2nd to 4th July 2016
Today is our final day in Montreal. The plan is to get some breakfast at l’Avenue du Plateau, head to the Basilica and finish up with shopping at the underground city.
The long line we saw outside l’Avenue yesterday and people’s obvious willingness to wait to eat there has piqued our curiosity. B and J, our early risers, head out to reserve spots in the queue, while the husband and I stay back to hand over the keys to our Air BnB owner. When we get to the restaurant half an hour later, B and J are still in queue. We all wait for another twenty minutes to be seated. The restaurant owners have the sense and decency to offer patrons, who have spent close to an hour standing in line outside, complimentary fruits once they are seated. A hungry customer is an angry customer. We place our orders and wait. The fruit is long gone.
The three South Indians with me cannot do without their morning coffee. Et moi? I’ll have a mimosa, s’il vous plait. Orange juice for breakfast + Champagne for lunch. Blame it on New York, if you will ❤
When the food comes, the portions are large and beautifully plated. We dig in eagerly. Nom nom!! I got the scrambled eggs with mushrooms and truffle oil, which was so-oh good, but J’s burrito with quinoa in it was even better. The husband and I have enough left over for dinner. We don’t know it yet, but boy will we be glad for it later!
Next stop, Basilica of Notre Dame. The plaza is packed. There is not a parking spot in sight. We drop B and J off and go looking for parking. When they were done marvelling the stupendous interiors, we had still not found parking, so we simply pick them up and make our way to the underground city, Montreal’s shopping haven. The name underground city conjures images of Palika Bazaar and Heera Panna. Palika Bazaar is New Delhi’s literally underground bargain market, popular for grey goods. Heera Panna is Mumbai’s above ground version of the same. We park and make our way through a labyrinth of buildings, stations, shops and cafes, only to reach a humongous shopping mall. What an anticlimax!
We navigate our way back through the maze to where we have parked, miraculously managing to find Anthea of AntheasChronicles and Rohan in there. The trip back is uneventful, save for a strange man at one of the rest areas. I wish I could remember which exit we took. This janitor stood outside the restrooms with a broom and a pail, staring vacantly into empty space. He didn’t move a muscle or blink or in any way acknowledge our coming or going. He just stood there like a wax statue, absolutely motionless. Freaky!!!