Chinese restaurant, and toured the Boston Aquarium (the latter is
not recommended) before taking the T to the airport.