We start the day off slowly – blame the heavenly bed of “Le Westin.”
Map in hand, we head up the hill a couple of kilometers to Parc Mont Royal. It’s not only the biggest park in the city, but it also contains the mountain that the city is named after – Montreal-Mont Royal.
By following the herd of people out on this sunny day – and a few signs – we find the right path to the chalet/lookout. It’s not the summit but it’s close enough to have great views of the whole city below. We are pleased that while taking the many steps up to the chalet, we don’t have to stop once (thanks Perpendicular Trail).
We continue to wander and soon head into a huge cemetery, meandering until we find an older section. A commander of the Black Watch Regiment, a deputy postmaster of Montreal, a soldier killed in World War I. Many date from the early 1800s and some are so old we can’t read any dates.
After a little more map consultation, we head out of the park to see if we can’t finagle a table for two at Au Pied de Cochon, a little restaurant that’s apparently got a big reputation. We find it but we’re two hours away from its dinner opening, so we head up the street to find a bistro for a drink.
We’re looking for a place with an outside patio because the temperature is in the 80s and we’d hate to be inside on such a gorgeous day but we keep finding a lot of dinner-only spots that aren’t open yet. Walt finally points to a place, L’Gros Luxe. There’s no patio on the street but it looks open.
The obliging bartender tells us he actually has a patio in the back, but there’s a catch: the restaurant’s liquor license is such that we must buy food with our drinks. We haven’t eaten since breakfast, so OK, a snack.
The patio is shaded and lovely, really just what we were hoping to find. We order hummus and nachos and relax. We’re distracted by the drinks going to the next table: there’s a garnish of what looks like a mini BLT on one and a jalapeno popper on another. These are not like any garnishes we’ve ever seen. Walt asks the bartender, who tells us that the restaurant is known for these garnishes – if you order three, you meet your food requirement. (Sadly, we didn’t think to take a picture of one of the drinks but if you go to the website and scroll down to “Bar”, you will not be disappointed: http://www.lgrosluxe.com.)
For us, one drink turns into two (no garnishes). We add a dessert of fried cookie dough with ice cream … and decide the famed pig’s foot restaurant will have to wait for another day.
At the end of the day, my phone says we have walked one-tenth of a mile more than we hiked on Mt. Chocura – our longest hike of the trip. Of course, today was easy walking, with no big stone steps, mud or streams to cross and certainly much less elevation (42 floors today compared to 183). But still, we earned our ice cream (and maybe our fried cookie dough).