Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Day At The Beach--In Montreal


I love the excitement and action of big city travel but I also love the relaxation and natural beauty of beaches. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover a beach just five minutes from the bustling streets of downtown Montreal. I caught wind of it as a guide was explaining the city's many parks and he casually mentioned the beach in Parc Jean-Drapeau. My ears perked up. What's this? A beach nearby? As a certified beach baby, I grabbed my sunscreen and dashed over. A short Metro ride landed me at Parc Jean-Drapeau, which is actually two islands sprawled along the St. Lawrence River. Islands? You know I was excited. And the adventure was just starting because the park boasts tons of other attractions before you can even get to the beach.


This pretty strip of tranquility beckoned me to sink my toes into the sand and lounge for hours. It was quiet, with just a few families enjoying the water. Before I located it, I found myself at La Ronde, the amusement park that draws teens and adolescents from all over the city. It turns out that I had grabbed the wrong shuttle bus.


Then I strolled by the glistening dome of the Biosphere environmental museum. Nearby, vendors were setting up for Piknic Electronik, the weekly summer music fest that serves up electronic music for a non-stop, outdoor dance party. But I still didn't spot a beach. Finally, Francois, a shuttle bus driver who watched me wander around, hopped into his car and personally drove me to the elusive beach. His helpfulness was par for the course for friendly Montrealers but I was touched by his gallantry.


On the way, he pointed out the casino and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve racetrack, which hosts the Canadian Grand Prix every June and supplies a smooth course for bikers, skateboarders and runners for the rest of the summer. We rolled up on the other side of the racetrack and he delivered me to "la plage."


Being near the water is always worth the journey for me and I spent my last few hours in Montreal sprawled on the beach, grateful for still another Montreal discovery.

8 comments:

Andrew said...

I love being near the water, too, Rosalind. Had no idea that Montreal had beaches. Very nice, then...

Fly Girl said...

Andrew, big city dynamism and water are two of my favorite things, which is why I love Montreal!

TexWisGirl said...

close by is great! :)

Fly Girl said...

Tex,
Close by is how I like all my beaches!

A Cuban In London said...

I'm a water person, so loved your photos. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, I wonder why I'm not surprised that you're a water person!

Sandy Carlson said...

"Pretty slip of tranquility" captures the beauty of beaches so well! What a place. And the views you share here are really amazing. Thanks for sharing your travels with us, lovely lady!

Fly Girl said...

Sandy,
Thanks so much!