Friday June 20....Ottawa to Montreal.
This morning Ed and Marion stayed behind in Ottawa to take a 2 pm tour of the Diefenbunker a rather spooky tour. There was a lot of information here regarding Canada's position on nuclear bombs. Should nuclear war have broken out or seemed imminent, the Diefenbunker would have been the safe haven for those providing the thin thread of continuity of government. For the 33 years it was in operation, day-to-day operations made it the key strategic communications facility for the Canadian Forces. The Diefenbunker is quite an amazing facility with 4 stories built all underground. It had nuclear bomb replicas. We learned so much about Canada's involvement in nuclear affairs and that we had these bombs here and in Europe. We also learned that the submarine captains could shoot off nuclear bombs without the PM's permission. Very scary!
Our GPS did wonders as we drove right through Montreal without a wrong turn! Even though it was pouring we could see the lines really well as the highways had black strips of paint with the white inserts on top. There were so many highways and interchanges!! Norm and Anne and Chuck and Echo left Ottawa at 0900 for Montreal. We had good traffic up to Montreal and then just crawled through town. Ed and Marion arrived much later that afternoon, around 7 pm, and they had much better traffic.
We are in a campground south east of Montreal called Camping Alouette. It is expensive, $150 for 4 nights that's with a Good Sam reduction. And the wireless internet fee is 7.00 a day. Needless to say we only took the wireless for one day. But a very nice campground.
Saturday June 21.
e took a shuttle into town and the Grayline tour of the city. We saw lots of old buildings and went into Notre Dame Basilica which is very extravagant and picturesque. We also visited St. Joseph's Oratory. We toured through Mount Royal Park and Old Montreal. We had lunch at a nice outdoor restaurant in beautiful sunshine.
Sunday June 22nd.
We were all a little nervous but decided we had to take the subway. It was a new experience for all of us but one we enjoyed very much. You are always a little nervous about venturing off when you don't know if the person you will be speaking with will be able to answer your questions. And we had that a few times but the people are all so friendly and helpful, if they couldn't speak English, they found someone who could.
We rode the subway to the Bio Sphere (not where we intended to go) only to find out we really wanted the Bio Dome. The first one was directed more for kids than anything with the message that if you don't go green the earth will fall apart. The Bio Dome was the one that we were looking for and it was very nice. Several different climates on earth were represented and all in their own controlled environment. We saw lots of fish species, tropical birds penguins, bobcats and even watched a beaver swimming under the water and inside it's den. We saw the stadium where the Expos baseball team used to play and the field where the Montreal Alouette's football team now plays.
Then caught another subway to town and walked through some of the miles and miles of underground shopping plaza. The guys timed this one perfectly though, the girls were getting tired and didn't feel like shopping so we didn't spend long there and were off to the Casino Montreal for dinner and some slots. No big winners though. One more subway ride and it was back home around 7:30pm.