(September 2, 1999)
After breakfast at the hotel, we headed out to start some serious touring of Montreal. We got one-day passes for the Metro, and headed up to the Olympic Park.
The first tour we did in the Park was the Biodome. This is one of the old Olympic stadiums that has been converted to a biological preserve. The Dome is split into 4 parts, each of which contains a small ecosystem. This is the Biodome seen from above.
The first ecosystem we visited was the Tropical Rainforest. This section was fairly hot and humid (as you might well expect), and full of various creatures from tropical climates.
The second section was the Laurentian Forest. This is a typical North American forest with deciduous and evergreen trees, and creatures varying from Otters to Beavers to Canadian Lynx.
The third section was the St Lawrence Marine Ecosystem. This is a representative of marine and coastal life in North America. There are 2 levels to this: an Aquarium where you see the ecosystem from below, then an open area where you see everything from above.
The fourth and final section of the Biodome is Polar World. This is a small section containing penguins from the Artic and Antarctic regions. The viewing area is blocked off and kept fairly warm, while the penguins bask in sub-zero comfort.
After the Biodome, we rode the elevator up to the top of the Olympic Tower. The view is quite spectacular, and we spent a little time looking around.
We then returned back to ground and headed over to the Botanical Gardens. These are also part of the Olympic Park, and they are HUGE. We saw a very small percentage of the overall Gardens in the few hours that we spent there.
After we left the Gardens, we hopped the Metro back to the Underground City and had an early supper (at the Marche', of course). When we finished supper, we decided to take the Metro down to Old Montreal to see the Place-d'Armes and the Notre Dame Basilica.
The inside of the Basilica is indescribable. These pictures only show a small part.
After seeing the Basilica, we got back on the Metro and headed out to Isle St. Helene, where we walked around and looked at part of the Olympic Park. Then back to our hotel to recover from all of the walking and prepare for the next day.
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