10th August

Today we took coach transport back to Montreal, the journey taking all morning. We had the whole afternoon free for exploration of the city. Most of us took the opportunity to become acquainted with the old part of the town.

Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world with 3.4 million inhabitants. Its history goes back to Jacques Cartier who climbed the mountain in 1535 and named it Mount Royal. The 18th century saw continual wars and fighting between France and Britain that resulted in the 60,000 French inhabitants being ceded to Britain in 1760. Today the city is truly international with its Olympic Stadium, theatres, Botanical Gardens etc.

There were street artists in Montreal also. This one was offering free hugs, standing convincingly like a statue until someone came for a hug when he sprang into life.