Ireland day 0987. Tuesday 11 June 2024- Airborne

Ireland day 0987. Tuesday 11 June 2024- Airborne
Today’s summary Our final day on holiday.   After breakfast, checked out of the hotel and took the Metro line 1 to the botanical gardens.   Had a good look round and a relaxing cup of tea at the end.   Picked up our bags from the hotel and took the 747 bus to the airport.   A hot and sweaty and slightly chaotic transit process.   In the departure lounge now, awaiting our overnight Air Canada flight back to Dublin
Today’s weather Overcast but dry and quite mild.   Hardly any wind.   Appx 19c
Today’s overview location
(The grey mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Montreal Botanical Gardens

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Well I suppose all good things have to come to an end.   And indeed that was the case today, the last day of our month long trek around North America.   But we were determined to make the most of it, and as our flight back to Dublin wasn’t until the evening, we had almost a whole day to do some more exploration of Montreal.

After a bit of deliberation we narrowed down options to the Fine Art museum or the Botanical Gardens.   In the end the gardens won.   Firstly because it was a nice day and we liked the idea of being outside for a bit, and secondly because we seem by chance to have made a bit of a habit of visiting gardens on this trip, so we thought we might as well add another to our tally.

To get to the gardens, after we had checked out, we took the Line 1 Metro from Peel Street to Pie-IX station.   The train journey was quick and efficient – in fact it took us longer to work out how to buy a ticket from the machine than it did to make the journey itself.   Once at the Pie-IX station, you are actually in the middle of the former Olympic park – a leftover from the 1976 Montreal Olympics.   I’m not sure what use is being made of the facilities now, but it all had a slight air of dereliction.   And I remember at the time the buildings were controversial, too, as they weren’t properly finished by the time the Games began.

The gardens are just up the road from the station and Olympic complex and they are charming – once you get in.   The queue to buy tickets was so slow and badly organised that in the end we just gave up and bought them online.   Eventually, we got in and had a good look round.   We enjoyed the Japanese and Chinese gardens especially.   There was also a good educational centre which was set out in a really nice, light and airy building at the far end of the garden.

Once we’d seen all we wanted to see – and after I think nine garden visits this trip you can start to have had slightly too much of a good thing – we headed to the café and got a very welcome cup of tea and some snacks.   At this point, it was time to set off to the airport.  Montreal traffic, a bit like Los Angeles, is slow and we knew the bus was likely to be crowded and delayed so we wanted to allow plenty of time.

So we caught the Metro back downtown, picked up our bags from the hotel, and jumped on the next 747 bus that came our way.   As predicted, it was overcrowded and slow – taking at least an hour to cover the short distance to the airport.   I think Montreal is investing in a Metro line to the airport and it can’t come soon enough as the bus based system is pretty hopeless.

The airport too wasn’t a particularly relaxing experience – hot, overcrowded and a bit disorganised.   The security process was very slow and in the end it took us fully two hours from catching the bus to arriving eventually at the departure gate.   We were both glad, I think, that we had allowed a long time to get there.

So now we are at gate 63 waiting for Air Canada to whisk us back to Dublin.  It’s been an absolutely fantastic trip and I know we have both have enjoyed ever minute of it.   As soon as we get back, I think we will probably start thinking about where to go next.   The travel bug really is infectious!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Awaiting the Line 1 from Peel St to the 1976 Olympic Games site and the adjacent Botanical Gardens  Overlooking the Games site
In the Japanese pavilion of the Botanical Gardens.   Serene and simple.   Really nice Shady pathway in the gardens (though shade not needed today as it was cloudy – but still very pleasant)
The Chinese Garden – with a beautiful but suspiciously blue lake 275-year old bonsai tree in the Japanese Garden
The main Olympic stadium.   I remember at the time the Montreal Olympics were mired in controversy as the stadiums weren’t actually completed in time for the start of the Games
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 6490 m
Max elevation: 55 m
Min elevation: 30 m
Total climbing: 49 m
Total descent: -49 m
Total time: 03:28:40
Download file: Montreal-Botanic-Gardens-compressed-corrected.gpx

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